“Climate denial” — with all its Freudian overtones — has moved to the center ring of the linguistic fight over global warming. “Climate change has always been a kind of a framing war,” author and activist George Marshall said. “If you can get out there and you can get your language inserted into the discourse, it’s your ideas that dominate.” Marshall and co-author Mark Lynas published the first reference to “climate denier” in a 2003 op-ed. They wanted the label to sting. It did. And it still does.
“In the end, if you win the frame war, your opponents back off and they start using your language,” he said. “And then you’ve won.”