Lambert catches Cockburn in a big fat cherry-pick

I should have known better than to trust a single quote cited by a denialist or crank. In our Case Study of Alexander Cockburn we pointed out his selective use of data but we missed a big fat cherry-pick.

It’s based on this quote from Cockburns article:

As Richard Kerr, Science magazine’s man on global warming remarked, “Climate modelers have been ‘cheating’ for so long it’s become almost respectable.”

Tim Lambert catches Cockburn in this dishonesty and it’s a pretty bad behavior. It reminds me of the HOWTO again, in that people that become cranks really see only what they want to see in a source of information. It’s clear to any honest, reasonable person reading Kerr’s article that the conclusion was the opposite of what Cockburn suggested.

This is why it’s denialism, and not “dissent” or “skepticism”. They can’t seem to do it without dishonesty.


2 responses to “Lambert catches Cockburn in a big fat cherry-pick”

  1. All of this quote mining is depleting our natural stores of distortable information at an alarming rate. Mr. Cockburn should try to find a more sustainable way of generating misrepresentations. Besides, mined quotes give off a lot of hot air. That’s not good for global warming.

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve read and ejoyed quite a few of his (Cockburn’s) books — but I am pretty eclectic in what I read. I remember one in which he said the Mafia doesn’t exist but is a media conspiracy. That seemed pretty strange to me.