- File Size: 1216 KB
- Print Length: 369 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; 1 edition (June 3, 2010)
- Publication Date: June 3, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003RRXXO8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,120 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$15.20|
|Print List Price:||$19.00|
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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her study “Beyond the Ivory Tower,” published in Science in 2004, was a milestone in the fight against global warming denial and was cited by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth. Her books include Why Trust Science? and Science on a Mission: How Military Funding Shaped What We Do and Don’t Know about the Ocean.
Erik M. Conway has published five previous books, including Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History and Exploration and Engineering: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Quest for Mars. Merchants of Doubt was their first book together. In 2014, they published The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, and they are currently working on The Magic of the Marketplace: The True History of a False Idea.
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I rated this four stars vs five because it is a bit rambling and long, and some of the most important and clear arguments are near the end, so many people may not make it all the way through at all or miss the most compelling information. But if you read it, and feel free to cross-check the references as factual and correct, the conclusions are inescapable. I just wish they were as good at telling the story as they were at gathering the facts.
I remember getting an email from a friend of mine on climate change, it cited some Australian college professor, expert in climate, who scoffed at climate change in general and man-made sources being its cause, citing that one volcano puts more greenhouse gases into the air than all of industrial civilization over the entire history of mankind. My friend believed it, sounded factual. I checked around, found out that the man was indeed a professor at an Australian college but he also was a Director and major stock-holder at several natural gas companies (gee, any interest in letting gas companies continue to do their thing??) and he had been cited by the US EPA and the European equivalent for citing false and incorrect "facts" and such, and that one volcano, even a big one, puts a lot into the atmosphere but something like a few weeks of what our industry does. People who out of hand discount things like this book but without question or critical thinking accept the hate and doubt arguments simply have it wrong, sorry.
There have been several pivotal environmental issues that have impacted the health and welfare of people and the planet such as tobacco use (smoking), acid rain, the ozone hole, dangerous pesticides, and global warming. Since addressing these problems steps on the toes of vested economic interests and implies a failure of the market, partisan political and scientific operatives and free market fundamentalists come out of the woodwork to cloud the picture and confuse the public into believing that no problem actually exists and that more study is needed before doing anything. Action gets stifled for decades. Damages accumulate as greed translates into public policy that staves off any needed regulations or transformation of technology. For decades a concerted plan to peddle doubt and stave off the truth about the harmful health effects of cigarette smoking caused the needless suffering and early deaths of millions of people who were confused about the real dangers of smoking. It was the same for acid rain, CFCs (ozone destroyers), dangerous pesticides like DDT, and now global warming. In each instance, necessary action was delayed for decades causing enormous health and environmental costs. In the case of global warming, because of this concerted plan to sow doubt and confusion, the public cannot accept the fact that it is happening - thus delaying action for decades to a point where the planet has probably already passed a tipping point in which civilization cannot be saved.
We find that the Merchants of Doubt, because of their ideological imperative and ties to powerful economic interests like big tobacco and fossil fuels, have contrived and implemented a consistent plan to withstall any action to address global warming. The corporate media has been complicit in all this.
The vested economic interests have used scientists to peddle their doubt. These scientists all have something in common. They have close ties to the military industrial complex and corporate polluters in a nexus where government and corporation unite. They are staunch anti-communist cold warriors and free market fundamentalists. They are political conservatives. They oppose any environmental regulations that might alter the status quo or impede profits of giant corporations. Certain names are prominent throughout the book: Sanger, Seitz, Nierenberg, and Jastrow. These scientists were all involved in the dismissal of science in regards to tobacco smoke, acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming. They are mostly physicists, not climatologists or biologists, with ties to big oil, big tobacco, and big defense contractors. The media legitimizes them when they are nothing but schills for big corporate polluters who want to maintain the status quo and their profits. No regulation is acceptable to them. If you want to know the truth about this concerted stratagem to deceive the public and the machinations of these anti-environmental scientists in doing so, you need to read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.
Top international reviews
The authors write with candour and thoroughly support their claims through detailed analysis and documentation.
Far from just a list of facts however, this is one of the most pleasant books i have read in my life, written with clarity and vigour.
The authors do a superb job at pealing back the veil of disinformation and exposing the realities of the organised and well funded agents responsible.
Pleasant as well as infuriating of course, as i doubt anyone who reads this book will be able to do so without several times uttering under their breath "f**k these guys".
My only grievance is that the authors did not point the reader in the direction of a solution. They conclude that the ideological thread which lead many of the main actors in this account to act so unabashedly unscientifically was one of free-market fundamentalism. They also identified the conundrum faced by scientists in speaking out agains such attacks, as they may then face harassment themselves.
Where can we look to disrupt the forces that drive this peddling of doubt, muddying the waters, often at the cost of society and now the world?
I'm certainly inspired to find out
The author is a Professor of the History of Science at Harvard. The co-author is is a historian at the California Institute of Technology.
Evidence driven and not a wiff of conspiracy theory to be seen.
Es ist sehr detailliert, aber davon profitiert der Leser mMn nur. Ich habe es jetzt glaube ich zweimal gelesen. Einige der Handlungen und Aussagen, die getroffen wurden, um persönliche Interessen zu verfolgen, und die man in diesem Buch finden kann, sind relativ unglaublich. Ich habe es bereits mehrfach empfohlen und tue es auch hier - 10/10!
This is the problem with science and it's understandable that the public distrusts science and scientists anymore. Most scientific fact has been wrong eventually after new information is discovered. People must be skeptical of everything they read anymore and the distrust scientists face today is largely of the scientist's own making.
Scientists must be far more diligent and thorough than they are, and the first thing they should be is skeptical of is their own conclusions.
I don't know if I recommend this book or not. Mostly not.
All scrupulously academically documented this book is shocking look at how public opinion is manipulated - problems which in this world of instant omnipresent media are only going to get worse.
Compulsory reading for anyone in media studies
Aber Zweifel zu sähen um zu verzögern ist schäbig oder sogar gewissenlos.