Thursday, August 12, 2010

Merchants of Doubt

The contents of Oreskes and Conway's Merchants of Doubt need to be shouted from every rooftop. The anti-science segments of the right are correct about this much: profit, politics, and ideology have done a tremendous job of obstructing legitimate science, especially where environmental issues are concerned. They just happen to be wrong about everything else. It's quite amazing: a thick chain—same strategies, same players—running all the way from denial of the hazards of direct smoking, through denial of problems from acid rain, CFC damage to the ozone layer, and the dangers of secondhand smoke, all the way to contemporary denial of anthropogenic global warming, and modern revisionism about Rachel Carson and DDT—all driven by hysteria about socialism, and by dedicated funding from corporate interests.

I'm too worn out to do more rooftop-shouting right now—as sober as Oreskes and Conway are, the book is emotionally exhausting—so, I'll just point you to a partial synopsis by the authors, and their Facebook page, which will link you up to plenty of reviews and more.

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