As described above there were a number of factors and incidents that brought the skeptics movement to where it is today. Under different circumstance skeptical heroes might have included Freeman Dyson, Michael Crichton, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg, and Michael Fumento instead of Carl Sagan, Michael Mann, Bill Nye, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
The forces for group cohesion can be powerful. Within the skeptic community voices that dissented in any way (or even just said “I don’t know”) tended to become more and more marginalized. Those who might dissent now have for the most part left, shut up or deferred to “science” and their places have been taken by those who believe. I once asked on a skeptical forum, why the group responded so harshly to any statements challenging climate fears, but no one ever commented or challenged any statements no matter how ridiculous exaggerating climate fears. I was told that false statements against the climate understandings represented real threats, but little harm could come from overstatements of climatic risk. No one on that forum took issue with that position and that’s when I figured I could not learn much more there. This is a group on a mission that is not accepting of distractions.
I subscribed to the Skeptical Inquirer back in the eighties, but I quit when Schermer took over, it started to veer left, and to a dogmatic atheism.