Arguments about climate change have also spawned a war of words, and in the back-and-forth over greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on temperatures, the label most likely to be slapped on those who question global warming is "denier," Environment and Energy Publishing's Greenwire news service reports.
Environmentalists and their allies in politics, science and media are using the "d"-word ever more frequently, and the branding has caught on, to the dismay of global-warming skeptics who charge they are being slimed as fringe figures on a par with Holocaust deniers, Greenwire reports.
One self-described global warming skeptic, "Climate Depot" blog publisher Marc Morano, told Greenwire that the Obama administration and its allies are wielding the word to "intimidate and silence" opponents.
In 2000, the word "denier" appeared all of 10 times in English-language news reports on climate change, compared to 3,183 times in 2014, Greenwire reports.
One linguist studying climate-change reportage found that in 2009, the more neutral word "skeptic" was almost twice as prevalent as "denier" in English-language coverage of the issue, Greenwire reports.
By 2013, "denier" had pulled ahead in news references, according to the academic cited by Greenwire, Brigitte Nerlich of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.
Researchers and other skeptics hit with the "denier" epithet aren't happy about the labeling based on their doubts that the available evidence supports claims of imminent, catastrophic planetary warming.
"Climate Depot" blogger Morano has fought back, coining the term "warmist" to call out global-warming alarmists. But he told Greenwire that his opponents are winning the language war.
"They want a final push to just totally smear and discredit skeptics, he said. "The reins of power right now are on their side."
They appear to be pressing their advantage. Greenwire reports that the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a group of like-minded scientists and journalists, is lobbying news organizations to stop describing skeptical scientists and others as "skeptics" and identify them as "deniers" instead.
The organization wrote in an open letter that by allowing the use of "skeptic" in reporting, "journalists have granted undeserved credibility to those who reject science and scientific inquiry."
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.