The Associated Press reported on their blog last week that they will no longer refer to those who deny the scientific consensus on climate change as “skeptics”, but will instead call them “climate change doubters” or “those who reject mainstream climate science”. Notably, they will also not use my preferred term—“deniers”—because it is seen as pejorative.
It seems like the main push for this change comes from scientists “such as those who are part of the Center for Skeptical Inquiry” who “complain that non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science have usurped the phrase skeptic.”
Fair enough, but to me both uses of “skeptic”—referring to “skeptics” like those from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and those who deny climate change—are suspect. “Mainstream” skeptics seem to train their skepticism only at claims that occur outside of mainstream science—homeopathy, UFOlogy, and so on. Is this true skepticism or just science boosterism? I’m inclined to think the latter.