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Merchants of Doubt

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Described as “one of the most important books of the year“, ‘Merchants of Doubt‘ is a new book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. The authors researched the inner workings of the policy-stalling denial machine that works to confuse the public about climate science, the health impacts of tobacco, ozone depletion, the dangers of DDT and other environmental or public health issues. Delving into the root of the problem, this work sheds light on the question of why confusion still surrounds the reality of human-caused climate change despite the overwhelming agreement among the world’s leading climate scientists about its causes and ever-advancing understanding of its consequences.

The authors explain in exhaustively-researched detail how renowned scientists abandon science, how environmentalism has become equated with communism, and how the Cold War has come to be connected with climate denial.

And what was the ultimate objective of these merchants of doubt? As this review by John Atcheson states, they are motivated by “an almost religious conviction in small government and the potential evils of big government; a doctrinaire belief in unconstrained free markets and the purity of capitalism;  and the conviction that “environmentalism” and other do-gooder efforts threatened our free market, capitalistic system.”

In his book Hell and High Water, Joe Romm put it this way: “the reason most political conservatives and libertarians deny the reality of human-induced climate change is that they simply cannot stand the solution. So they attack both the solution and the science.”

A must read.

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