Justin Gillis of the New York Times recently raised the question of what journalists should properly call those who deny climate science. Are they “skeptics,” as they generally call themselves, or something else?
Given the stakes of our current climate crisis, the semantics matter.
The gap between what the public understands about climate change and the scientific consensus is troublingly wide. While 97 percent of the scientific community recognizes our role in climate change, only 50 percent of Americans believe that human activities are mostly to blame, according to a 2011 study by the Yale Center for Climate Communication.