There has been more recent discussion, partly inspired by Steig and Trenberth, on the use of a word that is also a silk measure. I don't use the word, though I don't see anything wrong with doing so. I refrain because it leads to time-wasting arguments.
The preferred alternative is skeptic. I have used that, spelt with a k. Spelt with a c, there's a danger that consistent pronouncers will make the c soft. I might even omit it in text, which would lead to trouble.
However, skeptic isn't right either. I regard myself as fairly skeptical, and I'm expected to apply the word to some people who believe in all sorts of weird things.
As a digression, we have an association called the Australian Skeptics. I know the founder, and would have joined, but there is only so much time available. They mainly focus on religion and the paranormal. They took the name long before it was associated with climate.
They have many scientists, and could not be classified as climate skeptics. They did have a meeting in Hobart a couple of years ago which covered climate - I would have liked to go. It did not look like a climate skeptic meeting.
Anyway, back to topic. I've been looking for a new word. One that has been used occasionally is contrarian. I like it. Some might think the suggestion of "contrariness" is disparaging, but it also could mean contrary to the consensus, which might make people feel better.
The problem is that it's long, and I like short words. Maybe some would embrace the term "contra"?
Fear of Nuclear – Part 3
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