Does Prospect magazine have it in for global warming? Take this which argues that uncertainties are reason enough to prevent action. They gave us "global warming will save lives" from Bjorn Lomborg. And Prospect's lopsided notion of balance meant a fawning review of the Hockey Stick Illusion by Matt Ridley of the GWPF no less.
Now, add to that list philosopher Edward Skidelsky's edict that 'all liberal-minded people should be alarmed by uses of the denier tag' which includes global warming denial in the list. Along that road we reach this juncture
"A charge of denial short-circuits [ ] debate by stigmatising as dishonest any deviation from a preordained conclusion. It is a form of the argument ad hominem: the aim is not so much to refute your opponent as to discredit his motives."
What about a charge of denial to highlight a distinction from skepticism? Skepticism is an honest search for truth conducted with an open mind. Skepticism is not wholesale rejection of a canon of scientific knowledge based on ideological motivations coupled with revisionism of minor points. What word does Doctor Skidelsky offer for that? None. In the AGW debate the word denier is used more to tag motives than to discredit them.
In essence the vocabulary is being loaded . Proper skeptics have nothing to fear from a word, it's just a word . But the AGW debate has become polarized and, desperate not to lose credibility to the casual observer whilst manufacturing uncertainty the deny-o-sphere feigns offence at the use of a mere word.
Doctor Skidelsky is giving academic credence to this canard and his entreaty deserves to be dismissed as Orwellian , at best.