This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
The US magazine Skeptical Enquirer has been published since 1976, which looks into paranormal beliefs, "UFOlogy", conspiracy theories and the like. This pre-dates Usenet by a number of years.
You're right that the sci.skeptic type use of the word 'skeptic' originally comes from the "Skeptical Inquirer" magazine, but sci.skeptic have definitely popularised this particular interpretation of the word on the internet. The sci.skeptic people didn't really just stick to their own newsgroup, as I remember it they also 'patrolled' the rest of Usenet looking for kooks and cranks to denounce, like a scientific version of the Taleban.
The Skeptical Inquirer magazine was founded in 1976, as you say, but it was originally more thoughtfully called "The Zetetic". The word zetetic is a bit of an obscure word, it means a seeker or 'proceeding by inquiry' ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Zetetic& ). The founding editor had a bust-up with the CSICOP committee and was replaced by another editor who gradually moved the zetetic word out of the title: first it changed to "The Zetetic The Skeptical Inquirer" then to "The Skeptical Inquirer The Zetetic" and finally to "The Skeptical Inquirer." Now skeptical is a simpler word to use than zetetic, particularly for somebody trying to sell a magazine, but in its normal English sense it means questioning whatever is currently officially accepted, and the Skeptical Inquirer doesn't question anything that is officially accepted.
Interesting segue way from sleep walking to global warming. I doubt that the Skeptics Panel know much about how greenhouse gases work. The biggest bugaboo is that the atmosphere isn't warming. GHGs work by absorbing energy (in the infrared region). Everything else in the physical world gets warmer when it absorbs energy (if a temperature can be defined, the temperature goes up). For the GHG effect to work, the atmosphere must be warmer, which in turn makes the surface warmer. The atmosphere isn't warming (at least not according to model predictions). This is actually a disproof of the GHG theory. You'll notice that there are lots of papers trying to circumvent this problem (and it's a major problem). One paper claims that there are winds blowing the warmer air away. Another paper claims that the satellite data are wrong. I don't have to change the subject with this, but the AGW believers do.
Brad might have warned us that the relevant bit came at the end. I listened for what seemed hours to the waffling of these insufferable, smug, vulgar bores. They are no more sceptics than they are Martians. When it came, it was just a rerun of the usual stuff. He was accusing his opponents of the very sins he was committing: changing ground etc. It was presented as though it were a debate, but it was a monologue. Carbon dioxide was put up as a straw man, when the kernel of the sceptical case is that its contribution is negligible. Discussing the so-called greenhouse effect without mentioning water vapour is Hamlet without the prince. They are still feverishly trying to cover up the fact that their prediction did not happen.
Given that the AGW hoax is all about the worship of the false goddess Gaia, perhaps heretic might be the better word. If you don't worship at her altar, then you are heretical, and will be punished for being so.
AGW - you believe the world is going to burn up and it is all your fault; you have a wildly exaggerated estimation of the consequences of your actions; you cling to this view in the teeth of reason, evidence and common sense. Everything you see or hear, however contradictory it may appear, can be interpreted so as to fit in with your Theory. You are frantically active, trying to fill in all the details of your Theory. People who try to dispute with you are wicked, devious plotters, in the pay of some secret global orgainsation of evildoers. You would like to silence them before disaster strikes. Paranoid schizophrenia, anyone?