Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

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9781408824665: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
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The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. These scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly-some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

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About the Author:

Naomi Oreskes is a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her essay "Beyond the Ivory Tower" was a milestone in the fight against global warming denial. Erik M. Conway is the resident historian at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Merchants of Doubt is their first book together.

Review:

“Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have demonstrated what many of us have long suspected: that the ‘debate’ over the climate crisis—and many other environmental issues—was manufactured by the same people who brought you ‘safe’ cigarettes.  Anyone concerned about the state of democracy in America should read this book.”

—Former Vice President Al Gore, author of "An Inconvenient Truth"

 

“As the science of global warming has grown more certain over the last two decades, the attack on that science has grown more shrill; this volume helps explain that paradox, and not only for climate change. A fascinating account of a very thorny problem.”—Bill McKibben, author of "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet"

 

“Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have written an important and timely book. "Merchants of Doubt "should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is s

"Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have demonstrated what many of us have long suspected: that the 'debate' over the climate crisis--and many other environmental issues--was manufactured by the same people who brought you 'safe' cigarettes. Anyone concerned about the state of democracy in America should read this book."--Former Vice President Al Gore, author of "An Inconvenient Truth"

"As the science of global warming has grown more certain over the last two decades, the attack on that science has grown more shrill; this volume helps explain that paradox, and not only for climate change. A fascinating account of a very thorny problem."--Bill McKibben, author of "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet"

"Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have written an important and timely book. "Merchants of Doubt "should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is settled. It is, and we ignore this message at our peril."--Elizabeth Kolbert, author of "Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change"

"There can be no science without doubt: brute dogma leaves no room for inquiry. But over the last half century, a tiny minority of scientists have wielded doubt as a political weapon to halt what they did not want said: that tobacco kills or that the climate is warming because of what we humans are doing. 'Doubt is our product' read a tobacco memo--and indeed, millions of dollars have gone into creating the impression of scientific controversy where there has not been one. This book about the politics of doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway explores the long, connected, and intentional obfuscation of science by manufactured controversy. It is clear, scientifically responsible, and historically compelling--it is an essential and passionate book about our times."--Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University, author of "Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps"

"With the carefulness of historians and the

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781608193943: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

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ISBN 10:  1608193942 ISBN 13:  9781608193943
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press, 2011
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9781408824832: Merchants of Doubt

Blooms..., 2012
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9781596916104: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

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