BPSDB There is that group of people who use the uncritical nonthinking process of denialism when dealing with climate change science. These people are commonly, and correctly referred to as “Deniers.”
In the ongoing culture wars the Deniers have been casting about for a suitable pejorative with which to dismiss those who use facts and logic, and they seem to be gravitating towards “alarmists.”
Now being an alarmist is not necessarily a bad thing (cf Paul Revere – Alarmist!), but I believe there is something far more interesting going on here.
In seeking to characterize a group we tend to focus on what stands out and is of significant to us. The Deniers share a particular anti-intellectual, irrational process when dealing with the climate change issue, and it is for this process that they are known for to those who accept the facts of climate science.
By contrast, the Deniers have chosen to focus on the conclusion that their opponents have reached, regardless of the process … it seems that it is the conclusion and not the type of intellectual process that stands out for them.
To the one group you are a Denier if you engage in the anti-intellectual process of denial, regardless of what your views on anthropogenic climate change are. The term refers explicitly and only to the type of cognitive behaviour used to reach a conclusion, not to the conclusion itself;
To the other group, you are an Alarmist if you accept the scientific facts as they pertain to anthropogenic climate change, regardless of how rationally or irrationally you came to that conclusion. The term refers explicitly and only to the conclusion, not to the cognitive behaviour used to arrive at it.
Not that one should read too much into this, but I think that the difference speaks for itself.
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
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