The Good News: Associated Press to Stop Calling AGW Skeptics “Deniers” …


global-warming-stylebook-entry… the bad news is the AP will also stop calling those who find wanting the evidence of a man-caused climate crisis “skeptics.”

We have reviewed our entry on global warming as part of our efforts to continually update the Stylebook to reflect language usage and accuracy.

We are adding a brief description of those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces:

Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.

So, half a loaf. It could have been worse, considering AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein apparently had a lot of input in the policy. Borenstein is not a straight reporter, but hopelessly biased towards climate alarmism. Read more about Borenstein’s controversial coverage and public statements at this entry on him at

Barbara Kay, a columnist for the National Post in Canada, has a sunnier outlook on this news because she is looking a decade hence. In a piece titled “AP Offers a Victory to Us ‘Doubters’ of Climate Change,” Kay writes:

This is welcome news, for it releases people like me from implicit mental alignment with conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites. It may even reflect a glimmer of hope that the honchos at AP are beginning to realize that the “doubters” might actually be on to something, and that it won’t look good for AP 10 years from now when the doubters turn out to be right after all. …

To be clear about my self-description as a “doubter,” that is really just a shortcut for saying I am a supporter of the real doubters – and by those I mean not doubters of climate change (the climate is always changing and always has), but doubters that changes caused by man are significant – that is, the scientists and those who have actually done deep research on the science around climate change. …

There is certainly more than one scientist and more than one investigative journalist pushing back against climate-change mantras. And they simply can’t be waved away as outliers or weirdos. Although God knows, a biased media tries to.

I have not done Kay’s excellent piece justice in the excerpts above, so please read the whole thing. It’s compelling argument for why the AP has done some good here — though a deeper reading of the AP’s reasoning is a little disturbing .. and … well, not scientific, and deserves a fisking.

The AP’s full stylebook entry on this topic states:

Climate change is more accurate scientifically to describe the various effects of greenhouse gases on the world because it includes extreme weather, storms and changes in rainfall patterns, ocean acidification and sea level. But global warming as a term is more common and understandable to the public.

There has been no increase in “extreme weather” or “storms.” “Changes in rainfall” happen all the time, and are due to natural effects and patterns, not due to human activity. And sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age, but not alarmingly fast since the Industrial Revolution. These are among the Top 10 Global Warming Lies. Yet the AP is keeping its alarm up, for hype reasons, not scientific reasons.

Though some public officials and laymen and only a few climate scientists disagree, the world’s scientific organizations say that the world’s climate is changing because of the buildup of heat-trapping gases, especially carbon dioxide, from the burning of coal, oil and gas. This is supported by more than 90 percent of the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Sigh. As Kay points out, there are thousands of scientists (not “only a few”) climate scientists who question the theory that man is causing a climate crisis. The Heartland Institute has hosted some 300 of them at our 10 International Conferences on Climate Change. Seth Borenstein is not unfamilar with them. He’s covered a couple.

And if there was one take-away from the Climategate scandal, it was that the climate alarmists were blackballing any papers from well-credentialed skeptics. That’s not peer review. That’s pal review. And it’s corrupt.

More from the AP’s official entry on climate change:

In a joint publication in 2014, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of the United Kingdom stated: “Human activities – especially the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution – have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations by about 40 percent, with more than half the increase occurring since 1970. Since 1900, the global average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit). This has been accompanied by warming of the ocean, a rise in sea level, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and many other associated climate effects. Much of this warming has occurred in the last four decades.”

Yes, CO2 emissions have gone way up since the Industrial Revolution. But temperatures did not increase at all in the first half of the 20th Century. In fact, we had a significant dip in the 1930s and 1970s. And even though about 25 percent of all post-Industrial-Revolution CO2 emissions have happened since the 1990s, global temperatures have been flat since 1998.

pauseclimatedepot18years7months (1)

In other words, the link between CO2 emissions and “global warming” is less established than the AP would lead its millions of readers to believe. By the way: Polar sea ice is well within historic levels (which we only have been able to accurately measure by satellite since the early 1970s).

That’s enough of my take-down of the AP. Back to Kay’s piece at Canada’s National Post, which is more positive. She cites the work and public statements of one of the most prominent paleoclimateologists in the world: Heartland Institute Policy Advisor Bob Carter. His research shows he was worthy of the citation.

Carter was the winner of the 2015 Winner of the Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science at the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change in June 2015. Watch his acceptance speech below. It will arm you with reasons why the climate alarmists at the Associated Press will continue to be wrong:

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There are 8 comments.

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  1. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball

    Thank you for the unusually well-presented brief gazette of a current event and a bunch of context.

    The better you are at statistics, the less you see of value in the AGW portfolio.

    EDIT:  Ah, no wonder!  Just read your bio.

    • #1
  2. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad

    Wow, lots to feast on. Thanks.

    • #2
  3. Songwriter Inactive

    Thx for this post, Jim.

    • #3
  4. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda

    I’d read an article about the phrase change a couple days ago.  My takeaway was that people on-board with AGW hate that people describe themselves as skeptics, because the word skeptic implies intelligence and reason. I’ve seen activists on TV declare that there are no climate change skeptics.  People who call themselves that are lying and they are really deniers.  We’ll see if they find the word “doubters” acceptable.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator

    I prefer to continue to have the “climate denier” label applied for me for a) believing that AGW is real, b) thinking it is worth doing something about it, and c) drawing the line at more money and power for government.

    • #5
  6. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus

    I’ve always seen the change from “global warming” to “climate change” as one of the more shameless examples of moving the goalposts in recent memory. That was the point that I went from skeptical-but-convinceable to dismissing it entirely.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member

    I don’t “believe” in it or not. To me, it is an open question. I haven’t seen anything to convince me that the scientists have proven that it is occurring. However, if it is occurring, there are as likely to be natural causes as human-made causes.

    When I worked on a basic geology book years ago, I became hooked on a regularly appearing column in the New York Times by a climatologist who reported on the geological events that happened each week around the globe. It was stunning to read about the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that happen on a weekly basis. The volcanic activity alone is enough to raise the overall ocean temperatures from year to year. The air temperature fluctuations are small compared to the water temperature fluctuations in the vicinity of under-the-ocean-floor volcanoes.

    And when Hurricane Katrina happened, the geologists who studied it discovered that the spike with which they had been measuring the ocean depth in relation to the ocean floor was on a small piece of land that had actually sunk over time. All of their measurements were wrong.

    And it has only been in the last thirty years that the geology of Cape Cod has been understood, thanks to the brilliant work of the geologist Robert Oldale. It was believed there was no rock under the Cape, that it was just a pile of glacial till, until he discovered some anchoring rocks under the islands.

    • #7
  8. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa

    I thought it was supposed to be cool for conservatives to declare that they were agnostic on climate change / global warming.

    Notice that each descriptive carries some notion of disbelief of a lack of religion or sufficient faith slant: skeptic, denier, doubters, ‘those who reject…,’ and finally, to put the most cynical slant on it from the conservative side, ‘agnostic.’ The cynicism of the right being that we know we aspire to be faithful to something greater than undue concern for the planet-as-deity. The desired impact of the left being to stigmatize the object of criticism as being inconsistently faithful in his words and actions. I thought that was supposed to be the modus operandi of the Puritans. Enter the neo-Puritans of environmentalism.

    • #8
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