Reader Comment of the Week

As sceptic doesn't fit, what is the appropriate term to describe people who use bias to dismiss climate change science?

A recent story run on Climate Spectator discussed why the term ‘sceptic’ was not appropriate for climate change deniers. For those that missed the article, the point being made was that those who deny actual evidence cannot be labelled sceptics as no true sceptic would develop an argument based on bias alone (Stung by ‘sceptic’ spin, May 4).

With this in mind, reader Bernard Walsh came up with this response:

So what should we call them?

What should we call these fake sceptics?

I know they really don't like the term 'denier' - many of them express outrage (possibly even genuine!) at it, and conflate 'denier' with 'holocaust denier' to support that outrage.

Perhaps 'doubter' is more appropriate, then?  

They doubt the earth is warming, despite the scientific evidence to the contrary.  

They doubt that increased atmospheric CO2 is causing it, despite the inability of all the world's scientists to find any other (plausible) explanation after 150 years of study on the topic.

They doubt that humans are causing the increase in CO2, despite the evidence of fossil fuel consumption, isotope ratios, etc.

They doubt that we can do anything to reduce fossil fuel usage, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

They doubt we can do this without destroying the economy, without providing any evidence to refute the many studies into abatement cost by some of the world's foremost economists.

Some of them even doubt that thousands of scientists around the world could possibly agree on the science of climate change without being involved in some amazingly well-concealed grand conspiracy to inflict world government and impoverish the wealthy.

A lot of doubt there, and not much reason.