Reddit Reddit reviews Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change

We found 46 Reddit comments about Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change
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46 Reddit comments about Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change:

u/matt2001 · 193 pointsr/Futurology

I recommend this book:

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

It helps in understanding why we have become tribal on this issue. It was by design.
Fun fact: 25% of Americans still don't believe that smoking is harmful to health. This technique of instilling doubt is terribly effective.

u/rddman · 114 pointsr/science

It is systemic

Merchants of Doubt

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt

http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

http://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

u/ThrowAwayMathPerson · 47 pointsr/videos

Haha. If only. In reality, it's so much worse. We can only hold so much information, and the "resolution" (depth/granularity) of our understanding diminishes over time. Throughout history people could contend with increases in the complexity of the collective human understanding of the world, but the breadth of the information available in any given society was so small that it was manageable. Furthermore, their forms of government relied more on a class of experts for governance and statemenship.

​

Now everyone is involved in governance through voting, and the world is so complex that one individual cannot be expected to have a functional understanding of more than a tiny portion of it. This fundamentally changes how a society can, and should, organize. Should we all have opinions on the finer points of climate change without being experts in it? Should we be voting for people based on their specific policies related to climate change without that understanding? Can we just rely on endorsements from relevant experts? What happens when some of those experts decide they are willing to sellout to the opposition? This: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

​

The first step in solving a problem is admitting there is a problem. The second step is defining that problem. The third is designing a plan. The fourth is executing that plan, and the last is maintaining/updating that plan. We are still stuck on the first step, but we are trying to patch the leaking boat in the meantime, while claiming it solves the design flaws that led to the leaks. Let's not confuse the holes with the design flaws.

u/killroy200 · 41 pointsr/environment

For those who haven't read it Naomi Oreskes et. al.'s Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming does a fantastic job of laying all of these tactics and campaigns out.

u/imVINCE · 38 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

This actually began during the Cold War; the 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative (the "Star Wars" program) under Reagan was a plan to build a network of satellites designed to down incoming ICBMs.

The scientific community was opposed to the project. It was impossible to test (how do you test a system designed to shoot down ALL of a nuclear arsenal without firing an entire nuclear arsenal at yourself?), it was extraordinarily costly, and it would result in the weaponization of space.

The Reagan administration decided to get "its own scientists" to convince Congress to fund the project. They basically hired a bunch of PhD shills to argue that the scientific community was politicized, communist-leaning liberals and that the SDI project was scientifically sound. This led to discussions of "nuclear winter" which gave Carl Sagan his platform.

Fast forward a few years, and the same "scientists" hired by the Reagan administration were hired to argue that acid rain was not a major environmental problem.

Later, that same group was arguing that second-hand smoke was not harmful.

Next, they argued that smoking itself was not harmful.

Today, those same people are leading campaigns of disinformation attempting to discredit the science surrounding climate change.

If you'd like to learn more about the history of scientific disinformation in conservative America

u/LeChuckly · 16 pointsr/skeptic

> No, there's big money and has been for almost two decades in climate / environment related businesses and organizations.

If you think the money moving in the alternative energy industry is in any way comparable to the money moving in the fossil fuel sector - boy do I have an investment opportunity for you.

>I didn’t use the term scientists because there are quite a few scientists doing the real science

Correct. 97% of all climate change research (that is - papers published in peer reviewed journals) supports that climate change is happening and is driven by human activity.

>but there's also a lot of people (some with degrees, some without) that are sensationalizing the situation out of fear and/or personal gain motives.

That's as may be - but still - consider how much money someone like Al Gore stands to make off of his climate change movie - then go hop over and look at Exxon's quarterly profit statement.

There are solar systems between those two numbers.

Finally - many of the people disparaging the climate science are recycled actors from the tobacco industry's fight against regulation 60s-80s. Merchants of Doubt is an excellent, well sourced book that lays out the strategy and personalities behind climate change denial. One of the tactics that "experts" on the side of the Tobacco companies used was claiming that anti-smoking groups were personally profiting from legislation aimed at discouraging tobacco use.

This movie has already played once.

u/kaleidascope_eyes · 12 pointsr/politics

Sadly, all they need is one scientist willing to take the big payoff they're probably offering and everyone who doesn't want to believe in climate change will gladly eat that shit up. It's the same thing the tobacco industry did to try to undermine the very conclusive evidence that smoking causes lung cancer.

This book goes into a lot of interesting detail about it (not about Trump specifically obviously because this book came about before he was president): https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

u/Just_Treading_Water · 10 pointsr/technology

There is no actual debate among climate scientists regarding the human-driven nature of climate change.

Recently there was a meta-study done (where a group of scientists go over all the recent published research to look for trends and connect the dots from different studies in order to get a look at the big picture) that looked at over 4000 recent climate science papers the result is the often cited 97% consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change.

A followup to this meta-study was recently done where the studies of the dissenting opinions were looked at and the vast majority of them were found to have been cherry picking data or flawed with other serious methodological problems. None of them were repeatable, meaning they don't really count as science.

Using your crime scene analogy, it isn't really like there is a shitty prosecutor that just can't make it's case - because the case it made. It's like a case where the prosecutor calls in every single expert on the subject and they explain exactly what is going on and why and how the models they are using of man-made climate change actually have been predicting average temperatures from 1900 on (no other model does without cherry picking data points), and then the defense calls in a handful of clowns with no expertise in the area who put on a smoke and mirrors show to confuse the jury. The jury ends up thinking both sides they've heard are equally valid (because for far too long the media has been giving alternate time to "both sides of the debate" - regardless that the other side in this case are generally not climate scientists) and can't make up their minds and acquit.

Check out the documentary (or book) "Merchants of Doubt", you'll find it is the same handful of "scientists" who make a huge amount of money sowing doubt and discord about everything from harmful effects of tobacco to climate science.

Here is a handy reference list with the crap that global warming skeptics say versus what the actual science says regarding the myth they are spouting.

u/mishagale · 9 pointsr/actualconspiracies

The Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway.

Documenting the role of certain scientists in conspiring to obscure the facts about various issues such as the health effects of smoking, climate change, acid rain, and the Strategic Defence Initiative.

u/phxer · 8 pointsr/exmormon

Without addressing each issue point by point, I want to discuss the question of "why would Professor Muhlestein and other apologists come up with theories or conclusions which oppose all other scientific work on the matter?"

  • This video series has some of the best thoughts and sources exploring how and why a belief system creates biases against truth and a filter on reality. These are issues with the brain based on years of conditioning.

    Think about a guy like Muhlestein who spent his entire life believing and telling others that Mormonism is the only true way to live. He then spends years in school with the primary focus to understand Egyptology in order to defend TSCC. It is his own brain which may block out truth which is obvious to everyone else in his community and profession.

  • Secondly, apologists have a much lower burden. Their goal is simply to create doubt, just as a handful of scientists can weaken the public perception of smoking or global warming. This process is not new and has been done for years by apologists in other religions as well as political, and other issues.

    Egyptologists, outside of BYU pawns like Muhlestein, put their good names on the line to affirmatively state that their findings have revealed there is no possible way the book of Abraham is was it claims to be.

    The apologists only seek to poke holes and provide alternative theories, essentially creating doubt for TBMs to rely upon so that they can hope there is no affirmative proof that Joseph Smith was a fraud.

    Meanwhile, TSCC holds out the book of Abraham as scripture, yet takes no modern-day position on the matter of its translation. See Jeffrey Holland's response to the issue here
u/nn123654 · 8 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

I certainly hope so but I guess I should show my work to get to why I think the GOP might try to do this.

To start with we need to look at his history regarding climate change, the single most obvious example of this viewpoint is his 2012 tweet stating "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
".

The opposition of climate change goes back the the better part of 25 years and has been primarily lead by conservative think tanks which help shape conservative policy and media coverage of the subject. The biggest of these groups are the Heritage Foundation, the CATO Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Hartford Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). If you start to look at who appears on cable news shows and newspapers it is almost always someone from one of these groups that appear in opposition.

The book merchants of doubt does a fairly good job of describing the methodologies of these organizations many of which started out as PR firms for Tobacco companies. This academic paper also does a fairly good job of capturing trends related to this industry.

The primary reason I mention the last two paragraphs is not to debate your position but to explain why it is a key point of the GOP platform and how it is relevant to the Trump administration. Trump just named the leader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute as his nominee for head of the EPA. Pretty obviously it's clear that Myron Ebell will take steps to roll back any and all regulations on climate emissions.

As a result I expect fully expect him to roll back as many key provisions of major environmental legislation as possible such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. I would not be surprised if there was a movement to repeal these laws and abolish the EPA entirely as advocated by prominent figures in the GOP including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have said they wanted to do for years.

In Trump's recent statements on the transition and priorities for NASA he said:

> The new president-elect also has plans to abandon climate research, transfer Earth monitoring funding from NASA to NOAA, and strengthen the U.S. military’s stance in orbit.

This is consistent with what Ted Cruz has said on the subject which is:

> We must refocus our investment on the hard sciences, on getting men and women into space, on exploring low-Earth orbit and beyond, and not on political distractions that are extraneous to NASA’s mandate.

Given that it's been a classic GOP strategy to defund things that they don't like I don't see why they wouldn't do this with climate research. The Dickey Amendment has been incredibly effective in preventing anyone from challenging the NRA position on gun control by banning scientific research which may reach opposite findings.

Banning Climate Research would likely greatly damage the global science monitoring mission on climate change and make it much harder to convince other governments to act. This would be a great win for Trump as he could not only block climate change policy in the United States but also help block it throughout the world. If I were him and playing tactically I don't see why you wouldn't make this move.

If Trump's moves were all rhetoric as you suggest then I don't believe he would have made those choices and statements after the election.

> Contrary to most liberal opinion, most Republicans do not want to completely abandon Climate Change.

The GOP strategy until the 2008 election was to fight climate change. In 2012 it shifted to claiming "I'm not a scientist" and "I don't know" to deflect the question entirely. In 2016 the strategy has been to completely ignore and surpress the issue. I don't believe it was an accident that none of the GOP or presidential debates had the question of climate change in them.

They've instead worked to reframe it as a national security and energy issue shifting the blame to Obama's "War on Coal". From the GOP platform:

> Responsible production of America’s vast natural resources is necessary to achieve energy independence from foreign suppliers. Our energy policy should encourage investment, lower prices, and create jobs here at home. We support domestic energy production of clean coal and hydropower, as well as solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear power. And we support drilling for oil and natural gas in an environmentally responsible way. President Obama has pushed for overly restrictive EPA regulations that have cost American consumers and businesses tens of billions of dollars. Republicans have consistently voted for job creation in the energy sector through their support of the Keystone Pipeline and continued opposition to Obama’s “War on Coal.”

They not only want to completely abandon climate change, they already have.

Note to all the people down-voting because you disagree: don't. He's contributing to the discussion and answering the question. Down votes simply because you disagree aren't productive and are a violation of reddiquitte.

u/Dicknosed_Shitlicker · 8 pointsr/climate

I want to give another plug for Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway's Merchants of Doubt. Reading that, you realize it is the same exact set of people who were employed to manufacture doubt about tobacco, DDT, the ozone hole, and many other issues. It became their business model and it has worked.

u/julia-sets · 8 pointsr/science

The "evidence" is in the studies behind this study. It's in the clinical trials and cohort studies using ERT that have shown that doing so ultimately reduces the chance of death. This study is only trying to show how an individual's choice to forgo a treatment that may have a small percentage of positive effect may be a far more important trend when extrapolated to a whole population.

But man, if there was one thing I'd love to drill into Reddit's head, it's that everyone here takes the whole "correlation != causation" thing too far. I get it, it's important to remember that correlation does not always imply causation, but in the absence of other explanations and with sufficient biological plausibility there's no reason to wholesale deny anything that doesn't have a perfect randomly controlled trial backing it (even beyond the point that there is no such thing as a perfect trial).

I wish that everyone could understand the Bradford Hill criteria and realize that there is a logical structure to defining causality in epidemiology and that the correlation they see is an important part of it. For me it seems too often that people are just so happy to recognize that a study may have limitations (is "just" correlation) that they don't take the time to understand whether or not those limitations are actually important.

I feel like we've been trapped by those Merchants of Doubt into subconsciously believing that we really do always need more information to decide anything. It's incredibly frustrating.

u/illgetup_andflyaway · 7 pointsr/NorthCarolina

> dark money funded think tank

US billionaires and Big Tobacco. Standard operating procedure for them. Check out Merchants of Doubt if you haven't

u/Trent1492 · 6 pointsr/science

This is so utterly false. There is still a ozone hole. And the same people who fought against banning CFC are the same one's who fought against acid rain regulation and now global warming.

u/realbarryo420 · 6 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

I'd also recommend Merchants of Doubt, which isn't about the evidence of global warming per se but about how science, or at least the public face of science, has been and can be hijacked by political movements.

u/RealityApologist · 6 pointsr/askphilosophy

Philip Kitcher's Abusing Science, Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things and Massimo Pigliucci's Nonsense on Stilts are all great reads on this topic. I also highly recommend Naomi Oreskes' and Erik Conway's Merchants of Doubt as an examination of how scientific language can be abused to stymie public policy progress on certain issues.

This is certainly part of the philosophy of science. The problem of how to separate genuine science from pseudoscience is called the demarcation problem, and there's not really any generally accepted criteria that apply to all cases. Some people reject the idea that we ought to draw that kind of principled distinction in the first place. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Irving Langmuir has a great talk advocating for a notion of "pathological science" rather than pseduoscience that's worth reading through.

u/K3wp · 5 pointsr/IAmA

Did you even watch the "Environmental Hysteria" episode? His conclusion was that "we don't know" re: global warming.

At the time that episode was filmed there was (and remains) a 100% scientific consensus that global warming is happening and humans are primarily the cause of it, which Penn would have known had he talked to a single climate scientist. Instead, he interviewed hippies and a Cato wonk. You remember Cato, right?

Anyways, you can believe whatever you want. I'm just pointing out that his anti-science views are in line with his corporate handlers, whom happen to spend lots of money spreading FUD about scientific research that exposes the risks of their products. This is all documented in Naomi Oreskes excellent book "Merchants of Doubt", which I will highly recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382123569&sr=8-1&keywords=merchants+of+doubt

It's interesting to note that Penn's position (i.e. "we don't know") is exactly the sort of spin practiced by the PR creeps that successfully prevented any meaningful regulation of the tobacco industry for decades. So there is no surprise Penn lied about the risks of second-hand smoke, either. Or that Cato (and P&T by proxy) received financial support from the tobacco industry:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Cato_Institute#Cato_and_the_tobacco_industry_-_on_Philip_Morris.2C_RJR_.22friends.22_lists

I'm so vocal (and pissed off) about this because this sort of "Bullshit" actually hurts people vs. harmless fads like Feng Shui or bottled water.

Btw, I know lots (too much really) about Penn. I've attended conferences with him (The Amazing Meeting) and even been to his home in Vegas. You should try taking your own advice as you (obviously) know nothing about me.

u/ItsAConspiracy · 5 pointsr/Futurology

Or see the book and documentary Merchants of Doubt.

u/Cutlasss · 5 pointsr/AskHistory

Only when they're being paid by corporate interests. See Merchants of Doubt

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/todayilearned

They actually funded their own scientists and think tanks, and pushed government agencies to rewrite summaries of papers, skewing the entire paper into "we're not sure" territory.

They also did it with acid rain, pesticides, lead in gasoline, and more.

See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1608193942?pc_redir=1407560535&robot_redir=1
Merchants of Doubt

Edit: I can't format for shit on my phone.

u/xumun · 4 pointsr/politics
u/runplato · 3 pointsr/PhilosophyofScience

Look into the agnotology literature, especially Proctor and Schiebinger's book, and Oreskes and Conway's book. Hot area of study on the cultivation of ignorance as a response to uncertainty, very cool stuff going on right now. Think you'd like it given that stated interest.

u/MrMushyagi · 3 pointsr/environment

Also, have been misled by industry funded scientists, that used the same tactics as tobacco and pesticide (DDT) lobbyists

https://smile.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942?sa-no-redirect=1

u/hack_of_ya · 3 pointsr/space

Read about it and understand the science would be my tip.

And know that the fossil fuel industry has a campaign to spread any doubt they can about climate change science. They lose money if people divest from fossil fuels, and they know which tactics to use very well. They are using the exact same people who worked for the tobacco industry and said smoking doesn't cause cancer. These are lobbyists who just lie and lie for money and do not care how badly their lies hurt people. Everything is documented extensively in this book: https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

As a climate scientist, I can tell you I do not get paid much at all. And I do not get paid depending on what my results are. I and all my colleagues would be extremely happy if we discovered climate change wasn't as serious as it is. I am working in this field because I find it interesting, I like the scientific process, and I'm passionate about understanding climate change better so I can contribute to stopping what is arguably the most serious future threat to humans and our civilisation.

On climate change specifically: We have known there is a greenhouse effect since the 1800s. We know the Earth's climate changes at regular cycles, natural climate change. We know what causes it to change, like orbital changes and sun output. The climate responds to whatever is the dominant forcing, what's impacting it the most. We know natural causes can not explain the warming happening now. We can measure what's causing it, and it's very clear that it's predominantly greenhouse gases from humans: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-whats-warming-the-world/

We know humans are releasing greenhouse gases, and we can identify individual particles to make sure they're not from natural sources.
We also know that Earth is in an interglacial with warm stable temperatures, and passed the warming peak of it a few thousand years ago, and should therefore now be slightly cooling over thousands of years as we go into a glacial period. We know that the rate of warming happening now does not happen when the climate changes naturally. It's way too fast to be natural.

A good resource for any question about climate change: https://skepticalscience.com/

At the same time, there are numerous studies on how many climate scientists who think humans are the cause and dominant driver. The number is usually around 97%.

u/sup3 · 2 pointsr/science

Reminds me of this book I've been meaning to pick up:

http://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

Large companies can hire random scientists to say anything. That's why you need public funding in a lot of areas. It was the EPA after all that proved asbestos could kill you, not the companies selling roofing and other products containing all the asbestos.

u/KillBosby · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Merchants of Doubt is a good book!

u/metamet · 2 pointsr/JoeRogan

Oh, so you're a climate change denialist.

Go read Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming and let me know your thoughts.

Fact isn't a political thing. It has nothing to do with govt funding. That's so silly.

u/RockKillsKid · 2 pointsr/worldnews

So you recommended a few books I know I got a lot out of and a few others I think I sound interesting and will check out, so I'd like to return the favor and recommend Merchants of Doubt. It details how the same scientists and institutions that the tobacco industry went to in order to battle the theories that smoking lead to cancer switched causes and started working for big oil/coal companies to lead a very vocal defense of hydrocarbons in the face of mounting evidence of global warming.

u/retardedmoron · 1 pointr/climateskeptics
u/SeriouslyRediculous · 1 pointr/exmormon

There is a similar book called, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming!
http://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

As I read it I kept thinking of the church. They get a group of TBM apologists in a room and "set them apart" to save the church, then give them marching orders to create doubt. As one executive said, and it could be the words of one of the Q15, "Doubt is our product, and these experts create it."

u/AutoModerator · 1 pointr/climate

There are a bunch of people whose job it is to put out hard-to-debunk nonsense. People aren't going to watch this kind of video content because it takes a big chunk of their day, and they're not going to learn anything meaningful from it.
Instead, try to identify the argument that they're making, and do a site-specific search on skepticalscience.com, which maintains of database of this kind of stuff, along with explanations of why it is wrong. Something like:
site:skepticalscience.com natural cycle

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

u/Klarok · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Sounds like the book Merchants of Doubt would give you the information you're looking for - it's a fantastic read btw.

Thing is that you have to look at the history of climate change science to figure out where things started so I'll try to give a bit of a synopsis. You can Google all of this pretty easily.

Way back in 1896, Svante Arrhenius characterised the greenhouse effect and the relationship to CO2. However, it wasn't until Carl Sagan started looking at the atmosphere of Venus in the late 50s that the relationship became more than a theoretical abstract. Sagan himself wrote an essay on the subject which was included in his influential book Cosmos.

Things began to accelerate when James Hansen gave his testimony to a senate committee in 1988 which, in turn, led to the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

During all of this time, as you can read in Merchants of Doubt, the opposition to action on climate change was fairly mild. That was largely to do with various other environmental concerns (acid rain, ozone layer hole) taking up much of the news cycle and dominating companies' lobbying efforts to stop, slow down or mitigate the effect of legislation that would impact their profits in those areas. In particular, the automotive industry lobbied HARD against acid rain legislation and the electronics/white goods firms did the same for anti-CFC laws.

However, with the signing of Kyoto, many of the world leaders were substantially on board with the urgent need to take action on climate change. This was highlighted by the growing acceptance of the IPCC reports which contained sections specifically directed at policy makers from the 1990 initial report and continuing to the present day.

Suddenly climate change/global warming leaped to the forefront of the news cycle and it was sexy to talk about it. Lots of research groups received more funding and there seemed to be a flurry of positive action.

As highlighted in Merchants of Doubt, that led to a reaction from those who stood to lose profits from action on climate change and companies of that ilk have always been able to find pet scientists to take their money and obfuscate the science. Many of the scientists were the same ones who had argued against the dangers of tobacco smoking!

So the anti-science machine sprang into action using a multi-pronged approach which had proven quite effective in the past.

First they lobbied law-makers to slow down, commission studies and consider more evidence before taking action. This stalled and delayed action on the Kyoto Protocol and continues to this day.

Secondly they commissioned pseudo-scientific papers casting as much doubt on the science of climate change as possible. Recall that the science was fully settled as far back as the 1960s, long before any special interest group had even heard of climate change. The scientific "debate" was purely manufactured. Real scientists agreed climate change was happening but may have disagreed on some details like the exact cooling effect of volcanoes, the impact of clouds and the like.

Thirdly they got talking heads to start raising FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about climate change. The airwaves were filled with that sort of discussion and the largely ignorant public was heavily swayed because they didn't understand the science.

Finally they lobbied. Politicians are cheap to buy and generate returns of 1000% or more on the cost of political contributions.

Over the years, the anti-science rhetoric has been gradually beaten down by the plethora of pop-science books that have been written by reputable scientists explaining climate change in layman's terms. With some trepidation, I think that the consensus is swinging towards action.

Unfortunately, that only causes certain companies and organisations to redouble their FUD efforts. Delaying legislation by even a year can be worth billions to their bottom line so spending tens or even hundreds of millions to achieve that is just good business sense.

u/akornblatt · 1 pointr/environment

Who went to jail from the Tobacco fraud case?
My point here, what the Koch brothers and companies like Exxon have been doing since the 80s is THE EXACT SAME THING. They even used some of the same "Scientists" to write their "scientific papers."

Check out [Merchants of Doubt](https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942
)

u/ALexusOhHaiNyan · 1 pointr/todayilearned

http://i.imgur.com/ieCRehl.gif

I don't really follow what you just said. Blanks that work just as well as bullets say nothing about bullets?

What I would say is the most important part is that it suggests what's in the pill might be irrelevant, and something outside of that is more important. Hope? Which would bring the discussion back to talk therapy and finding that hope again, not chemical solutions.

Also. Pharmaceutical companies cherry pick their data and corrupt science - that's the point to take home. Keep reading if youre not convinced

http://www.amazon.com/The-Emperors-New-Drugs-Antidepressant/dp/0465022006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomy_of_an_Epidemic

http://www.metafilter.com/113750/How-Corporations-Corrupt-Science-at-the-Publics-Expense

http://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1FEQ9E7PZVCNEAJT8VYM

u/Jill3 · 1 pointr/worldnews

BTW, you are correct that there is a lot of distrust of media out there. Here is the best book I know of on distrust-- and how a propagandist doesn't need to convince you they are right, in order to be successful, but only needs you to convince you to distrust their opponent:

Merchants of Doubt

https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483819977&sr=1-1&keywords=merchants+of+doubt

u/Thrug · 0 pointsr/AskReddit

It may also be worth pointing out that "liberal" or "left" in America is actually roughly centre for the rest of the developed world. Policies that are "crazy left" in the US, like government controlled universal healthcare, have worked really well for the rest of us.

The idea that the media should be drawing a line in the sand that is equidistant from both political parties is remarkably similar to the Golden Mean fallacy. Similarly, the media culture leftover from the Fairness Doctrine years assumes that equal time given to both sides of an argument is the best way to present it.

Equal time and obsession with what Americans regard as "centrist" (which is very right-wing for the rest of us), has caused you great harm in the past, and continues to do so. This book does a good job at explaining why.

u/FormerlyTurnipHugger · 0 pointsr/climateskeptics

The book Merchants of Doubt explains the history and philosophy of climate skepticism very well.

u/frznwffls · 0 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

It's the same thing as DEET or cigarettes. We doubted that the research was real because industry-paid research showed that neither of those substances were dangerous. You can read more about it in "Merchants of doubt"

https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

u/Shabadoo99 · 0 pointsr/vancouver

Races are not antagonistic "jokes" about cyclists. You're just an ass. I don't watch shows that are obviously schilling for the petrochemical industry. Maybe you should read a book. Start with this.

u/amt4ever · 0 pointsr/Economics

tenured? The Overton Window of opinion you allow gets smaller and smaller every time you post.

There're tenured 'experts' in the GMU econ department too. Would you care to guess what their consensus would be? Should we make them our only 'quality contributors'?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

And you have let slip away another chance to show you have bothered to research the issue at all.

You can add this book to the stack of books you will never read:

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

http://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

u/counters · -3 pointsr/climateskeptics

If you want to worry about who to "trust", I strongly recommend you avoid cohorting with Fred Seitz. Here is a very brief introduction to who he is. I strongly recommend reading "Merchants of Doubt" for full perspective on Seitz and the (multiple) campaigns he has been involved in to obfuscate science in attempts to forestall industry regulation.

Once you agree that Seitz isn't a trustworthy source, then we can start investigating his claims in the proper context.

u/ActuallyNot · -7 pointsr/climateskeptics

> Whooosh! (Or today you learned absolutely nothing, same as every other day).

What other day was this?

> So, do you think there may be something wrong with doing 'science' by putting a few choice keywords into Google scholar (which conveniently excludes any papers that might contradict your predetermined thesis) scanning abstracts for the presence of that keyword (which just magically happens to be present), counting them up and then declaring that science has spoken?

No. What I'm saying is that there has been global warming throughout the past decade.

The warming of the near surface air has been slower than usual. (I've never seen the claim that this is statistically significant.)

But the oceans are warming and the ice is melting.

> If you find problems with this, then you really can't endorse similar junk from Oreskes, Petersen, Connolley, Schneider, and of course, John Cook and his imbecile Krusher Kroo.

Those papers are psychology and history of science. You could argue that they're science, but they're not climate science. They're useful enough to discover why science communication seems to be behind in some fields compared to others, but Oreskes has a much better handle on why that is in "Merchants of Doubt".

... Anywhere else it would be needless to say that you're description of the methodology of those papers is dishonest. But here it probably has to be said.