A favorite climate denier tactic is "laser-focusing on an inconsequential methodological aspect of scientific research, blowing it out of proportion in order to distract from the bigger picture."
Every movement that has rejected a scientific consensus, whether it be on evolution, climate change or the link between smoking and cancer, exhibits the same five characteristics of science denial (concisely summarized by the acronym FLICC). These are fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry picking and conspiracy theories. When someone wants to cast doubt on a scientific finding, FLICC is an integral part of the misinformation toolbox.
Logical fallacies are a broad umbrella, including a number of other misleading techniques. For example, red herring is a term that likely originated from the technique of using strong-smelling fish to throw dogs off a scent. Similarly, irrelevant information or arguments can be used to distract people from important information.
The case for climate change is a loud, unmissable gorilla.There is a special class of red herring – a specific technique of denial often employed to distract people from important scientific findings. To maintain the fish metaphor, I characterize this as the blowfish fallacy.
This is the technique of laser-focusing on an inconsequential methodological aspect of scientific research, blowing it out of proportion in order to distract from the bigger picture. If you persuade people to focus hard enough on specific details, they can miss the gorilla in the room.
Recently, U.K. journalist David Rose claimed that methodological flaws by NOAA scientists cast doubt on the global temperature record. Rose’s out-of-proportion response was best summed up by science writer Scott Johnson: “…it’s not much more substantial than claiming the Apollo 11 astronauts failed to file some paperwork and pretending this casts doubt on the veracity of the Moon landing.”
It should! It's probably simply unenlightened, narrow "self-interest".