Some call them skeptics, but this is being far too kind to them. Skeptics come from an honourable tradition, very similar to that of scientists. A scientific skeptic is one who questions the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation. The skeptic generally accepts claims that are in his/her view likely to be true based on testable hypotheses and critical thinking.
So those who deny the mass of evidence on climate change are not skeptics. I suggest that its better to call them denialists, they have seen the evidence, but refuse to accept it. Denialism describes the situation where some people choose to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth, it is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event.
Denial is used for people who refuse to accept thay have a problem, for example, when someone admits that they drink more than is sensible, but deny that it causes them problems, when in fact many of the problems they experience are consequences of their drinking.
I have already blogged about some politicians in denial, here , and more here and here. 23% of Britain's 72 MEPs are either explicit climate deniers, or are members of parties who remain silent on the subject.
Up to a fifth of the MPs who have been debating the UK's climate change bill do not understand, or choose to ignore, the science on which it is based. They were 18 Cons MPs (33%), 11 of the 91 Labour (12%) & 2 of the 19 LDs(11%). Overall thats 19%. I think we should get rid of the lot.
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