Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Calling out the climate cranks: Galileo moment for GOP

Posted on  

"Calling out the climate cranks: Galileo moment for GOP"

Share:

google plus icon

I am interested in your thoughts on the term “climate cranks.”  Of course, I like any phrase that uses a figure of speech, alliteration in this case.  But I tend to think “cranks” is too mild.  Cranks don’t have a multimillion dollar fossil-fuel-funded campaign behind them.  Some cranks may seek to block efforts to preserve a livable climate, but only hard-core pro-pollution anti-science deniers and disinformers can achieve that immoral goal.

Mark Hertsgaard has an outstanding new book out, “HOT: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth.”  What follows is an article he wrote today for the Politico.  At the end is a piece with more on the book and the campaign against the climate cranks.

Will it take the Republican Party as long to accept modern science as it took the Roman Catholic Church? The church waited 359 years to admit Galileo was right “” the earth does move around the sun. Not until 1992 did the Vatican officially withdraw its condemnation of the man Albert Einstein called the father of modern science.
Today, even children know that the earth revolves around the sun. But that idea was heresy to the 17th-century church. When Galileo would not abandon his views, the Inquisition put him on trial in 1633. He was forced to recant under penalty of death, then lived under house arrest for the rest of his life.

Now the House Republican majority is launching its own attack on Galileo’s scientific descendants. Rejecting mainstream climate science became a GOP litmus test during the 2010 midterm elections. Republican leaders then floated the idea of putting mainstream climate science on trial in congressional hearings.

This week, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy Committee, introduced legislation that would “repeal” the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific determination that greenhouse gases threaten human health and welfare.

After Galileo reluctantly recanted, legend has it that he muttered, “Eppure, si muove.” In other words “” censorship and repression could not change physical fact: The earth moves around the sun, whether the church agreed or not.

This is true today: Modern science has conclusively demonstrated that human activities are dangerously overheating the planet “” notwithstanding Republicans’ desire to repeal that conclusion.

Republicans are the only major political party in the world that rejects this mainstream climate science. The right-of-center parties controlling governments in Britain, Germany and France, for example, not only embrace mainstream climate science, they support far more aggressive climate policies than anything advocated by Republicans “” or Democrats “” in Washington.

U.S. news coverage usually refers to climate deniers as skeptics. That is misleading. Skepticism is invaluable to the scientific method. But an honest skeptic can be persuaded by facts. These deniers are largely impervious to facts “” at least facts that contradict their worldview.

When virtually every major scientific organization in the world, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and its counterparts in 18 other industrial countries, has affirmed that man-made climate change is real and extremely dangerous, only a crank would continue to insist that it’s all a left-wing plot.

What, are all these organizations and the thousands of scientists associated with them part of a vast conspiracy? Are they all lying careerists or incompetent buffoons? That is the only logical conclusion to draw from the Republicans’ continuing insistence that climate science is bogus.  Despite having no more scientific credibility than the Flat Earth Society, the climate cranks have held our nation’s climate policy hostage for decades. One reason the United States has done so little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the past 20 years is that our government has listened as much to these climate cranks as to real scientists.

As a result, our planet is now locked into at least 50 more years of rising temperatures and the climate effects they unleash “” longer droughts, stronger storms, harsher heat waves, rising sea levels. The young people of Generation Hot””the two billion people born worldwide since NASA scientist James Hansen put the world on notice in 1988 that global warming had begun””are fated to spend the rest of their lives coping with the hottest climate in civilization’s history.

Yet if one judged solely by recent media coverage, one would think deniers have a point. In an embarrassing display of scientific illiteracy and political gullibility, news organizations have repeatedly played into the deniers’ hands: Implicitly endorsing their unfounded accusations of fraud against scientists whose emails were stolen, by portraying a single error in a thousand-page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as reason to question all of mainstream climate science.

Then the media largely abandoned the climate story over the past 12 months, even as mainstream scientists were turning out one landmark study after another, clarifying the extreme peril.

There is no point trying to change the climate cranks’ minds. For economic as well as ideological reasons, they will no more acknowledge the truth of man-made global warming than the 17th-century Vatican would concede that the Bible was not literally true.

The rest of us, however, can change how we relate to the cranks.

As Republicans seek to repeal climate science, it is past time for the chattering class in Washington to stop giving them a pass. Climate cranks should instead be called to account for the terrible damages they have set in motion and prevented from further sabotaging our nation’s response to this crisis.

We cannot wait 359 years to believe in science.

– Mark Hertsgaard is the author of six books including, most recently, “HOT: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth.”

And here’s a related piece by Peter Rothberg, the Nation magazine’s Associate Publisher for Special Projects, “Calling out the climate cranks“:

For years, climate “skeptics” have denied the near-unanimous scientific consensus around global warming in an effort to delay action.

But, they’re not really “skeptics”””they’re cranks and hacks, and it’s time to unmask those who are holding our nation’s climate policy hostage.

The Nation is partnering in a new initiative, galvanized by the magazine’s environmental correspondent and my friend Mark Hertsgaard, to name and shame the climate cranks sabotaging our nation’s response to climate change. The coalition includes the Sierra Club, 350.org, Kids vs. Global Warming, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Grist.

On Tuesday, February 15, Mark (author of the new book HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth) and supporters will head to Capitol Hill, the Fox TV bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and other hotbeds of climate denial. The goal? Put the climate cranks on the spot and make them explain””on camera and in front of kids””why they have condemned the young people of “Generation Hot” (as Mark calls them), to spending the rest of their lives coping with the hottest climate in human history.

As Mark explained in a recent Nation excerpt of his book:

“On the ground in Washington I will be joined by local young people””activist members of Generation Hot. Our plan is to confront the climate cranks face to face, on camera, and call them to account for the dangers they have set in motion. We will highlight the ludicrousness of their antiscientific views, which alone should discredit them from further influence over US climate policies. And we will show how our nation could still change course””for example, if the federal government were to use its vast purchasing power to kick-start a green energy revolution that would create jobs and prosperity across the land. We welcome your help and constructive suggestions for how to achieve these goals and invite you to join us.”

Learn more about the campaign by watching this short video:

Here’s How You Can Help:

Visit the Facebook page for Generation Hot. Post your suggestions for which cranks to target, what questions to ask and how to use this action to transform the climate conversation in this country.

Post your questions and crank suggestions via Twitter, using the hashtag #climatecranks.

« »

67 Responses to Calling out the climate cranks: Galileo moment for GOP

  1. 350 Now says:

    Perhaps climate crook comes closer…

  2. Dion says:

    I’m partial to the term Climatebagger.

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    Generation Hot sounds like a great idea, and as part of Generation Not I will offer help however I can, including some research I have done myself.

    GH or Mark can contact me at mike.greenframe@gmail.com

  4. 350 Now says:

    Climate weasel suggests the definition of using cunning or deceit.

    With sincere apologies to polecats, skunks and other relatives.

  5. Climate Assassins.

    Climate Ass. for short.

  6. Climate Assassins makes a nice tie-in to Anti-Science Syndrome.

  7. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    Climate Cranks could actually describe either viewpoint – I myself am somewhat cranky over all this and I’m an avowed climate change hawk.

    I prefer some of he above suggestions, or how about Climate Ostriches?

  8. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    On second thought, Climate Ostriches doesn’t describe the deceit, but maybe just those who prefer to just ignore it all.

    I like Climate Crooks.

  9. Mimikatz says:

    Climate charlatans, or climate crooks, or climate cuckoos or cutthroats, or cretins, or corrupters or capons (for the journos) or carpers or . . . take your pick.

  10. tst says:

    I’ve beat this drum before, but if we’re truly Climate Hawks, then they have to be Climate Doves. Believe me, conservatives like Upton & Inhofe will do backflips to avoid being labeled “Doves.” From their perspective, it’s the worst thing we can call them. Even better, it paints them as weak and ineffective in front of their base.

    We need to look at this as a framing issue, not in the context of whether some of us have been Doves on other issues. Hawks & Doves are joined at the hip in our cultural lexicon. Calling them cranks or deniers (or anything else) strips away the power of our message and diminishes the strength of the term “Climate Hawk.”

  11. Steve Bloom says:

    As noted above, crank can just connote being in a bad mood (cranky). “Crackpot” is better.

  12. Apparently you didn’t get The Memo: The denialist cranks are Galileo™, and the scientists are The Religious Establishment. :)

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I don’t like ‘crank’. I used to be ‘crank’, before my accident. A crank is not a liar, a crank still cares what happens to our children. I hate to use ‘cuss’ words, but these are ‘climate bastards’. In any case ‘denialist’ does it for me, because it’s a fact, it links them, as is fit, to Holocaust denialists (only the climate Holocaust to come will be greater and might yet be averted)and that justified link really annoys them, primarily because it is true.

  14. Jon says:

    Climate Kooks…

    or would that be climate cooks?

  15. Climate quacks
    Climate sharks

  16. “Cranks” doesn’t work for me. As E.F. Schumacher famously said, a crank was an appropriate tool, simple, strong and useful. And, very good for making revolutions.

    I like climate crazies.

  17. Mike says:

    Sometimes using a term that is “too mild” can be effective. It is actually a way of belittling them. The most neutral term would be “climate science critics.” But the term “c. c. skeptics” really is a misnomer. I wrote something about this on Deep Climate:
    http://deepclimate.org/2011/02/07/post-normal-meltdown-in-lisbon-part-1/#comment-8128

    I have to give a plug to a very funny book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Cranks-Spectrum-Underwood-Dudley/dp/0883855070/ref=sr_1_1

  18. James Kornell says:

    I’m with tst — yes, it neglects the selfish cruelty and self-absorption, but I like calling ‘em Climate Doves. Or maybe “Pro-Death:” “Where do you stand on global warming, pro-life or pro-death?” OK, a vote for “climate doves.”

  19. Mike says:

    No, I changed my mind. “Critic” implies some level of intellectual integrity that is missing in the majority of climate change deniers. They don’t critique science they deny it.

    There are a few people who are genuine climate change skeptics. These are mostly ordinary people who have not bothered to look into the issue and maybe a handful of scientists.

  20. Zetetic says:

    Instead of tst’s “Climate Doves”, how about “Climate Chickens”?

    Republicans hate being called “chicken”, it’s an affront to their whole machismo thing. It also expresses their cowardice to face reality and take action. Lastly, it evokes an image of stupid dirty farm livestock being fattened up for the slaughter by farmer Koch.

  21. Florifulgurator says:

    Climate crackpots.

    Also I suggest more frequent use of the word bullshit: Don’t engage in longwinded explanations – They won’t listen. Don’t pant behint the Gish galloper – You would look stupid. Just say bullshit when the climate crackpot tells bullshit.

    No more tolerance for bullshit! Don’t be shy and cut the talk: just say “bullshit!”.

  22. 350 Now says:

    With respect to tst’s idea, and the nicety of having polar opposites – black/white; good/evil; one or the other, etc… The dove is just too dang sweet. You’ve got the 5000 yrs of Judeo-Xtian history all the way to their story of the Flood and the dove bringing the olive branch that life was again possible on the earth; Picasso’s dove adorning Christmas cards… Dove bar… Dove soap… Dove chocolate….etc….etc..

    The peace dove goes along to get along, has tolerance, has hope, has love, has peace,…. Sorry, the hawk/dove analogy just doesn’t work here. I acknowledge your interpretation is your interpretation but not everyone sees it this way. The last thing we want, imho, is for the climate bastards (climate cads, shysters, villains?) to get any street cred for being peaceful-seemingly wanting everyone to have peace thru food, clean water, warmth in winter, etc.. you know – those lovey dovey peaceful, things…

  23. Tim Kelly says:

    I can’t help felling that the entire Republican party and its allies have devolved into a criminal enterprise, so why not just call them what they are: climate criminals.

  24. Bob V says:

    Climate Dodos

  25. Climate crackpots sounds the best to me. “Climate chicken” is good, but crackpot is stronger because it means “crazy”, while “chicken” sends a mixed message (cowardly, but still perhaps sane).

  26. Jim says:

    Every one of the climate denialists on Capitol Hill, including Justices Thomas and Scalia, should be called “The Koch Klan”…..a bevy of ignorant pawns that should be wearing stupid hats shaped like oil barrels.

  27. Lewis C says:

    While I warmly applaud Mark’s writing and campaigning, his choice of the term ‘crank’ appears at least unhelpful and potentially counter productive.

    It seems to me that the proponents of denial come in two basic classes, the paid and the duped, which it is definitely not in our interest to further unify by labelling both with a single term that would be seen as abusive. Where we unify the opposition and harden the footsoldiers’ resolve, we strengthen that opposition.

    We need therefore to differentiate between the two main classes in our language and our messaging. Done well, we’d drive a wedge into the opposition, on which climate impacts would be the maul splitting it to incoherent shards.

    Therefore I suggest that our interest is in nailing the paid corruption that has been duping people, and in describing the dupes with a term that, while descriptive of their views, is not noticeably offensive.

    ‘Shill’ seems a fairly widely recognized term for a person willing to lie/deceive/misinform for the sake of financial benefits – It is also a relatively calm and offhand term compared to more precise descriptions – such as ‘profiteering genocidal fascist’. In this sense there may be a better general term than shill to describe the paid proponents of denial, but if so I’ve not heard it.

    The duped already face a growing difficulty in maintaining their denial, which is their own and their kin & friends’ experience of the ongoing intensification of climate destabilization, as well as the rising toll of mega-impacts worldwide that are now seeping through the MSM’s filters onto their tv screens. The only defence that denialism can put up against this rising awareness is that all these diverse intensifying impacts are merely fluke events, just a mounting heap of coincidences.

    ‘Flukists’ is thus an accurate term for the duped’ essential position as the frequency and intensity of climate impacts rise. It is also constructive, in that while it challenges them as mistaken, and hints at a rash complacency, it isn’t noticeably offensive and so holds the door wide open for people to change their minds – due either to the weather, to the ongoing dissemination of the science, or to the exposure of the corruption that has engineered the right’s fashion for denialism.

    By contrast, characterizing denialists as ‘cranks’ merely hardens the polarization over climate between left and right, to no predictably useful effect – As the alternative, differentiating between ‘shills’ and ‘flukists’ initiates the split within denialism between those who are making money out of it, and those who are starting to lose very badly indeed.

    Perhaps it also needs saying that widespread use of the term ‘flukist’ would be a potent argument in itself for the huge middle ground of opinion that now awaits a pattern of weather events that warrant waking up to the scale of threat we face ?

    Regards,

    Lewis

  28. BBHY says:

    The idea of the GOP being around for 359 years makes me very depressed. Reaching for the anti-depression medicine.

  29. Mike Roddy says:

    Climate crackpot has a better ring to it than crank. And, yeah, I’m sick
    of the bullshit masquerading as opinion, too- including that quoted in all seriousness by New York Times reporters.

  30. Lou Grinzo says:

    Like others here, I’m left cold by “climate cranks”, and for basically the same reasons already mentioned above.

    What to call “them” is something I’ve wrestled with several times, and never come up with anything wholly satisfactory. I keep searching for something that points to the basic greed of wanting more of everything now, even if it’s at the (horrifically high) expense of our children and ensuing generations, but without needing to be explained every time you use it.

    Climate Cheneys?

    Future F***ers?

    The search goes on…

  31. 350 Now says:

    A powerful punch to those who would get the pun: A Climate Judas – a traitor, backstabber, double crosser, double agent, rat, stoolie, fink, etc…

    Judas Iscariot Hogwollop!

    And of course no word in any language will adequately describe the worthless piece of guano that betrays his own children’s future, even those who brag that “no one in his large extended family has ever been gay”

  32. Climate Cowards hits the nail on the head.
    Sniveling, yellow-bellied, shameless climate cowards so frightened of the truth they’re willing to sell out their own children and grandchildren to avoid dealing with it.
    If they had been around on December 7, 1941 they would have argued that Pearl Harbor was a natural occurrence that showed no evidence of being man made.

  33. Deborah Stark says:

    How about sharkrats.

  34. Ed Hummel says:

    Climate cranks is too benign and even misleading. Climate deniers, climate crackpots, climate idiots, or how about just plain evil beings for the ringleaders and climate dupes for their ignorant followers.

  35. KeenOn350 says:

    The are quite simply – the FOE.

    Of the major countries, Australia, Canada, and the USA are among the worst contributors to global warming on a per capita basis.
    Of the major countries, AusCanUsa are the ones whose governments seem to be doing the least to address the challenges we face, and seem to be the most obstructive in UN efforts to get something started.
    The MainStream Media (MSM for climate bloggers) are doing a very poor and misleading job of providing information about the challenges we face, especially in AusCanUsa.
    The only sources of good information are good sites on the internet, and good books by well-informed authors. Beware the Inet sites and publications sponsored by the Forces Of Evil ( the FOE)!
    The Forces Of Evil are very powerful and very well funded. These forces include oil companies, coal and power companies, auto manufacturers, many BigBusiness companies, the major Agro-business companies. MSM seem to be mostly aligned with the FOE – Fox in the USA is notoriously evil. The Republican Party & “Tea-Party” (USA) and the Conservative Party of Canada are also part of the FOE. Not so familiar with Aus politics, but they have similar problems. Not sure about Liberals in Can.
    These forces are evil because they are much more concerned about profit$, dividend$, and per$onal wealth than they are about people and the planet!

  36. On a related note, there is a nice simple term for the handful of *scientists* who still maintain denial or serious doubt about AGW:

    “fringe scientists”

    I haven’t seen it applied to climate change, but I think it neatly sums up the position and value of the (apparently) 3% of climate scientists in this category, and the somewhat larger number of scientists outside climatology who also actively deny AGW.

    Likewise “fringe science” for the scattering of published papers denying a link. An example is McLean, De Freitas & Carter 2009, which passed peer review but was solidly rebutted almost immediately.

  37. David B. Benson says:

    Massimo Pigliucci
    Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
    Univ. Chicago Press, 2010.

    Crank is too mild for most of those kind.

  38. George Ennis says:

    Personally I prefer to think of these people who are denying climate change because they are shilling for the “carbon” based economy as CO2 Junkies, C02 Juicers, CO2 Freaks, CO2 Juiceheads or CO2 Pimps . You can if you prefer substitute Carbon for CO2. My terminology I believe also links the addiction to oil and gas which these people are trying to perpetuate.

    I like to think that my terminology separates those shilling for the oil and gas, and coal industry from the general public which has simply been bamboozled by the disinformation campaign.

  39. Lewis C says:

    Addendun to #27

    Seeing that climate is actually the global issue, for all few posters seem to take much interest in the global campaign beyond American borders, it’s worth considering that ‘denier’ already has strong global currency – If US activists want to develop a new term to replace it, that new term needs to be relevant and more effective globally than ‘denier’. That is, at best it needs to make sense and function well when translated into many other languages.

    Or do people just not see the need for concerted actions on climate ?

    As to what the new name does, how about going further than merely indulging our anxt and externalizing our anger by choosing some epiphet, and instead actually considering what the name should do ?

    Or are people just stuck on the keystone cops routine of bashing the baddies, being content to be a clown in someone else’s circus ?

    The effect of a new name on the inactive middle ground of opinion surely ought to be our prime focus, for those are the swing votes that are vital to getting reform of climate policy in the Whitehouse. (As we stand, climate has all of the media attention that the POTUS wants it to have – bugger all – while pressure for agreeing a climate treaty is all but absent from US activism).

    So do we want a new name to further polarize the debate and help unify the deniers by its offensiveness ? And thus to turn off the middle ground ?

    Or should we be looking for a globally applicable term as a means of :
    1/. splitting the deniers along the fault-line of corporate shills and dupes ?
    2/. turning the focus onto the rising incidence of extreme weather events globally that conform to scientific predictions rather impressively ?
    3/. awakening the middle ground to the reality of and prognosis for climate destabilization ?
    4/. holding the door open for those who’ve been duped to come out and declare they’ve changed their minds ?

    Those posters who just want to stick it to the deniers would do well to consider the reaction of the Koch brothers to hearing that climate activists on CP have just chosen a new and more polarizing term to describe their rightwing dupes.

    They’d be sniggering all the way to the bank.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  40. David B. Benson says:

    How about CRUD spreaders?

    Confusion
    R (?) [Fillin the blank, please.]
    Uncertainty
    Doubt

  41. David B. Benson says:

    Rubbish

  42. Pythagoras says:

    I’m more than happy to go with “Climate Zombies” since deniers are wandering aimlessly without cognitive thoughts.

    Now as to Galileo’s famous phrase “Eppure, si muove”. Maybe we need to add to the lexicon a similar phrase with regards to climate.

    “Nevertheless, it is hotter”

    becomes

    “Tuttavia, è più caldo”

    (Help from a native Italian speaker would be appreciated!)

  43. Prokaryotes says:

    Re Pythagoras, why not something with

    Gaia and Equilibrium State?

  44. Catchblue22 says:

    How about “future inhabitants of the lowest circle of hell”.

  45. Fredo says:

    Tim Kelly #23 nailed it. They are climate criminals.

    Those who kill, maim and endanger others to line their own pockets are criminals, pure and simple. So the fossil pushers are unquestionably climate criminals.

    The GOP denialists knowingly aid and abet these criminals. Aiding and abetting is a standard theory of criminal liability in any legal system. Thus the GOP denialists are also climate criminals.

    I am shocked that climate hawks have been so slow to take up this term. The fact that criminals use their criminal enterprise to allow themselves to write the laws— and not surprisingly, have refused to “criminalize” what is clearly criminal behavior— does not keep them from being criminals. Time to start calling them what they are.

  46. Crank says:

    Well, unsurprisingly I don’t think “Climate Crank” is quite right here…

    “Climate Shill” or “Petro Shill” or something along hose lines seems much more in keeping with what’s really going on here.

    I’d also suggest “Ecological Kleptocrat” if I didn’t think it had too many syllables for the shill’s target audience.

  47. Lewis C says:

    Fredo -

    I like your passion – but your lack of precision and of interest in the consequences seem pitiful.

    The vast majority of denialists are dupes – who are convinced, by those whom I’d well agree are criminals, of totally wrong information.

    Does this make them criminals ? If not, why call them that ?
    And what will be the effect of doing so in terms of cementing their resistance to reviewing the evidence for CD ?
    And what will be the effect on the middle ground of public opinion of climate activists using such a wild and unjustified description of them ?

    I really wish people would take this issue as seriously as it deserves.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  48. Anne van der Bom says:

    I vote for ‘climate saboteur’.

  49. dp says:

    even ‘sharkrats’ is too abstract. i want to take their shield away from them, show them to be arguing in favor of something proven uncontrollably dangerous. “this person is a pollution advocate. this person spits at scientists because science says polluters & clearcutters should pay for the damage they do.” like maybe carbon pusher? or coal pusher, oil pusher, toxics pusher.…

  50. Daimon says:

    I like Climate Ostriches because it implies willful ignorance and stupidity.

  51. 350 Now says:

    Climate chaos profiteers.

    Also I really like @ #47 – Anne’s description: climate saboteur. It clearly identifies what it is – sabotage on the future

  52. Sime says:

    We all know only too well the concept of the ‘Contractor Cowboy’ who resides in the building trade. They take your money, they lie, and generally rip you off and trash your house and they seem to manage to do it to bright hard working individuals who you would think would see through the scam… sound familiar?

    Well welcome to ‘Climate Cowboys’ they too will rip you off, they too are unqualified non experts, and like the ‘Contractor Cowboy’ they too lie, but rather than simply trashing your house or your neighborhood they save the best for last, yes the piece de resistance for the ‘Climate Cowboy’ is to trash YOUR planet and to do it with an arrogant self serving smile.

  53. David Smith says:

    I prefer the “BURNERS”. Our concern is their effort to continue to burn fossil fuels without restriction and they may burn us all in the end.

  54. Marie says:

    I like “shills” and “dupes” or “flukists” as recommended by Lewis. Excellent points!

  55. peter whitehead says:

    I like CLIMATE VAMPIRES because they suck the life out of the world.

  56. cervantes says:

    Yeah well The Nation could start by doing something about Alexander Cockburn, a climate crank to whom they have regularly given a prominent platform. It’s in their own %#&^% magazine.

  57. chrislw says:

    Props to #26, Jim, if upon alliteration we insist:

    Lynching our Children’s future: the Koch Klimate Klan.

    But I think David Smith nailed it. Drill, baby drill = burn, baby burn! Extreme incredulity must play a part. A Burner represents a colossal logic fail (because their brains are burnt from, you name it…hydrocarbon inhalation, Fox toxins and soulless greed). Plus, a shortened epithet is a media win with heavy condemnation potential.

  58. Crank says:

    @Lewis C #47,
    that’s a good point; it’s important to note that there are two categories here: the shills and the dupes. I think most people here (including me) are thinking primarily of the “shill” category.

  59. Jeremy says:

    I like “Pollutionist”. Their goal is freedom to pollute for free, and I think most people understand that Pollution is a bad idea, even when they don’t agree on global warming.

    Jeremy

  60. Ric Merritt says:

    I am partial to Climate Cowards.

    Some folks, including even some who may show bravery in situations of immediate physical danger, are yellow-bellied, spineless, infantile, drooling, gibbering cowards in a much deeper and more important sense, in that they cannot face the truth.

    We can find people to do police and fire work when we need them, and we are all grateful. But we have a dire shortage of square-jawed, brave grownups in the arenas that count even more for our grandchildren. You can show that kind of deeper bravery from a wheelchair or a sickbed. Your choice.

  61. Robert In New Orleans says:

    You can lead a Republican to science but you cannot make them believe it.

    Climate Deceiver?

  62. LazyTeenager says:

    Ric Merrit says
    I am partial to climate cowards
    ———–
    While I think this is an accurate description of many “climate skeptics”, and especially of those conservatives who are extremely fearful that their lives are about to change, I don’t think it is very useful in most circumstances.

    I would prefer to emphasize the positive and go for courageous as an attribute of “warmists”.

    Of course if you get frustrated with them and want them to grind their teeth to the bone you could call them courageous in the ironic sense. I am sure they will figure it out.

  63. Lewis C says:

    Robert -

    for those who’ve not come across it, the precursor to your quip,
    (that itself arose from a traditional adage)
    was:

    “You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make it think.”

    Rather fitting for the fossil shills don’t you think ?

    Regards,

    Lewis

  64. Chris Winter says:

    At Forbes, Prof. Larry Bell is doubling down on his “Hot Sensations vs. Cold Facts.” Meanwhile, managing editor Tom Post breaks his promise to post a rebuttal alongside a blog repost of Bell’s piece. At last report, Fred Singer had gotten involved.

    Story here: http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/forbes-magazine-wrong-is-right/

    Incredible! Perhaps Forbs (sic) will walk away with the CP 2011 Citizen Kane award for non-excellence in climate journalism. (I spell it that way because I remember a previous issue that did: the subject was poor education in American schools.)

  65. Chris Winter says:

    Apparently there’s a developing trend to fold climate-change denialism together with anti-evolution, with Colorado being the bellwether. A 2007 survey of 628 Colorado teachers found 85% felt “both sides” of the question whether human activities are causing warming should be presented in class — although an attempt last year to block teaching about AGW in Mesa, Colorado schools fizzled.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/coming-classroom-climate-conflict
    The Coming Classroom Climate Conflict

  66. Chris Winter says:

    Perhaps “climate craps-shooters”? They’re betting everything (“the farm”) on our single throw of the dice. (If only the term had fewer syllables…)

  67. Kevin says:

    Switching from what to call people to another important point — if you notice in the comments section on the politico article, which are normally overwhelmingly populated by opponents of climate change sceince, there are a few people responding who are using real science, mostly avoiding hyperbole. Bravo! People should applaud them and copy their method. What is needed is well reasoned, respectful pushback, using real scientific sources in this very public arena. Policymakers pay attention to these DC facing sources. It is important that they see that the entire world is not opposed to this science.