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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming de [Oreskes, Naomi, Conway, Erik M.]
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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming Versión Kindle

5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 1 opinión de cliente

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Longitud: 364 páginas Word Wise: Activado Tipografía mejorada: Activado
Volteo de página: Activado Idioma: Inglés

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Descripción del producto


Anyone concerned about the state of democracy in America should read this book (Al Gore)

Brilliantly reported and written with brutal clarity (Huffington Post)

It is tempting to require that all those engaged in the business of conveying scientific information to the general public should read it (Science)

A hard-hitting thriller ... also a meticulously researched history book and a portal into the world of real science ... A fascinating story (West Australian)

Excellent, important (Choice)

Descripción del producto

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.

Detalles del producto

  • Formato: Versión Kindle
  • Tamaño del archivo: 1564 KB
  • Longitud de impresión: 364
  • Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing; Edición: 1 (3 de octubre de 2011)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • ASIN: B005QBH2SQ
  • Texto a voz: Activado
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  • Lector con pantalla: Compatibles
  • Tipografía mejorada: Activado
  • Valoración media de los clientes: 5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 1 opinión de cliente
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Sound historia of recent science. This book turned me into a believer of climate change after many years of skepticism. Strongly recommended
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Opiniones de clientes más útiles en (beta) 4.4 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 325 opiniones
2 de 2 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A great skeptical history and criticism of 1900s popular science environmental & health controversies 16 de junio de 2015
Por Brandan Glendenning - Publicado en
Formato: Versión Kindle Compra verificada
Merchants of Doubt does a great job summarizing the history of and illustrating the connections between recent mass-media environmental and health science controversies. The book adds depth to common public perception of scientific activity, and subtly builds a narrative of sympathy for the people who must make decisions based on the lop-sided handling of scientific topics in mass media formats.

The book can be heavy handed in targeting specific people, and some of the impassioned arguments are blatantly fallacious, often using the same rhetorical strategies that the book attempts to criticize, but these quibbles do not detract from the general appeal and quality of the book as a source for encouraging development of healthy skepticism of popular science, and highlighting the importance for being able to have trustworthy sources of scientific consensus and authority.

It's unfortunate that there are many political references, albeit many of those necessitated by the factual history of events. Without these political overtones, the generally good information in this book might appeal to many Republicans and other right-aligned people whose egotistical, cultural, social, or other influences might prevent them from allowing the great amount of data and facts to inform their decisions.

I highly recommend this book in general, but especially for any of those right-leaning individuals who are adventurousness enough to venture outside the echo chamber of mass media support groups. I'm a pretty independent person, politically, but have a fair amount of respect for many Libertarian ideals, and I can say that this book isn't going to insult your intelligence, though it may provide an alternative perspective that has quite a bit of scientific and historical research to support itself.
11 de 12 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A must read 6 de junio de 2013
Por M. Hyman - Publicado en
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This book is fascinating. It takes a look at the techniques used by what could only be called anti-environmentalists. The book posits that there is a core group of scientists and lobbyists, that started working for the pro-cigarette lobby, and that have since moved on and applied similar techniques of fear uncertainty and doubt into the battle for doing nothing about environmental destruction. Now, I will readily admit I am pro environment. I am shocked and saddened by what is going on with our planet, and the assault by the few against the long term health. Having said that, I've had a hard time understanding why intelligent people often are not able to grasp the thin ness of climate destruction deniers. I know they are bombarded on various tv and radio shows, but the appeal of the argument didn't make sense to me until i read this book, and saw the approach as one of an extension of the cold war ... any step towards regulation, even if vital for the health of citizens or the planet or our descendants, is a step towards Communism. Now this is obviously not a particularly appealing argument, but the book did cast the approach in a way that i could understand the philosophical framework for denial.

The book starts with the techniques used to promote the idea that cigarettes might not cause cancer, and does an excellent job showing how funding research was used to set up a set of efforts to cast doubt in the light of overwhelming evidence. It then moves on to many other topics, including acid rain and ozone holes, before moving on to climate destruction. Overall, you can see how the techniques of attacks on science and scientists, along with obfuscation, funding of science efforts that can cast doubt with the general public, constant bombardment of messaging, and lobbying efforts to those who want to receive a message that they can ignore these core issues, have worked.

THe book is well researched and goes into detail about the techniques. While it is obviously pro-environmental, it is not attacking. It is fact based. It is elaborately researched and footnoted. It doesn't take loosey-goosey emotional arguments, but instead looks at one of the critical aspects of climate change activity, and why so little has been done over the past 40 years or so in which we have known that we have a major problem on our hands.

I wish folks who deny climate destruction would read the book with an open mind, but i'm sure it will mostly appeal to those who are in the environmental camp. Even so, it is excellent material for furthering an understanding of what is going on from the lobbying side, and why we have some of the problems that we do today. Disturbing but important to read.

To the authors -- thanks for writing this.
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A Magnificent Work That Will Shock and Anger You 22 de febrero de 2016
Por Tom Hunter - Publicado en
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This is a magnificent work that reveals the sinister backstory on environmental issues such as Global Warming, Acid Rain, Tobacco smoke and second-hand tobacco smoke, the Ozone hole, etc.

The huge revelation of this book is that a tiny cadre of disinformation mongers have been successfully injecting doubt into these issues for decades--harming all of us in the process for their private gain.
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A must-read book whether you agree or oppose views on climate change 3 de marzo de 2016
Por Snoosh - Publicado en
Formato: Versión Kindle Compra verificada
This is an important book (and also a movie, but I have not seen that), which meticulously and factually (half the book is the references) documents how not only did the tobacco industry consciously and knowingly bamboozle the public for years to keep making money, but the same methods and very often the very same individuals did the same thing for acid rain, DDT/chemical manufacturers, and now climate change. With tobacco, DDT, and acid rain, the facts and the crushing majority of scientists around the world ultimately prevailed but not before years of continuing damage were permitted due to ignorant media and skilled manipulation of the public. The same is happening with climate change. There really is no "argument", just the illusion of one and creating and repeatedly airing "doubt" so more money and freedom to do what they want accrues to big companies, the 1%, and political extremists. I know many will be outraged at this but facts win over innuendo and urban myths. Makes one wonder about human nature and our future if a few will, knowingly, sacrifice all just for some incremental wealth.

I rated this four stars vs five because it is a bit rambling and long, and some of the most important and clear arguments are near the end, so many people may not make it all the way through at all or miss the most compelling information. But if you read it, and feel free to cross-check the references as factual and correct, the conclusions are inescapable. I just wish they were as good at telling the story as they were at gathering the facts.

I remember getting an email from a friend of mine on climate change, it cited some Australian college professor, expert in climate, who scoffed at climate change in general and man-made sources being its cause, citing that one volcano puts more greenhouse gases into the air than all of industrial civilization over the entire history of mankind. My friend believed it, sounded factual. I checked around, found out that the man was indeed a professor at an Australian college but he also was a Director and major stock-holder at several natural gas companies (gee, any interest in letting gas companies continue to do their thing??) and he had been cited by the US EPA and the European equivalent for citing false and incorrect "facts" and such, and that one volcano, even a big one, puts a lot into the atmosphere but something like a few weeks of what our industry does. People who out of hand discount things like this book but without question or critical thinking accept the hate and doubt arguments simply have it wrong, sorry.
6 de 7 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas If you believe reason has a place in public discourse you should read this book. 3 de mayo de 2015
Por Russell Merris - Publicado en
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"Merchants of Doubt" is to the 21st Century what Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" was to the 20th. Based on meticulously footnoted scholarly research, historians Oreskes and Conway dispassionately expose a loosely knit group of folks – several with dated but otherwise sterling scientific credentials – and document how, for the sake of political expediency, they have gone about undermining public confidence in science itself. Pandering to wishful thinking and taking advantage of contemporary 15-second attention spans, this cabal has baldly manufactured scientific controversy where none exists, and then demanded that equal time be given to their "side" of the "controversy". In one issue after another, from Cigarette Smoking to Acid Rain, to the Ozone Hole, to Second Hand Smoke, to Climate Change, and, most recently, to Rachel Carson, herself, a handful of one-time scientists – often the same one-time scientists – have shamelessly hoodwinked the public into doubting consensus findings of scientific specialists.
If you believe reason has a place in public discourse, you need to read this book. If you do read it, I recommend skipping over Chapter 2 and coming back to it after finishing the rest of the book: By interrupting a compelling narrative for the sake of fairness – not wanting to be seen drawing conclusions about the motives of these merchants of doubt – the authors muddy the waters by introducing the genuine (however biased) controversy that erupted over Ronald Reagan's Star Wars strategic defense initiative.
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