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

Merchants of Doubt

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The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. These scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
Merchants of Doubt tells the 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. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly-some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of 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.
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.
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But as the philosopher Isaiah Berlin sagely pointed out, liberty for wolves means death to lambs
Santer’s work is called “fingerprinting”—because natural climate variation leaves different patterns and traces than warming caused by greenhouse gases. Santer looks for these fingerprints. The most important one involves two parts of our atmosphere: the troposphere, the warm blanket closest to the Earth’s surface, and the stratosphere, the thinner, colder part above it. Physics tells us that if the Sun were causing global warming—as some skeptics continue to insist—we’d expect both the troposphere and the stratosphere to warm, as heat comes into the atmosphere from outer space. But if the warming is caused by greenhouse gases emitted at the surface and largely trapped in the lower atmosphere, then we expect the troposphere to warm, but the stratosphere to cool.
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