JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Associated Press dumps “denier” and “skeptic”. (The namecalling made them look stupid). We’re keeping “skeptic”!

A couple of weeks ago Associated Press (AP) decided to change the way it refers to the imaginary monsters called “climate change deniers”. Apparently after years of namecalling, they think maybe “climate doubters” would be better. (Hands up all the people out there who doubt we have a climate? Exactly.)

Maybe one day AP will start to write in accurate English?

Why now? After a relentless decade of petty illogical names, AP are not dropping the term because it’s insulting, baseless, or an abuse of any literal English language definition. Instead, they have only just noticed the nasty implications of holocaust denial? Really?

… those who reject climate science say the phrase denier has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier so The Associated Press prefers climate change doubter or someone who rejects mainstream science.

Perhaps the real reason they stopped using it is because they finally realized how the unscientific poisoned term is making believers look …  unscientific. Can anyone find me one homo sapiens denialia? Who’s a political activist then, and not a scientist? To the Guardian and Slate commentators who protested the loss of their favorite insult I say, yes, please, keep the “climate [...]

Climate Grief — Believers mourning — It’s denial and anger (but it sure isn’t science)

Those who believe the Glorious Climate Models (GCMs) are in trouble.  Many of them have spent their entire careers soaking in dire predictions, but things are falling apart — (or rather, not falling apart) — the models don’t work, the public doesn’t care, the media are not that interested, and skeptics keep winning Bloggies awards. Spare a thought for them. It’s tough out there for unskeptical people. Children still know what snow is.

Things are unravelling in believer-land and there is pain. They are witnessing “the wholesale destruction of the planet”, or perhaps the death of a hypothesis, which is nearly as bad.

Truthout, where no conspiracy is too grand, and skeptical scientists are bastards

The headline reads:

“Mourning Our Planet: Climate Scientists Share Their Grieving Process”

The 3,000 word extravaganza of psychological pain is published by an NGO aptly called Truthout (think, “LightsOut”?)

“Climate science researchers, scientists, journalists and activists have all been struggling with grief around what we are witnessing.”

There’s an angry professor calling other scientists who disagree “greedy, lying bastards” and talking of backing “you plutocrats, denialists, fossil-fuel hacks “ against the wall. Another professor blames ACD for the driving cause of her [...]

We reclaimed the word Skeptic — next we reclaim the word Scientist

It’s hard to believe, but not long ago, people used to write to me to tell me not to use the word “skeptic” telling me it had a bad name. “Use the word realist” they said. But I wasn’t going to let the forces of darkness get away with destroying the English language. I’m proud to be a skeptic. I wasn’t giving that word up. And besides, I had a feeling that if we stuck with the truth, the distortion the-newspeak-team had set up would come back to bite them, and I rather wanted to whip them with that.

After all, what’s not to like about the word skeptic (or sceptic):

1565–75;   From the Latin scepticus, meaning  thoughtful, inquiring

From the Greek : skeptikós,  means to consider or examine (akin to skopeîn, meaning: to look, “scope”)

“Skeptic” is a prize worth having.

In Nov 2009 I pointed out the bleeding obvious truth: What’s the opposite of skeptical — gullible. It caught on (if I do say so myself).

And if we are the skeptics, then it followed that they are the Unskeptics and who wants to be an  Unskeptical Scientist?

Bitten by their own propaganda campaign, [...]

(Un)Skeptical Science uses unmeasureable fudge factors

A comment from Tel late last year was so surgically cutting, it’s worthy of it’s own post.  Un-Skeptical Science was trying to explain why climate sensitivity is high. The post includes formula’s and fancy graphs, and looks authoritative — yet underlying everything are errors of reasoning that nullify all the points that rest upon them. Things like assumptions about linearity (which means more or less, they make the mistake of assuming that all forcings and feedbacks operate at similar ratios and strengths when the planet is an iceball as they do when Earth hits a rare warm phase). An unmeasureable variable is the telltale signature of a fudge-factor. It is what you make of it. Fits better in a course analyzing postmodernistic intertexuality of Swahili neo-linguists.

Guest Post by Tel

This “Skeptical Science” post is an excellent choice to show how little credibility there is in the whole feedback house of cards:

It’s important to note that the surface temperature change is proportional to the sensitivity and radiative forcing (in W m-2), regardless of the source of the energy imbalance. The climate sensitivity to different radiative forcings differs depending on the efficacy of the forcing, but the climate is not [...]

The word Skeptic is back!

Here’s a devout follower telling off his own kind for showing their “faith”. “Beyond Belief” (Climate Spectator)

The “believers” have suddenly realized how uncool it is to talk about “beliefs” when it’s supposed to be about science. So the rush is on to post articles warning believers to hide their “faith” and to throw in token comments about evidence instead. Indeed the Real Deniers are scrambling to claim the “name” skeptic that they used to despise.

It’s a measure of how far this debate has come. Such was the success of the PR campaign, some skeptics gave up on the term and opted to use “realist”. But the skeptics have been proved right time after time, and the unskeptical scientists have been embarrassed by their own conniving words, mistakes, tricks and lies. The resurgence of the word “skeptic” is rising like a rocket.

As I’ve said many times, the opposite of skeptical is gullible. And an unskeptical scientist is an oxymoron.

So here’s Paul Gilding in the publication that panders to the climate industry: Climate Spectator, offering the fake guise of a skeptical soul:

It’s time for true confessions. I don’t believe in climate science.

That’s because I’m a [...]

Flashback: The rise of the unskeptical scientist

People from the How Arrogant Art Thy Name-calling thread were wondering what we call people who toss out “Denier.” I suggested that the best response to “denier” is just to point out they are name-calling thugs trying to stop people talking about the evidence.

That said, the discussion reminded me that I had another more sneaky, devious and comic response way back two days before ClimateGate broke, (and my web traffic numbers soared) and many people may have missed this post. Times have changed since then, and now even Pachauri is paying token lip service to the “value of skeptics”. But there are still plenty of people who want to disown the word skeptic because of the long PR campaign to slur it. I say that only makes it o-so-much more valuable. Let’s use their own PR campaign against them.

The rise of the unskeptical scientist

Nov 17, 2009: I’ve done it, I’ve finally solved the dilemma of how to refer to scientists who actively promote a crisis due to carbon, but can’t provide the evidence that carbon causes major warming. Not Team-AGW, not alarmist, a far better one has come to me.

Once upon a [...]