One of the reasons I started this blog is that I noticed how common it was for the folks who call themselves "climate skeptics" use many of the same rhetorical techniques as HIV/AIDS skeptics, Intelligent Design advocates, 9-11 conspiracy theorists and holocaust deniers (I read the Intelligence Report - some people gape out their windows at car accidents, I read about hate crimes). It turns out the folks at Denialism.com have noticed the same thing.
I once made the mistake of pointing out to a climate skeptic that for him to believe what he did, he would have to believe that almost every climatologist, and many scientists in other specialties (from biologists to astronomers) were in on an elaborate hoax. When he agreed with that assertion, I pointed out that other folks who believed in such elaborate hoaxes were holocaust deniers. And he invoked Godwin's Law. For anyone who finds themselves in this situation, speaking (or typing) to someone who is positing such extraordinary claims that couldn't possibly true without turning every expert in the world into a lunatic or a fraud, I give you this:
An HIV/AIDS denialist will say denying the link between HIV and AIDS isn't unreasonable, and pointing out that they use the same methods as other denialists, like evolution denialists or holocausts denialists is unfair. They're not like those other dirty denialists, they're just misunderstood.From the folks at Denialism.com. Enjoy.
But they are like those other denialists. That's the whole point that we make here at denialism.com. The methods of all denialists are the same. We're not creating guilt-by-association, we're pointing out that that they're using similar tactics, and that no matter what the denialists deny, they use the same rhetorical tricks to sow confusion and disrupt debate. If they feel guilty that they share space with these other denialists, that's not my problem. They're the ones using denialist tactics to make their point. If they don't want to be called cranks or denialists, I suggest instead of alleging conspiracies and making fallacious arguments, they actually provide data.