User:IHaveAMastersDegree

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I do have a Master's Degree (in science!) but my name is really just a joking reference to Ask Dr. Science, whose motto is "he knows more than you do". I have noticed that Wikipedia has a significant number of users who are a bit full of themselves in terms of credentials. Advanced degrees are great, but don't by themselves make you an expert—especially when you are outside your field of expertise. So my moniker is intended as an ironic reminder that humility is important.

About a month after becoming a new user I discovered that many pages still use the outdated misnomer "climate skeptic" to refer to certain individuals. This term is virtually meaningless because of it's ambiguity. It can refer to actual scientists who are honestly skeptical about some aspect of mainstream climate science (but open to being convinced with data) to non-scientists and scientifically-illiterate activists who deny--for political reasons--anything and everything associated global warming.

It was tempting to make the trivial change from "skeptic" to "denier" but I was mindful of the fact that many people consider the term "denier" to be pejorative rather than descriptive. Also, "denier" has the same problem as "skeptic" in that it is a label. My editing philosophy is that individuals should be respected enough not to be irreversibly tagged with a label for their opinions--especially a label that is as overloaded and ambiguous as "climate skeptic".

When you call someone a "climate skeptic" (or "denier" for that matter) you are defining the person, not describing their opinion. You are ignoring all nuance. Practitioners of scientific skepticism are always willing to change their mind when confronted with evidence, so the term "climate skeptic" is actually an oxymoron when applied to those who deny evidence. I think the best way to resolve this problem is to simply stop using this pervasive misnomer as a label. It is better to use a neutral description of the actual opinion that has been expressed by an individual or entity.