Merchants of Doubt

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by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway

"Important and timely. We ignore this message at our peril."―Elizabeth Kolbert

Merchants of Doubt has been praised―and attacked―around the world, for reasons easy to understand. This book tells, with “brutal clarity” (Huffington Post), the disquieting 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. Merchants of Doubt rolls back the rug on this dark corner of American science. Now with a new Foreword by former Vice President Al Gore, and with a new Postscript by the authors.

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While the idea of equal time for opposing opinions makes sense in a two-party political system, it does not work for science, because science is not about opinion. It is about evidence.

— Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway, Merchants of Doubt