A preview of Merchants of Doubt

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway's Merchants of Doubt (Bloomsbury Press, 2010). The preview consists of chapter 6, "The Denial of Global Warming," which describes how public skepticism about global warming was fomented by "a small network of doubt-mongers," even while the scientific consensus continued to solidify. "Journalists were constantly pressured to grant the professional deniers equal status — and equal time and newsprint space — and they did," Oreskes and Conway comment, adding, "This divergence between the state of the science and how it was presented in the major media helped make it easy for our government to do nothing about global warming."

The reviewer for Science described Merchants of Doubt as "a fascinating and important study," and the historian of science Robert N. Proctor wrote, in his review for American Scientist, "Historians a thousand years from now may wonder what went wrong: How, after scholars had so thoroughly nailed down the reality of anthropogenic climate change, did so many Americans get fooled into thinking it was all a left-wing hoax? Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway give us some very good — if disturbing — answers in their fascinating, detailed and artfully written new book, Merchants of Doubt. ... There is much in this book to outrage anyone who cares about the future of the planet, human health, or scientific integrity."

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