"Just don't call 'em deniers." ;=)
There has been an interesting discussion over at the blackboard about the use of the term. Seems it's more offensive to europeans (especially Brits) because of the association with holocaust denial. That association is'n as strong in the states, so maybe you won't understand why I find it so offensive. So I'll ask you nicely:
Please knock it off.
Barry Woods says:
"The particular usage of denier, in the climate change debate is perhaps mainly a UK/European thing, but it seems to have travelled somewhat.
The 2 examples I would give were from the Independant – Johann Hari, and George Monbiot – Guardian… in 2005 and 2006 linking Holocaust denial and climate change denial.
They used it reflecting on a very high profile court case about British historian David Irving, that brought the term into common usage in the UK, that makes its use in the UK deliberate and provocative and offensive to ‘climate sceptic’ lukewarmers’ alike in the UK.
As they are both using it at the same time as the trial and conviction of David Irving (2005 -2006), thus a conscious act to link Holocaust Denial in the mainstream media by environmental writers and activists, which was all over the media as current news at the time of their writing it, as the same as climate change denial..
An authoritative source for this opinion below?
The Oxford Online dictionary:
In 1991 the British historian David Irving was convicted in Germany of Holocaust Denial – claiming that the mass murder of the Jews and other groups bythe Naziz in the second World War never happened. In 2006 he was imprisoned on a similar charge in Austria. Holocaust denial is not a crime under UK law, but the 21st century it is often considered taboo to deny the truth of certain concepts. After Holocaust, the commonest modifiers of denier in the Oxford English Corpus reflect some highly contentious issues: climate change, evolution and global warming. Refusal to acknowledge the existance of these things is now seen as so dangerous that some green activists have called for climate change denial to be made illegal”
Pretty definite link I think for the UK, considering Monbiot/Hari MSM articles at the time, ie activists wanting the same law for climate change denial, as for the existing law for holocaust denial. I don’t find anybody calling for laws for evolution denial, or aids denial, etc, do you… The guardian commentors certainly get the connection, even when implicitly not said.
I do accept that this may not have the same useage elsewhere in the world though…
Additionally, the oxford dictionary definition of climate change is also enlightening:
(as it minimises, excludes natural climate change) – surely newspeak )
ie it’s definition, begs the question, do we need a new word for climate change (natural) prior to the mid 20th century! as ‘climate change’ is taken to mean something else!!"