Merchants of Doubt Trailer

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A new documentary you’ll want to see.

An eye-opening documentary exploring the tactics of climate change deniers.

An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that global warming caused by human activity is one of the most critical dangers our planet faces. But a well-organised band of professional spinners and obfuscators toil in the shadows to pretend there is a genuine debate on the subject. That’s the argument put forward by this provocative new documentary from Robert Kenner, director of the Oscar nominated food industry expose, ‘Food, Inc’. Adapted from the book of the same title by Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, the film begins by exploring how the tobacco industry spent decades trying to camouflage the dangers of smoking. It then moves on to reveal how climate change deniers now a use similar approach. Their intention, it’s claimed, is not to win the argument but to frustrate action by sowing the seeds of doubt.

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19 thoughts on “Merchants of Doubt Trailer

  1. I side utterly with the consensus that AGW is a real and urgent issue…

    I would caution everyone, though, that the filmmaker, Robert Kenner, is a crank, a supreme crank, and that his “expose” Food, Inc. was an exercise in panic-mongering, anti-GMO hysteria, and dewy-eyed, pro-organic, agrarian romanticism.

    This is NOT a guy you want managing your message.

  2. MikeB, I’ve heard that Merchants is a good film. I know quite a few people who were interviewed (though not all got in). I would not write the film off at this point.

  3. Greg, luckily I know enough about AGW, and about the book, that I don’t need the movie and will skip it.

    I can only recommend you check out Food, Inc. sometime to really see what an egregious hack job it is and what a questionable character Mr. Kenner is.

  4. I’m familiar with it. But really, a documentary maker can easily make a documentary with big problems and later make a documentary that is good. I can easily see that happening with these two very different topics.

  5. “Worth a look regarding DDT: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/05/30/who-put-out-the-contract-on-ra/

    Lyndon LaRouche once called me a “Satanist” in one of his many conspiracy mongering propaganda newsletters, after I published an interview with FBI Special Agent Brad Hicks regarding “occult crime in America” (hint: we couldn’t find any non-Christian occult crime). So it does not in the least surprise me that LaRouche and his pals would spread the lie that the “banning” (i.e., regulating and restricting) of DDT was and is a plot to kill off the world’s human population.

    There is a fake “skeptic” named “Robert Zubrin” in the Denver Area Skeptics group who has been spewing the same falsehoods: scientists, whom he calls “environmentalists,” are working in secret to reduce the human population down to a few million, and the human-caused climate change hoax is a part of that. I suspect he’s a member of “The Atlas Society.” He has a cult following on amazon.com

  6. Desertphile: Okay, I give up: since when was DDT not “bad?”

    During the Italian campaign of World War II?

    Yes, I’m being a little facetious there. DDT was acclaimed at the time, of course, for killing lice and preventing or curtailing typhus among Allied troops.

    Problems with DDT were known well before the publication of Silent Spring. See e.g. the book DDT by Thomas R. Dunlap (Princeton University Press, 1981). Here’s my review.

    Like so many other things, DDT is held to be an unalloyed good only by those who don’t think too deeply.

  7. Desertphile: There is a fake “skeptic” named “Robert Zubrin” in the Denver Area Skeptics group who has been spewing the same falsehoods: scientists, whom he calls “environmentalists,” are working in secret to reduce the human population down to a few million, and the human-caused climate change hoax is a part of that. I suspect he’s a member of “The Atlas Society.” He has a cult following on amazon.com.

    I’d forgotten where Robert Zubrin lives. Wikipedia says he’s in Lakewood, Colorado. Therefore, as I suspected, it’s reasonable that your “Robert Zubrin” is in fact Robert Zubrin.

    I do agree, though, that in his case the word skeptic deserves those quotation marks. Despite the good work he’s done on aerospace engineering, Zubrin has succumbed to misinformation wrt environmentalism. His book Merchants of Despair is a mixed bag: somewhat useful wrt the eugenics movement; sorely misguided on global warming and malaria.

    More information here.

  8. Wait. Are you saying you are NOT a satanist?

    Now that you mention it, maybe I am and I just don’t know it? The editor of PETA Magazine also called me a “satanist.” So did Lt. Larry Jones of the Boise, Idaho, Police Department. Seems like “everyone” thinks I’m a Satanist but me.

    When the Lt. Governor of California funded a research project to find “occult crime,” more than a dozen people spent more than a year looking at religion-motivated crime in the USA. We only found one religion where members engaged in crime due to their religion (we excluded Scientology, since the FBI did not and does not consider it a religion: its threat assessment index lists Scientology as organized crime).

    Apparently our failure to find the 50,000+ murders in the USA committed every year by Satanists—- or even 1— was “proof” that the FBI was in on the Satanic conspiracy.

    Gods, I miss those good ole days.

  9. Now that I recall, we did find one murder committed by a Satanist, in Cuba,in the 1950s. In the early 1980s in Urban America, every time someone barbecued a goat and put the head in their trash pile, some clown from the city would happen to drive by, see it, and call the police.

  10. I’d forgotten where Robert Zubrin lives. Wikipedia says he’s in Lakewood, Colorado. Therefore, as I suspected, it’s reasonable that your “Robert Zubrin” is in fact Robert Zubrin.

    I do agree, though, that in his case the word skeptic deserves those quotation marks. Despite the good work he’s done on aerospace engineering, Zubrin has succumbed to misinformation wrt environmentalism. His book Merchants of Despair is a mixed bag: somewhat useful wrt the eugenics movement; sorely misguided on global warming and malaria.

    Thank you for the link; I believe I recall reading that review on the amazon.com review system, or when I look up the book in question two years ago.

    Robert Zubrin gave a presentation at Denver Skepticamp that was insulting to such an extent that I constantly complained, loudly, during his presentation (I was the only one, for some unfathomable reason, to do so). He was pretending to give a presentation on climate change: it was like listening to a flying saucer space alien conspiracy lunatic, high on methamphetamine, lecturing on why the laws of physics don’t apply to Repilioids from Alpha Rettiulari III….. and after every few sentences, taking another hit of mescaline. Or I should just write that “it was Kafkaesque.”

    His presentation was even more bizarre than all early Richard Muller lectures about how “climatologists were exaggerating the threat” combined (one of which I attended years ago) before he finally got his Valproic Acid dosage correct.

    After his presentation, and when most people in the room were angry at me and wanted to throw me out, Zubrin’s friend gave a presentation about how the world’s scientists have conspired with the world’s physicians and the world’s environmentalists to keep people sick, poor, fearful, and compliant. If I understood the belief correctly, intelligent and educated people (that is: “liberals”) have been suppressing human progress so that they can remain the elite controllers of the world, and suck up all of the human-produced wealth. The presenter insisted that as human population increases, wealth and quality of life increases— the exact opposite of what sane people observe.

    The room was crammed full of skeptics who listened politely (er, except me) and didn’t believe a word of it.

  11. “I would caution everyone, though, that the filmmaker, Robert Kenner, is a crank, a supreme crank, and that his “expose” Food, Inc. was an exercise in panic-mongering, anti-GMO hysteria, and dewy-eyed, pro-organic, agrarian romanticism.

    This is NOT a guy you want managing your message.”

    Sounds like a media marriage made in heaven, Mike B.

  12. The problem BBD. is that she has constructed an anti-historical narrative about as connected to reality as the headlines in Climate Depot..

    I don’t suppose you’ve read Nierenberg’s fisk of MOD?

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