LTE Pilot: We’re skeptics, not deniers

It is inherently dishonest to use the term ‘denier’ in referring to climate skeptics, linking disagreement with radical climate policy with Holocaust Deniers, and dismissing an inherently complex scientific and policy controversy as a binary, good guy vs bad guy issue.


20 thoughts on “LTE Pilot: We’re skeptics, not deniers

  1. I am sure it did not help to elect a president who turned the narrative from skeptics to a “Chinese hoax”.

    Your lament is understandable. It is the way our partisanship works today. No nuance all “if you are not with us you are against us”.

    Perhaps now you can understand the frustration of calling those of us who favor some form of affordable and universal healthcare socialists at best or Stalinists at worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many if not most of folks like you are “skeptics” in the same way that “Creationists” are “skeptics” about evolution. A true “skeptic” would express enormous outrage at the garbage that “deniers” spew to pollute public discussion. Instead, many of these “skeptics” either let nonsense go unchallenged or even help spread it. Some of these “skeptics” deliberately cherry-pick and/or distort the evidence and spread discredited analyses from fossil fuel funded web sites.

    So, IMHO, the reality is that there is no bright line between “deniers” and “skeptics” and your accusation of “dishonesty” amounts to a new instance of that worn out victim card that “conservatives” always have at hand.


      1. YOU try to draw a bright line and put yourself on the good side of it. So you can play the victim and accuse others of dishonesty – something you do a lot.

        You constantly DENY the urgency that the overwhelming majority of actual climate scientists ascribe to the ongoing environmental degradation caused by human activity. That makes you a “denier.”

        Sure, “skeptic” sounds better but a real “skeptic” is persuaded by new evidence. And each and every week there is new evidence that you discount completely based on something you searched for and found on a Koch Brothers think tank.

        What is more, you are constantly accusing the climate science community of nefarious motives. Such conspiracy theory nonsense is the behavior of a Trump enthusiast climate science “denier” and not that of an informed “skeptic.”


        1. What ongoing environmental degradation?

          There are projections of future degradation, but right now, the environment is in the best condition it has been on our lifetimes.

          There are problems, primarily in and because poverty in the developing world, but the planet is greening in response to rising CO2 levels.

          More efficient agriculture is allowing people to abandon farming some marginal lands that aren’t up to supporting agriculture.

          Whales have made a comeback in our lifetimes and there are more polar bears now than when Al Gore was a boy.

          Would you really prefer going back to the Little Ice Age with shorter growing seasons, meager food supplies and advancing glaciers?

          But there are those projections to worry about, and that’s where skepticism is vital, because the extreme remedies prescribed would have a very high cost in lives and suffering.

          How many millions of people’s lives are you willing to bet those climate models are right?


          1. Yadda Yadda Yadda

            More of the same debunked and/or cherry-picked arguments. It is just about pointless to try to have an evidence based discussion with someone who asserts “the environment is in the best condition it has been on our lifetimes.” Uh, no. The global environment has been degrading constantly in countless ways throughout our lifetimes. And the pace of that degradation is accelerating.

            One of the authors of the study you cite on greening went out of his way to debunk the silly and superficial argument that people like you, CATO, Heartland, etc would like to make from it.


            And the millions of lives to be lost should rich nations invest heavily in renewable technology are a figment of your overheated evidence-free imagination.


          2. From your own cite “CO2 fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening.”

            You understand what ‘predominant’ means?

            Please do show me an an environmental metric that is worse now than 30 years ago.

            Every form of pollution has been reduced. Numerous endangered species have been removed from the list

            So, show me something that is worse.


  3. RE: “It is inherently dishonest to use the term ‘denier’ in referring to climate skeptics…”

    True. Perhaps it is time to co-opt the term, as in:

    • I DENY that climate change requires a massive government response

    • I DENY that 97% of scientiest agree on climate change

    • I DENY that renewables can replace fossile fuels.


    1. “Denier” is a centuries old French coin worth about 1/12th of a “sou”, or about a penny.

      That is, a denier is next to worthless.

      Perhaps you’d prefer a “hardline skeptic”?



      1. “Denier” is indeed an old French coin, but the etymology of the English term is not related to that. Instead, the history traces back through Middle English to Old French to a Latin word meaning, “to say no.” (OED)

        The association with coinage (no pun) is interesting, though.


        1. During the day, the Earth’s atmosphere filters out certain wavelengths of sunlight to create the appearance that the sky is blue. But the sky itself has no color.

          Climate change discussions exhibit a similar effect. Public opinion filters out basic science to create the illusion that hysteria is justified. But denial of the illusion itself is justified.


          1. Buzzz. Fail. Your argument applies to every non-radiating substance or object. It equivalent to saying that a fire engine is not red because at night you cannot see the red.


          2. How is it, with all your education and superior knowledge, that you are unable to recognize a basic epistemological fallacy when someone shows it to you?

            Of course my statements are equivalent to saying that a fire engine is not red because at night you cannot see the red. That is because (scientifically!) color is a subjective experience which arises from the apparatus of perception. It is not an attribute of nature.


  4. “During the day, the Earth’s atmosphere filters out certain wavelengths of sunlight to create the appearance that the sky is blue. But the sky itself has no color.“

    By that reasoning, neither does a red shirt or green grass. Those subjects filter out all but the wavelengths we see.

    In B&W photography I an make the same sky white, gray or black by using blue, yellow or red filters.
    If the sky itself has no color, this would not be possible.

    I think what you meant was that air has no color.

    More on subject is that hysteria is just as much on the denier/skeptic side of the debate.

    “Cutting fossil fuel usage will cause millions in the third world to die. Our electric bills will skyrocket.”

    Don’t like the pretty blue sky, then put on your filter and make it black and frightening.


    1. Perceived color is a complicated thing.

      If you isolate chlorophyll in solution and shine a light through it, the solution will appear green, but the light coming out the other side will be red.

      The color of the sky is like that. You see blue because the other colors have been absorbed or scattered in another direction. You see blue because that is the wavelength that is left. When you remove that blue light with your red filter, you get something close to black because the red is already gone.

      A stop sign is red because its red pigments reflect red back at you, your red filter is red because it blocks all the other wavelengths and only the red gets through.


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