The Information is Beautiful website has a new display up about the arguments and counterarguments of climate change.
Even though they’re listed as “Climate Change Skeptics” on the image above, the website author seems to go back and forth between calling them “skeptics” and calling them “deniers” (note that the link is “climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus”). Personally, I feel a bit conflicted about the whole naming convention. On one hand, the term “denier” has a negative connotation and smacks of name-calling and attempts to steer the debate. On the other hand, the term “skeptic” seems a little too generous, and I think it has a positive connotation that essentially amounts to steering the debate in the favor of the anti-global-warming crowd.
Personally, I haven’t delved very much into learning about the whole global warming thing. It’s an interesting summary of the arguments on each side. (I generally trust the scientists, have seen a lot of bad arguments on the anti-global warming side, and think the ultra-rich oil industry is doing the same thing to undermine global-warming research as the tobacco industry did with to undermine smoking research.) It’s also sad that opinions about global warming fall largely along political lines.
While three-quarters of Democrats believe the evidence of a warming planet is solid, and nearly half believe the problem is serious, far fewer conservative and moderate Democrats see the problem as grave. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans say there is no solid evidence of global warming (Source)
Personally, I think Republican pundits are dismissive of global warming largely because the Democrats take it seriously, and because there’s enough confusion on the issue that they can use it to cast Democrats in the “they’re stupid socialists” role. The political divide makes it hard to make headway. It means that a Republican pretty much has to admit that the Democrats are right about something and the Republicans are wrong in order to accept global warming, which is something a lot of Republicans won’t be happy to do.