A reader writes:
I disagree with the reader who wrote to recommend against using the term denialist for those who do not accept anthropogenic global warming. The term is accurate. The consensus view on climate science is supported by an immense body of research that is genuinely being denied.
But more importantly and in a way your reader might view as less "arrogant,” just look carefully at the arguments the denialists make. They simple do not stand up to scrutiny. There is no there, there. To anyone familiar with the variety of denialists in existence these days, the term brings to mind a particular method of argumentation designed to create an impression of controversy, not Nazi gas chambers. There are those who deny that we went to the moon, deny that evolution occurred, deny that AIDS is caused by HIV, and yes deny that the holocaust occurred. All of them share qualities with the AGW denialist: they deny the best supported explanation in favor of one that is determined in advance by an ideology. They fall into conspiracy theory mode, wave away evidence with special pleading, cherry pick their data and “experts” and will not change their mind no matter what the evidence shows. This methodology is essentially the opposite of skepticism by the way, a term you and the media have also used. Skepticism as a method advocated by the modern scientific skeptical movement, essentially encourages proportioning one’s beliefs to the evidence which is precisely what George Will, James Inhofe, Sarah Palin, et al are not willing to do.
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