In what appears to be a mixed result in the quest for clarity, the Associated Press has announced that its reporters and those who wish to adhere to its Stylebook guidelines will henceforth refer to those who don't worship at the altar of the global warming/climate change absolutists "doubters" instead of "deniers" and "skeptics."
The specific change reads as follows: "To describe those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces, use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science. Avoid use of skeptics or deniers."
Though he was apparently in on the discussions relating to the change, AP science writer Seth Borenstein, who at times seemed to have taken a special liking for the term "denier," will be among those most affected by its termination. Imagine the following paragraphs from a 2013 item he filed revised to refer to "doubters" instead of "deniers":
... Some climate-change deniers have looked at 95 percent and scoffed. After all, most people wouldn't get on a plane that had only a 95 percent certainty of landing safely, risk experts say.
... But even the best study can be nitpicked because nothing is perfect, and that's the strategy of both tobacco defenders and climate deniers, said Stanton Glantz, a medicine professor at the University of California, San Francisco and director of its tobacco control research center.
The people who loved the word "deniers" will probably lean towards using "those who reject mainstream climate science." But that's quite a few words, and there's more than a little suspicion these days of just about anything described as "mainstream."
That said, "doubters" appears to imply a bit less scientific rigor on the part of those who don't accept the warmists' theories and policy prescriptions in their entirety than does the term "skeptics." Given their data fudging, data alteration, data cherry-picking, deliberate data withholding, claims that data has disappeared, and scam "peer reviews," more people have come to realize that the warmists' claim to have scientific rigor on their side is a joke.
The term "doubters" at least retains the primary advantage of "skeptics," namely that one can and should be able to quarrel with individual elements of the warmists' theories and findings without getting labeled a "denier" — or being recommended for RICO prosecutions.
The AP's change appears to have had outside influence. The group which claims to have had such influence is less than satisfied:
... replacing “skeptic” with the term “doubter” remains problematic. “The AP’s journalism is read throughout the world, and heavily influences the public’s understanding of crucial issues such as climate change. Referring to deniers as ‘doubters’ still imbues those who reject scientific fact with an intellectual legitimacy they have not earned. The general public, we fear, will still not get a clear picture of which public figures are basing their positions on reality, and which are not.”
Despite problems with the term “doubters,” CSI (the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry) expressed that the longer classification of “those who reject mainstream climate science” was acceptably clarifying.
Regardless of AP's guidelines, I will continue to give the warmists' enterprise — which at bottom is founded on beliefs that the earth is catastrophically warming, that it's doing so primarily because of human activity, and that only radical, statist-driven mandates leading to dramatic reductions in standards of living (and, according to some true believers, worldwide population) can save the planet from doom — the term it deserves.
That would be "globaloney."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.