Simple Sam Goes Climate Cherry Pickin’

Posted on September 8, 2010


Climate deniers are simple, very simple, Sam.

They don’t understand what’s wrong with cherry pickin’.

What’s wrong with cherry pickin’, Sam, is that you can get any result you please so long as you don’t have to explain why you chose the evidence you chose.

For instance, I want to prove that the people in Vancouver are taller than people anywhere in the United States.  For my Vancouver sample, I choose all the college-level basketball teams in the city.  For my sample from Everytown, America, I choose the residents at all the local daycares and elementary schools.  Presto, I’ve proven my case up to the standards of your average climate change denier.

All it needed was a little cherry pickin’, Sam.

“I don’t cherry pick,” says Sam.

Climate deniers always cherry pick, Sam.

“It’s cold in Podunk today.”–Ignoring worldwide climate data.

“It hasn’t warmed since 1998.”–Ignoring the effect of El Nino, and ignoring other differing assessments of warmest years, such as that from NASA.

“Arctic ice has expanded since 2007.”–Ignoring the fact that ice volume has gone down every year.

(Spreading the butter thinner doesn’t give you more butter, Sam.)

“Michael Mann’s hockey stick disappears so long as you remove these rather inconvenient datasets.  Simple.”

Sure it does, Sam.  Sure it does.

Simple but stupid, Sam.  Write a book about it.  Oh, wait, somebody already has.  Essential reading, then, for any simpleton’s library.

Proving that all you need to do to prove a point is ignore any evidence to the contrary.  Right, Sam?



About arctic ice in general:

About the faux “hockey stick” controversy:

And RealClimate reviews the cherry-pickin’ hockey stick book written by A.W. Montford