The five stages of grief describes “a process by which people allegedly deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or catastrophic loss,” as Wikipedia puts it:
l have been meaning to blog on this since I heard a very brilliant physicist, Saul Griffiths, use this piece of pop psychology to describe climate science activists (CSAs), and I realized that he had it backwards.
And the timing could not be better what with the staggering number of comments over the weekend from the WattsUpWithThat crowd. I let the overwhelming majority of those comments through because every several months progressives and CSAs should see what anti-climate-science talking points are making the rounds. [For the last go round, see "The deniers are winning, especially with the GOP" with 537 comments.]
But first, let me explain why I am still using the word “denier” here, although many deniers don’t like the implication — which I am certainly not making — that they are anything like Holocaust deniers. I have blogged many times on the quest for a better term (for a long discussion see Media enable denier spin 3: PLEASE stop calling them “skeptics”).
I suspect future generations will call them “climate destroyers” or worse “” since if we actually (continue to) listen to them, that pretty much ensures warming of 5°C or more this century, 850 to 1000 ppm concentrations, and centuries of what had been purely preventable misery (for the recent scientific literature and analysis of the multiple catastrophic consequences humanity faces on the business-as-usual emissions path, see “An introduction to global warming impacts: Hell and High Water“). But what should we call these people in the meantime, while we still have time to ignore them and save the climate?
As an important aside, I very much draw a distinction between the deniers — the professionals (like Watts, Morano, and Will) who spread disinformation for a living and/or full-time — and the much larger number of people who have been misled by them into repeating their disinformation. It’s much harder to know what term to use for the misled than it is for the misleaders. Let’s call them delayers, for now, since that is their primary impact.
Let’s first note that neither the deniers nor the delayers are skeptics, the term they (and the media) like to use.
THEY AREN’T SKEPTICAL “” THEIR MINDS ARE MADE UP