Having made a promise last week on Anthony Watt’s post A modest proposal to Skeptical Science, I fully intend to honour it. In doing so I have a bit of dilemma.
Anthony challenged Skeptical Science, to declare visibly that use of the term “denier” when referring to climate sceptics was distasteful and to disallow use of the word –
In turn, I’ll publicly ask people not to use “SS” in referring to your website, and to ask that in the future the phrase “AGW proponents” is used to describe what some people call “warmists” and ask the many bloggers and persona’s I know and communicate with to do the same.
I’m sure some skeptical websites and blogs can be an uncomfortable read for those who support AGW. I would like to make it easier for proponents to read alternative views. I would like to see more debate and less name calling. So I said:
Look at the change of language in post conflict situations – Bosnia, S. Africa, N. Ireland. Using less inflammatory language is a good thing.
I’ll happily delete all references to “warmists” and “alarmists” from my site and change to “AGW proponents”. I’ve aspired to present a more neutral stance (at least as far as language is concerned) for quite some time. Trouble is when I do I have a tendency to fall off the wagon. (Original comment here)
There’s not as much to address as I first thought. Of my own writing there are only a handful of posts that use the words (or indeed “denier”); for “alarmist”, “warmist” and “denier” there are 5, 20 and 10 comments respectively. Not much to change.
So now I have a a decision to make, how do I do this? Do I change comments as well as my own writing? (I think so) Do I delete and replace the offending terms? Do I use strikeout and replace? Do I just [snip]?