I’ve written about the difference between skeptics and deniers before, but I think I missed the most obvious reason why deniers are not, and cannot be called skeptics. Deniers simply aren’t skeptical; in fact they are completely gullible. This can be seen over and over again as deniers willingly accept ‘theories’ that fall apart under even the most basic of scrutiny.
Be it the silly graphs made by Monckton, the ludicrous claims made by the likes of Marc Morano and Jams Inhofe, or columnists like George Will publishing opinion pieces full of verifiably wrong information, deniers just lap it up. They even accept the more absurd theories like magic invisible volcanoes in Antarctica, and hand hang off every word uttered by John Coleman, John Theon, or some random astronaut… as long as they are denouncing climate change. They get positively giddy when such nonsense comes from a source that is usually hostile to the deniers, even if they have previously denounced that source as error prone and unreliable. They don’t even require that their arguments be consistent, or able to co-exist, as long as they arrive at the conclusions they desire.
Deniers don’t look at the information skeptically, they automatically accept anything, no matter how absurd, as long as they think it casts doubt on climate change, while ignoring the mountains of evidence that contradicts their point of view.
Deniers aren’t skeptics, they are far to gullible for that.
UPDATE: George Monbiot latest column arrives at the same conclusions as I do. Deniers are too gullible to be called skeptics.
[Deniers] describe themselves as sceptics, but this is plainly wrong, as they will believe any old rubbish that suits their cause. They will argue, for example, that a single weather event in one part of the world is evidence of global cooling; that the earth is warming up because of cosmic rays and that the Antarctic is melting as a result of volcanoes under the ice. No explanation is too bonkers for them, as long as it delivers the goods.