A New Mexico physicist has launched a petition – signed by 22,000 Klimate-Kool-Aid-drinkers, and counting – demanding that from henceforward climate sceptics be referred to in the media by their proper name.
That proper name, apparently, is “climate deniers”.
Among the signatories – and really this tells you all you need to know about the credibility of the petition – is the self-styled “Science Guy” Bill Nye.
Though the petition has caused a certain degree of discombobulation in climate sceptical circles, what I say is “bring it on.”
It’s not like it doesn’t happen already: all too often at the BBC, for example, the term “deniers” is already used interchangeably with “sceptics”, for all the world as if it were a respectable, reasonable and accurate epithet.
And what I like about it – indeed why I prefer it to the more neutral “sceptic” – is that it tells us so many helpfully negative things about the person who uses it.
It tells us how low they are prepared to stoop in their petulant desperation to slur the opposition, by tacitly equating sensible and valid doubts about the robustness of current climate science groupthink with the far less intellectually tenable position of denying the existence of the Holocaust.
It also tells us how little they value the scientific method and how poorly they grasp the history of science and the philosophy of science. Had they bothered acquainting themselves, for example, with Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, they would understand that scientific knowledge advances in fits and starts. One generation’s “consensus” is the next generation’s phlogiston.
We no longer believe, for example, that malaria (literally “bad air”) is transmitted by the miasma from swamps or that stomach ulcers are caused by stress. But for a period, these beliefs were as much a part of mainstream scientific thinking as “anthropogenic global warming” theory is today. Presumably, had the internet existed back then, there would have been petitions calling for the purblind fools who opposed those theories “bad air deniers” or “ulcer stress deniers”. Those petitions wouldn’t have made those hateful “deniers” any less correct in their novel hypotheses, though, would they?
Above all, though, it tells us how sorely ill-equipped intellectually these upholders of the alarmist “consensus” are to deal with their opponents’ arguments. If “man-made global warming” theory really were such a slam-dunk case there would be absolutely no need to try to silence the opposition with disparaging epithets. Their position would be demonstrably so foolish that no sensible person would be taken in for a second by their anti-scientific nonsense.
But it hasn’t quite worked out that way, has it?
For one thing, more and more evidence seems to be emerging that the ‘science’ behind global warming theory is about as trustworthy as Enron’s annual reports.
And for another, that pesky global weather appears to be proving stubbornly resistant to the warmist narrative.