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Can you spot a “Delayer 1000”?

Great article over on grist, Please stop calling them ‘skeptics’. It is the third in a series of articles specifically targeting mass media treatment of people who deny global warming (Part 1 and Part 2).

The gist of the grist story (aren’t I clever) is that calling these people global warming skeptics is actually beneficial to their cause. It makes them seem rational and reasonable and not some kind of tree-hugging alarmist. The term implies a wait and see approach. Of course, these people have made up their minds and it isn’t determined by the evidence.

However trying to brand them as global warming deniers hasn’t taken off. It’s probably because the media in general finds that it too closely resembles holocaust denier which can make a journalist a little gunshy. And quite frankly some of these so called skeptics don’t outright deny that global warming is real, so the label simply doesn’t apply. And if the media can’t use a single label then they won’t use it.

The author proposes a “third-way”. He advocates for global warming “delayer”. Since that is the more appropriate term and applies to the commonality of all different brands of global warming skeptics. There are those that acknowledge that global warming is real but that it’s either natural or we don’t have the technology to actually do anything about it. There are, of couse, those that deny that global warming is even a real thing but just some fabricated thing that liberals want to use to control mankind or scientists concocted to get federal research dollars. I think the Jews might be involved in some of these conspiracies somewhere as well but I could be wrong.

The author, Joseph Romm, actually would like to expand the term to “delayer-1000”, the 1000 indicates the level of concentration of CO2 (1,000 parts per million) that will be in our atmosphere by 2020 if current trends continue. Therefore, people like James “Dinosaur Farts” Inhofe and Michael “hasn’t written a decent book since Jurassic Park” Crichton are really global warming “delayer-1000’s”. Of course, a term like that begs for a definition. This seems like a good idea because the definition can begin to put these numbers, and more importantly what it means, into the public consciousness.

While I agree wholeheartedly with the series of articles, “delayer-1000” just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the way Global Warming Skeptic does. I also wonder if a science writer at a newspaper or magazine will want to constantly be defining what “delayer – 1000” means. I guess that depends on how quickly that meme takes hold.

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Filed under: Environment, , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. I actually like the term “denialist” which applies to a much broader group than just anthropogenic global warming denialists. Of course, I stole the term from Mark and Chris Hoofnagle.

  2. AndyD says:

    I disagree that calling them skeptics makes them sound rational – to the average reader. Outside of the “skeptic community”, the word “skeptic” does not equate with rationality or consideration but with cynic – or doubter. Rather than suggesting “thinking” the word suggests, to the masses, an unwillingness to think.

    I fully understand this is not what skepticism is, scientifically speaking, but we’re not talking science here, we’re talking general public and media. As I’ve suggested on other blogs, “skeptic” sounds less scientific than homeopathy and Scientology, so don’t be surprised when the word is misapplied or when people say “you guys don’t believe anything”.

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