Let's check with the Denier In Chief, I mean, let's see what the person some would say is the Denier in Chief has to say about the use of the word "denier" in this post. David has described the book The Climate Caper as being "typical denier claptrap":
Dr. Richard Lindzen has been saying in interviews that he prefers the term "denier". For instance, here he is on the BBC.
BBC "One Planet" show interviewer Michael Williams: "Professor, I described you a little earlier as a 'climate skeptic', a shorthand for which I hope you will forgive me. I'm sure you don't doubt the existence of the climate itself....
Lindzen: "Well you know I also don't like that word particularly.
Williams: "So what should I use?"
Lindzen: "Well, its a good question. Let me explain why I don't like it. You know to be skeptical assumes there is a strong presumptive case, but you have your doubts. I think we're dealing with a situation where there's not a strong presumptive case."
[they drift off into peripheral discussion then come back]
Williams: "OK, you don't like the word 'skeptic'. Do you have a suggestion? I've read a couple of suggestions. 'Denier' is apparently unacceptable...."
Lindzen: "Yeah well, I actually like 'denier'. That's closer than 'skeptic'. Realist is also not bad"
[ the interview then moved on.... ]
Dr. Lindzen's idea of what the word 'skeptic' means is not shared by very many, if anyone. He's invented it for the occasion. Lindzen wants to score a point against climate science and in the process reveals something about himself.
I turned to the online Oxford Dictionary, which says a 'skeptic' is: "1. a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions".
And Google Dictionary which says: "1. A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions".
Is there an echo in here? Moving right along.
Scientists would expand on this definition. They tend to use the word 'skeptic' or 'skeptical' to define themselves. They cultivate a 'skeptical' attitude. They view the work of their colleagues skeptically. They do their best to shoot it down. Scientists who successfully prove that all the other scientists in their field didn't have the slightest clue about something, by explaining observations in a way no one thought of before are the scientists the other scientists hold in the highest regard. Consider: Einstein.
It is worth noting what the popular dictionaries say next, after the most popular definition, on 'skeptic': Google says it is 'a person who doubts the truth of Christianity and other religions', and Oxford fleshes out its #1 definition by saying 'a person who doubts the truth of Christianity....'
Go back and look at Lindzen's definition - he says you can only be skeptical about some theory that that has a "strong presumptive case" going for it. 'Skeptic' as defined by these two dictionaries, is someone who doubts something that is generally accepted, not something that has a 'strong presumptive case', going for it. As you wade into the definitions, you find the second most generally accepted usage involves 'skepticism' of religion. Religion, which is founded on faith rather than evidence, does not even pretend to have a strong presumptive case going for it.
Now consider the meaning of Lindzen's preferred word: "deny"
Oxford: [with object] refuse to admit the truth or existence of
Google: 1. Refuse to admit the truth or existence of (something)
Lindzen makes a Freudian, or pehaps I should say Fourier-an? slip here. (Fourier is generally credited with the discovery of the greenhouse effect) Lindzen's preference for the word 'denier' shows he understands that it is truth that he is refusing to admit the existence of, rather than he is actually skeptical of anything.
Deniers aren't interested in evidence and do not change their views no matter what evidence is presented. Consider: Holocaust deniers.
A skeptic on the other hand, examines evidence and looks for more evidence, seeking to understand if the theory he/she is skeptical of can actually explain a set of observations better than any other theory. When new evidence that contradicts the theory in question presents itself, if there is a better theory that explains all the evidence including the new evidence, the skeptic changes his mind.
Lindzen loves to point to climate scientists such as Schnieder who have changed their minds about what is happening to climate and openly scoff at them, as if a scientist who does change his mind upon seeing new evidence is someone he, as a scientist, and we, as citizens wondering who to trust in this important debate, should scorn. Lindzen shows his weakness as he resorts to doing this. Schnieder once considered it was possible, given the evidence that was available 40 years ago, that the earth was cooling, but as the new observations came in and the science evolved changed his mind.
Lindzen is not a skeptic. A skeptic embraces the idea that new evidence could change his mind and is proud of that fact. Most deniers of global warming pretend outrage that they are branded as deniers and vastly prefer the word skeptic because they know that scientists generally regard the word ‘skeptic’ favorably.
Taking all this into account, this is why I agree with Lindzen - he is a denier.