There have been many discussions about the ways how the climate realists are being called. We're skeptics, contrarians, mavericks, and shills, among other things. I have always agreed with Richard Lindzen about the word "denier".
While it has been coined with the obvious purpose to link the climate realists to the "Holocaust deniers", it is actually an accurate term, too. In particular, I am a climate denier, not a climate skeptic. The term "skeptic" often indicates that there is a serious "case" to be made about the bold hypothesis and that one is seriously open-minded to both possibilities. Well, I am not. There won't be any CO2-driven global catastrophe in the next 50, 100, or 200 years. I deny the claims that there exists a scientific or otherwise rational basis for the climate panic which clearly makes me a "denier".
While climate realists haven't been as occupied with inventing names for the climate alarmists as the alarmists have been occupied with expletives directed at the skeptics, probably because the realists prefer to focus on the essence and not the propaganda, it is still interesting to watch how some climate alarmists react to various labels, including the word "alarmist" itself.
Slate has published an amusing essay from one of the most hardcore climate nutcases:
I had to laugh about the claim that he was hiding it. It's like a guy who has been raping all men walking on Champs-Élysées for years and after these years, he finally comes out of the closet: I am gay. What a surprise! ;-)
Just to be sure, the term "alarmist" that the author has embraced is defined as follows:
Alarmism is excessive or exaggerated alarm about a real or imagined threat e.g. the increases in deaths from infectious disease. The alarmist prefers intimidation and coercion to reasoned debate, and is often motivated by the desire to bring themselves to the forefront of discussion.It seems that this word is appropriate, too. The author of the Slate article is a relatively young meteorologist named Eric Holthaus. He has already become famous thanks to some of his funny actions. He is a vegeterian, of course, but there are many vegetarians. Holthaus presented a more special performance, one that was even discussed on Fox News, after he has read one of the alarmist climate reports. His Twitter followers learned that he had cried and vowed to never use an airplane again.
It's a great idea, by the way. I think that the world could become a better place if we adopted laws preventing "environmentalists" from flying.
In the Slate essay, Holthaus proposes that the alarmists stop pretending that it's about science – well, it's not – and they embrace the "humanity" of alarmism. The idea is that they shouldn't be trying to hide that the real believers in the climate apocalypse as psychiatrically ill as Holthaus himself. When they start to cry and behave suicidally, people (especially the "stealth deniers" whom Holthaus considers more important than the vocal skeptics) will be impressed and will become alarmists themselves.
Well, I doubt it, Mr Eric. Your approach may produce some compassion and even some respect to your character. It must be pretty bad to be entirely controlled by similar nightmares – such as a burning Earth. Many people may behave more nicely to you because they will really be sorry of nuts like you. But most of them will still be able to distinguish the compassion with a small number of people from the decisions how they deal with the "bulk of their lives" and "bulk of the money they earn".
The sensible part of the public may start to think that alarmists like Mr Holthaus deserve special departments in the psychiatric asylums and new, young, A-class nurses. But because the alarmists are still just a fringe group, one problem among thousands of similar problems, the sensible part of the public is unlikely to redirect trillions of dollars to some carbon-regulating insanities. (Incidentally, someone recently estimated that for the money wasted for a hypothetical future full-fledged "climate mitigation" on Earth, we could terraform Mars.)
Alarmists are constantly inventing strategies how to fool others, tricks how to promote their desired laws and misconceptions despite the existence of millions of people who can see through these tricks. But no (sufficiently ethical) method may really work because the underlying claims are too indefensible. You can scream and you can cry but the climate sensitivity won't increase to 5 °C. Dear alarmists such as Mr Holthaus, what about trying to spend another year by trying to work on yourself and fully understanding why you have been so fundamentally wrong for such a long time? You can make much more progress in this way.