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

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

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Naomi Oreskes, By (author) Erik M. Conway

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 25mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 26 February 2015
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1608193942
  • ISBN 13: 9781608193943
  • Edition statement: Export ed
  • Illustrations note: B&W
  • Sales rank: 15,160

Product description

"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 "Brilliantly reported andwritten with brutal clarity."-Huffington Post Now a powerful documentary from the acclaimed director of "Food Inc.," "Merchants of Doubt" was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversial 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. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is "not settled" have also denied the truth about 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.

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Author information

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.

Customer reviews

By Bernie 08 Nov 2011 5

A good historical narrative of the science and junk science surrounding the last century's most divisive science. The book explores the controversy around smoking, ozone, CFCs and climate change. The book is a pretty easy read and has a very extensive bibliography so you can read the original sources. They do a good job of not jumping to conclusions when judging the scientists responsible for most of the junk science and seek to understand why good and intelligent people do so much harm.

By Freya 17 Aug 2011 4

This is a pretty full on read about some of the 'debunking' of science that has been going on over the decades - the fabrication of 'debates'.
It offers some reasons as to why people would bother arguing against agreed science.
I sometimes wondered if the authors didn't do quite a good enough job of reigning in their own bias, but overall, an interesting read - although its taken me a long time!

Review quote

“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