Michael J. Brown at Australia’s Monash University spent a while in the field “feeding” the climate denial trolls to understand their habits:
Sometimes experts are quoted correctly, but they happen to disagree with the vast majority of their equally qualified (or more qualified) colleagues. How do the scientifically illiterate select this minority of experts?
I’ve asked trolls this question a few times and, funnily enough, they cannot provide good answers. To be blunt, they are choosing experts based on agreeable conclusions rather than scientific rigour, and this problem extends well beyond online debates.
After posting in favor of climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation suit, I learned firsthand that much of what Brown writes is accurate. Commenters on my post even pulled out the Galileo argument that Brown dismembers.
Of course, many of these debating tactics (expert-shopping, selective evidence presenting, broken logic, etc.) are employed by arguers on any subject. But Brown prepares those who seek to defend climate science with a helpful scouting report on the inevitable attacks.