Talk:Environmental skepticism

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I think that someone should probably add a little bit more in the way of discussing the position of skeptics, and the evidence for their claims. As it is right now, the article mainly seems to be a criticism of the skeptics, as that is basically the only section. I might be wrong here, but that is just the sense that I got. Rupert'sscribe (talk) 22:45, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

As of a further review of the article, I have determined that the article is unbiased, but a little more discussion of the views of skeptics would not hurt.Rupert'sscribe (talk) 12:07, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Good Work[edit]

Someone has done a really good job of cleaning this article up. Good work __83.76.115.133 17:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Talk moved from article[edit]

Proposed article for political and other viewpoints on global warming theory and similar environmental concerns which run counter to environmentalism, balanced of course by criticism of these viewpoints.

The Skeptical Enviro, Misleading Math, and Lomborg articles would be more informative grouped together in one long article, where the impartial observer can get the full story.

There's something inherently wrong about the way this entry is constructed in my view, since it lumps such a wide swath of issues and motivations together into a single -ism. Is it more contrarianism than skepticism? Does it include Creationists, who question scientists? Are they trying to "evaluate concerns" or are they trying to challenge the consensus/official policy? Do they use statistical analysis or do they challenge statistical studies as not being "proof"? Just my $.02. --TheCunctator

Bjørn Lomborg[edit]

Currently the Environmental skepticism article as it is, is quite politically correct when it could very easy start drifting POV, I know we discussed Bjørn Lomborg at the bottom of the page, but rather unfavourably, i'm not comfortable having such an extreme and controversial figure as the poster child for the Environmental skeptic article. It seems to me it would be similar to putting a picture of Cheech And Chong on the Environmentalist page. - UnlimitedAccess 8 July 2005 21:05 (UTC)

I would be interested to know why the grammar and syntax in this entry and all entries dealing even tangentally with "environmental skepticism" falls so short of the usual. I suspect much of the material is the product of one editor. This is problematic in my view (the editing, not the grammar) for several reasons. Chiefly, the perception that the material is just "one guys opinion". I am not an authority on the topic and thus will not meddle with what is here but I wish someone else would.

Feel free to correct my Engrish. :) "BL->Extremist" wouldn't be NPOV unless it is attributed to Green. Among Environmental skeptic, he is probably a poster child. Personally, I believe that the entire reference to BL should be deleted. FWBOarticle

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science is a mockery. It souldn't be mentioned in this bibliography: Environmental Skepticism isn't a right-wing paranoia....


This article as it stands is not up to WP guidelines. It is entirely unsourced in the body. The bibliography is only a list of works by assorted skeptics or contrarians.

While I can see a case for having a page of this title, for this widely used catch-phrase, we would need to do a lot to rework it to meet guidelines of WP:ATT and WP:NOR.

As for Lomborg, he is a notable figure in this area and definitely deserves a significant place in the article (if we keep it at all). His book was widely read and generated a lot of discussion. To say he would be too extreme an example of the category is not really realistic; what would be the point in toning down this page to only talk about people who are only "a little bit" skeptical? Let's discuss the real, notable skeptics if we are going to write about this topic.Birdbrainscan 16:13, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

By the way I don't want to belittle the current versions of the article -- it's not so bad of a summary of what the term can be understood to mean. Indeed, I'm a little unclear on the rule of WP:NOR where one is trying to explain a commonly used phrase, create the context in which we all are hearing and using the term. That's quite a bit harder to document than claims like "A said B about C on date D." Birdbrainscan 16:22, 23 April 2007 (UTC)


They "conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.":

I find that statement a little one sided and I'm sick of this Not every look fram a diffrent perspective concerned about commen sence and the coast to the porgress of hummanity Is a stooge of Wealthy elites or larg coperat interests, but are from poeple genuenly concerned with the material well being and economic stability of Humanity--J intela (talk) 23:11, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Critics of environmental skepticism frequently use more pejorative terms such as denialism.[1] The term denier alludes to holocaust denial and implies that those who question environmentalist claims or motives are morally equivalent to Nazi sympathizers.[citation needed][original research?]:

This is not the implication. The implication is that those skeptics/deniers arguments are rhetorically equivalent to those of holocaust deniers. --NicoSuave (talk) 23:45, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the original poster here (and the one in the thread below). I was not aware of that strange paragraph in the WP:LEDE here. It was truly awful in the way it rode roughshod over the points made in its own cited ref (an Observer article) and then strayed off into fantasy land with a completely uncited rant about Nazism. There is no place in Wikipedia for uncited claims about modern-day Nazis, let alone in the lede of an article. And anyway, Godwin's law certainly applies. I have rewritten the paragraph, based on the cited ref. I think, if I say it myself, that the new para gives a very good introduction to the topic, providing wider context especially per WP:FRINGE. My thanks and congratulations to whoever dug up that 2005 Observer article. --Nigelj (talk) 12:21, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Bad cite for covering denial[edit]

The leader justifies skepticism as covering denial with a citation that has 'denial' in its title and which distinguishes between the two. That is a bad cite. I don't doubt some AGW people do this but it is not as general as this article implies and it should have a better citation. Also climate change denial covers the industrial and political astroturfing campaign. Dmcq (talk) 15:44, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Delete this article[edit]

I don't think this article has any good citations for its topic being named the way it is except the book that gives it its name. I see no point in two articles covering the same thing. Climate change denial covers the topic, I believe this one should be deleted and will stick a prod on for starters. Dmcq (talk) 16:38, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree. This adds nothing that couldn't be better said elsewhere. --Nigelj (talk) 16:54, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I think this article has morphed over time. Compare an earlier state [1] which while largely unref'd did at least make sense and distinguish it from the more specialised GWD William M. Connolley (talk) 17:08, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Inasmuch as "environmental skepticism" covers much more than just climate change, I don't see how it could possibly be merged to climate change denialism. See, for example, Peter Jacques's book on the topic. Oreskes and Conway's new book also makes a very strong case for looking at this as a single phenomenon. Guettarda (talk) 20:57, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
The title of that first book looks like it was based on Wikipedia! Oh well I suppose we're stuck with it now as a separate topic. However I think the article should be reverted to an earlier version like the one William M. Connolley pointed at. Currently the contents don't reflect the topic if it is supposed to be based on the two book with 'environmental' in. The 'Merchants of Doubt' one looks like it is focused more on what climate change denial is about and not on environmentalism in general. After reverting the two environmental books could be added as the principal references and the article can develop from there. Dmcq (talk) 22:19, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Chapter 1 of "Merchants of Doubt' is about Tobacco, chapter 2 is about SDI, chapter 3 about acid rain, chapter 4 is about ozone depletion, chapter 5 is about secondhand smoke, chapter 6 about global warming, and chapter 7 is about the recent attacks on Rachel Carson. The personalities that run through, familiar in the context of climate change - William Nierenberg, Frederick Seitz and Fred Singer. Guettarda (talk) 02:56, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Chopped a lot out[edit]

I've chopped a lot out of this article which seemed to be a duplicate of climate change denial, even the citations just mentioned denial rather than skepticism.

I think there is possibly good article to be written about environmental skepticism. The climate change denial is about the organized rubbishing of climate change for financial or other interests whereas environmental skepticism is I believe more about individual reaction to the science of climate change. As opposed to scientific skepticism it isn't about the science so much as psychological denial. The climate change denial article though does not deal with psychological denial so much as organized industry or political action. Dmcq (talk) 16:21, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

This article [2] discussing the liberal conservative split says things aong the lines I think might be relevant to this article. Dmcq (talk) 16:27, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


In changed the name of this section to "Examples of skeptical works and analyses of skepticism" because it wasn't really a bibliography, but rather a list some example environmental skeptic books, and then at least one book about environmental skepticism. I think it would be good to divide this section into separate sections: "Examples of skeptical works" (or some more elegant title) and "Analyses of skepticism" or something like that. I'm unfamiliar with a few of the list books, and wondering if someone can suggest which bin they go in. "Examples" would include Bethell's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science; Huber's Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists; Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist; Driessen's "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death"; and Michaels The Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air about Global Warming. Analyses would include Mooney's Republican War on Science and I can think of a few others not currently listed on the page. The following works I'm unfamiliar with:

  • de Steiguer, J.E. 2006. The Origins of Modern Environmental Thought.
  • Chase, Alston, In a Dark Wood: The Fight over Forests & the Myths of Nature
  • Essex, Cristopher and Ross McKitrick, Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming
  • Ortega Y Gasset, Jose, Meditations on Hunting
  • Reisman, George, The Toxicity of Environmentalism
  • Swan, James A., In Defense of Hunting: Yesterday and Today

Anyone know which category these belong in? Yilloslime TC 20:13, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion[edit]

I see 86.** IP wants to delete this and as for Climate change alarmism doesn't care where it goes and couldn't be bothered to check the suitability of the proposed merge destinations. I don't know who the 'we' is or where the need comes from in the reasoning, some friends from the fringe theories project?

Anyway global warming controversy is unsuitable as a destination. It is far better thought of as a target for 'skeptic' where a skeptic is an actual skeptic rather than an environmental skeptic which mainly covers a lot of people who just rev up their SUVs and don't want to change. The third main type of skeptic is covered by the climate change denial article and that is quite different yet again. The Skeptical Environmentalist certainly lent a name to this but the includes relation is the wrong way there and this has a load of its own references.

The big problem though that I see is this burning desire to delete everything like this without a clear idea what they are about or where the information naturally goes. And the problem this article has with that is that if you want to remove global warming conspiracy and this article then even though this article isn't as well developed as Global warming conspiracy this article is the natural place to place the larger article if one or the other has to go. And possibly the alarmism content could go here too. The most relevant next article up I think is possibly public opinion on climate change but it really isn't suitable to hold the contents. Dmcq (talk) 18:13, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

One can see the problem with Climate change skeptic which quite rightly I believe redirects to global warming controversy on the assumption that the meaning a user will first have is of somebody having reasonable questions. We need something like this article to cover the second tranche of 'skeptics'. Dmcq (talk) 18:16, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Find sources[edit]

Northamerica1000(talk) 18:38, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, the article seems to be starting to lean towards being a fork of climate change denial again which is something to avoid. Those references show that there is a real topic here if it can be developed properly, I really must try and come back and look through to doing something proper on this. There hasn't been all that much in this area before but it looks like there is starting to be a bit of research about what it is that causes such a huge number of people to think or act like they do. I've somewhat of the same problem with some stub articles about cleaning cleaner and floor cleaning. There's probably more people doing cleaning than any other profession in the world but there's very little written about it. Dmcq (talk) 11:14, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Interesting, just checked and in the US [3] they come seventh. Dmcq (talk) 11:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

"Skepticism"--title change?[edit]

I could have sworn that skepticism includes acceptance of evidence once followed (as opposed to led, of course).

"Environmental skepticism is the belief that..."

I also could have sworn that skepticism is not a belief. This seems just a touch sloppy. Karin Anker (talk) 16:57, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

All environmentalists, and other scientists, are perennially sceptical - the whole point is never to take the simple and the everyday at face value, but always to look for the underlying, the less obvious, the bigger picture, the long term etc. This article is not about that, it is about something else. I must admit, even with what Dmcq says above, I am unsure of the value that this article has, sandwiched as it is between anti-environmentalism and climate change denial. I wonder if it would be better if it became a redirect to one of these? --Nigelj (talk) 17:38, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I see that an earlier version linked by WMC above said "the term environmental cynicism may be more accurate". --Nigelj (talk) 17:43, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that that's a poor opening sentence in the lede. The article itself has some promise, I think. --Pete Tillman (talk) 20:59, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
We have to go by use of the term "Environmental skepticism" in our references, not what the 2 words mean separately. I agree it's sloppy but sometimes combined terms come to mean something different. Bhny (talk) 21:38, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Quote of a quote of possibly nothing?[edit]

Don't really do this so bear with me. I tried to check the source on his quote "Global warming is real - it is man-made and it is an important problem. But it is not the end of the world." and the Brett Michael Dykes yahoo news link was dead. Found it through a yahoo search and saw that the quote is from the article where Brett says: Lomborg's essential argument was: Yes, global warming is real and human behavior is the main reason for it, but the world has far more important things to worry about. There are no quotations around Brett's supposed quote, and it's pointed out that's Lomborg's "essential argument". Doesn't that mean it's not a direct quote, and shouldn't be displayed as such on here? Could someone check that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:25, 11 January 2014 (UTC)