How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
The Bottom Line
Right-wing ideologues — all scientists — have perverted U.S. policy for decades, delaying government action on life-and-death issues from cigarettes to acid rain and now climate change.
In 2010, before climate change was the topic of dinner table conversations, science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway released Merchants of Doubt to critical acclaim. Reviewers praised the thoroughness with which Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies in the University of California system, and Conway, a historian at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, exposed how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.
Why? Because this segment of the American scientific community, united in their free market ideology, funded by businesses and conservative foundations, and aided by a compliant media, chose to skew public understanding of some of the most pressing dangers of the time — from tobacco and acid rain to the ozone hole, global warming and DDT.
II. Tobacco’s Strategy: Use Scientists to Sow Doubt
III. From Cigarettes to Strategic Defense
IV. Denying the Damage of Acid Rain
V. The Ozone War and the Aerosol Industry
VI. Pesticides, Pushback and a Scientific Smear Campaign
VII. Silencing the Early Alarm on Global Warming
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