So the Associated Press has decided that in their style climate skeptics are not skeptical at all, but mistaken. They recommend referring to them as those who reject climate science or doubters. Lots of Eli's friends and neighbors have been talking about this. Victor Venema has a good thumb sucker. Thoughtful, kind, considerate. In other words not necessarily Eli's sort of thing
Peter Sinclair also comments, and links to an interview Bob Garfield of NPR conducted with Seth Borenstein of the AP. The problem of what to call people who do not accept scientific evidence is not limited to climate science. One can toss evolution, vaccination, GMOs onto the barbie.
Dave Roberts has a useful take on this
Personally, I like the term "climate truthers," which better captures the flavor of the thing. It's not like "those who reject mainstream climate science" all have the same story about why they reject it. There are dozens of varieties of counter-theories, as many as there are theories about Kennedy's assassination. What unites them all is a conviction that the official story can't be right, that it's covering for a nefarious agenda, that the truth is out there.To borrow some words from Jonathan Chait if you dig deeply into any of these you find a tangle of denial and cant undergirding an unshakable commitment to voodoo. In that spirit, Eli would like to undertake (wonderful word usage there) a short journey into the taxonomy of denial.
In the deppest level there dwell the rejectionists, the folks who know the science, even continue to publish about the science, but completely reject it. Characters like, well like our second-most current Republican candidate for President, the good Dr. Carson. Usually this rejection has religious or political roots (Hi Dr. Roy), but rejection it is.
Above them are the deniers. The don't need a reason, they just deny. They will, of course, accept any silly reason you give them, and they even on occasion try and act out some science. Here, of course we have the bloggers, Willard Tony Watts, Andrew Montford, those fold, and of course, they need the rejectionist to point to for justification,
ADDED: The bunnies have uncovered another beast, the groundhog. The groundhog is well known for popping up at a different place or time with the same argument that was torn apart at a different place or time. Groundhogs suffer from post traumatic argument memory loss syndrome.
ADDED: Victor V suggests the butterfly who flits from argument to argument saying whatever he things he can just get away with. From playing the luckwarmer here to fundamentalist ice-ageism at Jo Nova.
Somewhat higher in the circle of denial are the luck warmers. Yes, yes, the science is fine, but we will just pick the lower limit which may, or may not be so bad, and let's all go out and have a drink. Of course, even if you look at their cherry picks things will be pretty awful.
Then there are the doubters. The problem with the AP recommendation, is that real doubters are, not involved in denial of anything, but just have not been concerned with the problem at hand. They have doubts because they don't have information, and unless they think the issue will become important to them, they have no desire to really get any information.
Of course, given family, friends and the internet, the information that is most easily available to anybunny is the information in his social circle, and if that circle includes the circles of denial, it is very easy for them to be mislead. And the Exxons of the world have paid a pretty penny to make sure that misinformation is readily available
There are also skeptics, people who want to look into everything for themselves. Given enough time real skeptics get to the right place, but it takes time to understand even simple things about complex issues and there are pitchmen with three cards on every corner.
In short are the deniers and the rejecters doubters? If the AP thinks this so, to use a recent tweet Eli has seen (the author is welcome to claim credit), irony has had its feeding tube removed, Death is said to be imminent. Self-awareness is not available for comment.