Those who "get " the science of global warming now call the naysayers "denialists" or "deniers." They, naturally, cloak themselves in a mantle they ill-deserve, "skeptics." They're skeptical, not readily taken in, not gullible, not weak-minded like the global warming crowd and that dreadful IPCC.
A letter written to the folks at realclimate.org has put the real nature of the denialists in a clear and refreshing light:
"...there are plenty of ill-considered opinions to be found either side of any issue, but only the most ignorant person could fail to see the terrible intellectual gulf between the quality of so-called skeptic sites and those defending the science behind the AGW thesis."
And so the point is driven home. There is legitimacy in true skepticism, an authenticity of approach and process, that the denialists reject. Yet they seek to wrap themselves in a legitimacy they themselves don't respect much less uphold.
My friend Scruffy Dan regularly engages the denialist crowd in his posts, rather graciously taking apart their shallow, brittle arguments one by one. Recently one commenter upheld two leading denialist figureheads. Dan pointed out that these two advanced arguments that were not merely inconsistent, but contradictory. He noted that the denialist community is full of 'experts' who regularly run afoul of each other's theories. The denialist replied that didn't make the slightest difference. I couldn't help but interject that when there were 20-people in a room, each with a different reality, we used to call that an asylum.