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Why do I sometimes use the word “denial” for a certain class of global warming skeptics? Because of shit like this, in which hacked e-mails are quoted out of context to “prove” — in an extraordinarily weak way — that global warming is a hoax. As a scientist, the e-mails don’t sound unusual or conspiratorial to me. It sounds like what it is — private and sometimes flippant communication between people trying to unravel a very complex and difficult scientific question.

Update: Just read the comment stream over at Hot Air. I defy anyone to read it and not think “denial” is an appropriate word for the conspiracy theory that is thrown around anytime the subject of global warming comes up. The usual discredited talking points — global cooling, 1934, supposed falling temperatures, Mars temperatures, etc. — are all out in full force. And any attempt to dispute their absolute certainty that global warming is not just wrong, but a massive hoax, is shouted down and mocked. I put up a comment or too and was quickly labelled an idiot, a hysteric and asked if my screen was covered with spittle from a quite reasonable post.

This is not skepticism; this is sticking fingers in ears and yelling. This is not science; this is religion.

One question they never seem to have an answer for: what’s their big theory? What do they think the CO2 is doing? Nothing?