The Associated Press announced a change in how it advises journalists to refer to people who do not believe in man-made climate change.
Rather than use the words “denier” or “skeptic,” the AP suggests using “doubter” and it explained its reasoning in a blog post Tuesday.
Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.
Some background on the change: Scientists who consider themselves real skeptics – who debunk mysticism, ESP and other pseudoscience, such as those who are part of the Center for Skeptical Inquiry – complain that non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science have usurped the phrase skeptic. They say they aren’t skeptics because “proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.” That group prefers the phrase “climate change deniers” for those who reject accepted global warming data and theory. But those who reject climate science say the phrase denier has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier so The Associated Press prefers climate change doubter or someone who rejects mainstream science.
AP made the announcement on Twitter and opinions were mixed.
AP Style tip: For those who don’t accept climate science or dispute world is warming from man-made forces, use climate change doubters.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) September 22, 2015
Also can describe them as those who reject mainstream climate science. Avoid use of skeptics or deniers. — AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) September 22, 2015
@APStylebook What is the term for “science” when it’s not always “science” but instead a cause led by those pushing a political agenda?
— kenny bania (@kennybania2013) September 22, 2015
@APStylebook we are faux science deniers
— Juanita Estrada (@Juanita_Estrada) September 23, 2015
@APStylebook How about calling them what they are – liars?
— Payne Hertz (@znmeb) September 23, 2015
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