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Ep75 - Merchants of Doubt

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Mixed Mental Arts

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In Merchants of Doubt, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M Conway reveal that the same handful of individuals who have made a career out of selling doubt. Fred Singer, Fred Seitz and Bill Nierenberg began their career as physicists and Cold Warriors. Committed to doing anything they could to oppose a growth in governmental power, they created pseudoscience that denied the dangers of smoking, nuclear winter, the depletion of the ozone layer, acid rain and, most recently, global warming. From their positions well-respected physicists, they have used their credibility to sow doubt in the mind of the public on issues of health and the environment and thereby ensure that nothing is done to change the situation. In this week's episode, Naomi and Erik tell the story of how "small numbers of people can have large, negative impacts, especially if they are organised, determined and have access to power." They tell Bryan and Hunter the realities of global warming. They make it clear, as they say in the book that "there are many reasons why the United States has failed to act on global warming, but at least one is the confusion raised by Bill Nierenberg, Fred Seitz, and Fred Singer." Before we can solve the problem of global warming, we have to agree that there is a problem. Merchants of Doubt can help us do just that.Merchants of Doubt is available from all good booksellers.

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