Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway is a very, very dense book chronicling the strategies and methodolgies used by the tobacco industry decades ago to create the illusion that “the science” around the harmful effects of cigarette smoking was unsettled. Those same tactics were later used, even by some of the same people, to manufacture doubt around the fact that coal smoke caused acid rain and that CFC’s were the cause of the hole in the ozone.
Fast forward to the 1990’s and what you have are (again) some of the same initial paid sell-outs manufacturing doubt that global warming is a hoax. And literally using the tattered remains of the tobacco industry’s strategy guide, aptly titled Bad Science to show them the best ways to confuse the general public.
As if all of THAT isn’t bad enough, you can see the Scientific American article (below) which illustrates the strong arm tactics and attempts at intimidating and silencing those associated with the book, which is about to be released as a documentary. The vicious, spiteful and unrelenting ruthlessness exhibited by these common criminals is only rivaled by the incredible success of their campaigns. And what does it even SAY about Americans that we continue to not only pay lip service to the claims of these thugs, but millions of those among us ardently believe the drivel they sell? And THAT is despite the fact that virtually every last bit of it is readily available to read about on the internet.
And did you notice that the 90 year old windbag, Fred Singer gallantly declares that he can’t actually be bothered to sue Professor Oreskes (he’ll just continue to threaten her and everyone around her)? He says it’s because it’s not worth his time. This lying old goat appears to really want to launch another nuisance lawsuit, but I’d guess he’s being muzzled by smarter counsel. My bet is on something called The Streisand Effect with maybe a little Small Penis Rule which is to say that Singer would have to draw attention to what are clearly VERY well researched claims and risk being exposed as horrible like Oreskes wrote about PLUS having those same claims heavily publicized through the initial lawsuit.
The moral of the story is that these deniers are hard core, mean and aggressively out to squash those of us who oppose their crackpot-ness. I, for one, choose to write what I want and fly in the face of those who would shut me up. I hope you’ll join me and support Merchants of Doubt in its book form, and when it comes to theatre near you, that you’ll see it.