Does it exist? It’s hard to say:

It’s possible that with a lot of work, some extreme corner of the behavior spectrum could be isolated via specific criteria, which then merits labeling as ‘denialist’. But in truth the characteristics of our ‘proto-denialists’ above are radically different to expectations from the current framing, a framing which may have tainted the term beyond redemption. Nor is this approach a great plan even without that taint, because it tends to mask uncomfortable yet crucial truths, especially those in f) and g). So along with other errors we may end up fooling ourselves that there’s a nice clinical division between skeptics and ‘denialists’. Via naïve assumption of cause from a basic categorization of rhetoric, this is exactly the trap I believe Diethelm and McKee have fallen into. Hoofnagle goes further, dishing out labels of ‘dishonest’ and ‘crank’ yet without proper theoretical grounds; despite his noble motives many of these are bound to stick onto the wrong people. Some dishonesty and crankiness will ride any cultural wave, or backlash to such a wave, or backlash to an evidential cause that is perceived as cultural encroachment. But this does not mean that cranks and liars drive the main action; they do not. Nor can the touted methods reliably distinguish crankiness from cultural influence, or skepticism from either.

I would note (as always) that “denial,” and “denialism,” and “denialist” are not scientific terms. They’re religious ones.

[Update a while later]

Bill Nye epitomizes the Left’s authority complex.

7 thoughts on ““Denialism””

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niven%27s_laws
    “No cause is so noble that it won’t attract fuggheads.”

    Denialism, if it has any meaning, refers to bad actors pushing their pre-conceived notions into the science. Both sides do it. They do it a lot. I’d venture to say that almost every public figure in climate science on both sides is pushing an agenda rather than science.
    There are a few that I trust – McIntyre is one of them. The reason I trust is because he is outspoken against bad science on his blog, immediately commenting against wrong statements by whichever sides.
    There are a lot of decent scientists just trying to do their jobs, but the _public face_ of climate science is almost all partisans. I wish they would all go away.

  2. Meh. The Liberal-Progressive-Left cannot think one chess-move ahead — on anything.

    Think of it: the Republicans will now have Lincoln on the 5, Tubman on the 20, and Grant on the 50. Brilliant!

    I say we stand firm and don’t let the powers-that-be walk this one back. Who knew that Secretary Lew was such a defender of the 2nd Amendment?

  3. Whenever the left accuses someone of doing something, you can be sure they are engaging in that same activity and the accusation is just a smokescreen.

    They accuse others of being a denier while denying nature’s effects on climate. Accuse conspiracy while engaging in one. Its an endless list

  4. I would define denialism as refusing to accept good evidence because that evidence is contrary to what you want to believe.

    It’s not something specific to the climate debate, it happens often (“he’s in denial, about his cancer being terminal”) it’s just been more apparent in that debate and easily labeled because it’s a battle of words fought between big numbers of people within societies over complex evidence that’s not easily analyzed by laymen, so it’s not as quickly resolved as most politicized debates.

    The reason people do it is because they instinctively want the evidence not to be correct, so they hunt for reasons to believe it’s not correct.

    And as I like to say, it’s all down to humans being rationalizing rather than rational creatures, which is itself is often a survival tool, being objective and fair was often not useful to us evolutionarily when it comes down to survival.

  5. It’s a label which is to say a short circuiting of thought. The left is better at it. Trump is pretty good at it as well (uh oh, did I just give Rand more ammo?)

  6. It’s not an original observation, but the scientific “community” has become the Medieval Church that they pretend to hate. Galileo laughs last.

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