People tend to get their news like junk food – in small packets with little intellectual value. And reporters report the news in a similar manner; an attention-grabbing headline and a shallow follow up that leaves the reader scratching his head.
And once the results from a study make in into the lore of a topic, they are indisputable. Because we all know that it was the result of a study.
For example, there is the nugget that domestic violence goes up on Super Bowl weekend and we are always deluged with stories about domestic violence during the “hype period” leading up to the game. The problem is that the study was flawed and there was no increase in domestic violence, but if you question it, you are a misogynist and a denier. Because, Science!
But many people read the papers, watch the local and national “news” programs, and have the Pavlovian Reflex when someone says “scientific study” they grab onto that bone like a starving dog and will not let go, regardless of the facts.
The AGW enthusiasts have jumped on this trend with a “study” of their own. This has been jumped on by all those who want to stifle debate with an appeal to authority and claims of “settled science”. Unfortunately for them, their methodology has been sliced, diced, and debunked when it was found they mischaracterized some of the responses.
Of course, we all know a lie goes around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. The people who produced the flawed study are appearing to use “statistics as a drunk uses a lamppost, for support rather than illumination.”