THE word ‘sceptic’ has come to be associated with anyone who does not subscribe to the consensus view on anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
The term is generally used in a derogatory way, so some politicians (e.g. Steve Fielding) and scientists (e.g. Stewart Franks) even if they are genuinely sceptical of the consensus view on AGW, usually shy away from the label insisting they are not sceptics.
Then there are faux sceptics, people who have very little understanding of the theory of anthropogenic global warming, but who are so ideologically opposed to the greens or more regulation, that they have quickly identified with the label climate change sceptic. Of course there are also contrarians who will always oppose a majority view.
The majority view has become so fashionable, and is so vigorously defended, that even those who simply wish to hear the alternative view, or give the alternative view a platform, now risk being quickly labelled ‘a sceptic’.
Giving such a mismatch of groups and individuals the same label has so far been a useful tactic employed by AGW activists to limit discussion and instil fear.