I’m evil!

Yes, it was the Holocaust of the fluffy toys. With its explicit mention of “holocaust” it evokes… well, in RP Jr’s words: “Let’s be blunt. This allusion is an affront to those who suffered and died in the Holocaust“. Of course RP is actually talking about the phrase “Climate Change Denial” (or possibly Denier, there is some ambiguity), which seems to have arisen from obscurity recently.

But this is all part of the std labels debate: what do you call people who are averse to the std scientific consensus on global warming. “Skeptic” is the std label, which has problems, because all true scientists are skeptics. I tend to use septic. See Septics and skeptics; denialists and contrarians for some 2 year old musings.


  1. #1 Fergus Brown

    The term I tend to use, when discussing CC on my regular forum, for people such as RP Sr., is ‘maverick’. This because it is not as ‘loaded’ as some terms, except inasmuch as it implies a person who is willing to go against the grain, or is not afraid to stand up & be counted. There is also the subtext associated with gambling which seems appropriate, and a certain romanticism which is not out of place. It is not a term I use for, say, Messrs. Michaels, Inhofe or Milloy (plenty of alternative terms to use there), but only for those who, reagrdless of their stance, are worthy of some respect because of the civilized and scientific way in which they challenge the orthodoxy. Does RP Sr. look anything like James Garner?
    Regards, and thanks for an interesting & stimulating blog,

    [Maverick is good for some – RP Sr would be an obvious candidate -W]

  2. #2 Adam

    Thanks, I can’t get the theme tune to the Rockford Files out of my head, now.

  3. #3 Carl Christensen

    I used “Godwin’s Law” on climateaudit once and had all the right-wing/skeptic jerks screeching I wasn’t sensitive to the Holocaust, and offended them etc. These clowns use anything for an excuse. The Pielke’s (and Gray et al) just sound more and more these days like they know where their bread is buttered — i.e. kow-towing to the Republicans & their ilk. I mean, for God’s sake, Gray is quoting Michael Crichton now as an “authority”…

  4. #4 Dano

    What’s the term they use…oh yes: Roger’s just trying to Stifle Debate (TM).

    Just use denialist and be done with it.



  5. #5 quitter

    I think Denialist or Denier are perfectly good terms to describe CC deniers. After all, the methods used by both holocaust deniers and CC deniers are the same. Just because one denies the holocaust doesn’t mean that no one else can be a denialist anymore. Besides, if some Nazi bigot is going to deny the holocaust, I’m not that concerned. After all, they’re just bigots, you can’t fix them, they’re totally marginalized, and no one takes them seriously. They’re idiots and everyone ignores them.

    However, the well financed global warming denialists have the potential to make things very difficult for pretty much every human being on the planet. And, they’re not just marginalized idiots that no one believes, people actually buy into their BS. To me, that’s more frightening.

  6. #6 Dano

    Excellent point guitter.

    ‘Denialist’ makes it look like a profession or avocation.

    ‘Denier’, though, if opposed on ground of being similar to the H-phrase, can be used as an instrument to tell someone that their tactic won’t work with you.

    As guitter said: just because there are some holocaust deniers out there doesn’t mean that no one else can be a denialist anymore.

    People are in denial all the time about something. Does that mean those folks are in denial about the holocaust too? Sacre bleu!



  7. #7 James Annan

    As far as I can tell (based on what he’s written, although he seems curiously reluctant to make it explicit), “denial” is still fine, and there’s nothing wrong with the word “holocaust” either. It’s just the specific phrases “climate change denial/denier” that RP seems to object to.

    [Its all a bit strange. Still, he has to write something… -W]

  8. #8 wacki

    Heh, I’ll go even further than you guys. I have no problem with climate change skeptics but I have a massive problem with climate change deniers. If they know climate change is going to happen and they lie about it then they are far worse than those that deny the holocaust. Climate change deniers, those who intentionally lie to confuse, are literally aiding in the *probable* destruction of the worlds ecosystem. If they believe in their heart the oceans will rise 80 feet like James Hansen says is possible, then those deniers are akin to those who took money from the Nazi party to make others look the other way while Jews were being shoved into furnaces.

    “it’s ok, there’s nothing to see here… nothing bad is happening….”

    Keep in mind I have no problem with honest climate change skeptics. It’s only the lobbyists that know better I have problems with. Unfortunately separating the two is often an impossible task.

  9. #9 Carl Christensen

    By the way, does anyone know if Pielke cry crocodile tears when US Republican nutjob Inhofe called the US Environmental Protection Agency (hardly “Greenpeace”) the “gestapo?”

  10. #10 Tom Rees

    What I found particularly offensive was RP’s conclusion that anyone using the term was doing so to deliberately allude to holocaust denial. But it’s different from terms like “Irangate” or “islamofascist” in that it’s standard – in fact optimal – english. So what he’s saying is that unless others stop using correct english he’s going to start throwing around nasty accusations. It reminds me of the (apocryphal) complaints that saying “black or white coffee” was tantamount to racism. PC gone mad, to coin a phrase.

    I was going to put something to this effect on his blog, but his sanctimonious statements about how we should address the isses (no, really?) and about “symbolic politics” just made my blood boil, so I didn’t…

  11. #11 Eli Rabett

    Well, since I am banned at the place which shall not be named, allow me to repeat what I said at the start of this whole thing. Roger Pielke Jr. wants to control the terms of the debate. I also pointed out that he was a smart cookie.

    He realizes that:

    a. Climate Change Denialist IS accurate. There is no evidence that will ever convince the Inhofe’s, Bill Grays, Pat Michaels, Jim Clarkes, Steve Hemphills, Steve Schlins, Benny Peisers (and cast of 20s) of the world. They are simply in denial.

    b. It IS a powerful phrase. Somewhere or other when you came up with septic, I said that denialist was better. We all know that denial is not a very useful tactic to solve problems. How often do we talk about someone who is in denial of their addiction? Is this not the same? There is a series problem, and to solve it we have to admit there is a problem. Those who simply won’t are denialists. Those who know there is a problem, but egg on the denialists are septics who poison the debate.

    Yes, there are also people who are in denial of terrible events, but there have been a lot of terrible events in the world, each with their own camps of sufferers and denialists. Pielke would involve you in a calculus of suffering, which is totally bogus.

    By engaging him at anything other than the level of simply saying that you will use the terms you wish you grant his premise legitimacy. As someone in the comments over there put it, who appointed Roger head of the language police?

    [I agree. And attempting to name a “principle” after his own weblog seems amazingly arrogant -W]

  12. #12 llewelly

    And attempting to name a “principle” after his own weblog seems amazingly arrogant.

    Perhaps it’s an admission the ‘principle’ is unlikely to gain currency outside of that blog.

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