James Randerson, currently Guardian's environment website editor and formerly Guardian science correspondent and deputy news editor with New Scientist magazine, says that the phrase â€œclimate change deniersâ€ makes more harm than good as it links the climate deniers with Holocaust denial.
â€œ[...]the denial phrase allows them to claim that the debate around global warming is a purely political argument. It isn't and it is dangerous for that notion to gain any traction. Plus I've seen the phrase "eco-Nazi" repeated too many times on blogs to want to sink to that level of debate.â€
Instead he argues that because climate change deniers recklessly and â€œsometimesâ€ deliberately deny established scientific facts a more fitting label for these deniers would be â€œclimate change creationistsâ€:
â€œHow do you sum up an intellectual stance that has a pre-conceived position that is unyielding to the most compelling evidence; ignores mounting and alarming data from numerous scientific fields backing up the opposing position; and clutches at the most ephemeral of straws that can be twisted to support its arguments? How to capture the sheer head-in-the-sand-fingers-in-the-ears bloody mindedness?
[â€¦]Climate change fact-ignorers? A little too cumbersome I think. Climate obfuscators? Better, but still not quite right. Climate change creationists. A suggestion from a friend that I believe sums them up perfectly. Although people have linked the two groups before, as far as I can see no one has used the phrase before.
Think about it. They operate in very similar ways. They have a fixed position and ignore evidence that does not fit their case. And they cherry-pick shreds of data that do appear to back them up.
They play up the "it's just a theory" debate just like the creationists and they paint themselves as valiant scientific mavericks who are supposedly ignored and vilified by the establishment. Worst of all they have been pushing their own version of "teach the controversy".â€
Although I find the climate change creationist label a pretty good idea I canâ€™t stop thinking that it might not sound bad in the ears of religious fanatics in USA. So, yeah. I think I will continue to label them as climate deniers.