If reports of climate change skeptics or deniers downsize in the next few weeks, it’s not that said deniers have woken up to the realities of global warming. Rather, the Associated Press recently changed the way its journalists will refer to people who do not agree with the fact that anthropogenic factors are causing the globe to, on average, warm up.
Here’s how it will read, per the AP:
“Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.”
On the one hand, getting rid of “skeptic” was a solid move on the AP’s part. In the AP’s explanation, it points out that scientific skeptics — the type who debunk ESP and the paranormal — took issue with the word being co-opted by the anti-warming movement. On the other hand, “those who reject mainstream climate science” is a super clunky construction. Plus, leaving the door open for “doubters” offers a bit of political appeasement, rather than factual basis.
In addition to journalists who are directly employed by the AP, the change will also be made in its much-adhered-to Associated Press Sylebook, which is used by journalists at publications worldwide.
Doubter is less-harsh a word that denier, but the harshest thing of all will be facing a reality where coasts are flooded, biodiversity has plummeted, and extreme heat waves bake our summers.
You can doubt beliefs or opinions, but if you deny facts and stairways you end up looking like a chump.