Merchants of Doubt exposes climate-change-denial industry
A documentary by Robert Kenner. Rated PG.
Merchants of Doubt exposes the chicanery of large-scale CO2 makers the way director Robert Kenner’s previous feature doc Food, Inc. handled agribiz. That is, it unmasks the lobbyists, knaves, and phony “experts” paid by large corporations to further cloud a well already poisoned by their products.
As if to illustrate his point, IMDb presently sports a pantload of comments from professional deniers. These tut-tutters haven’t seen the meticulously researched documentary, but are sure it will turn potential viewers into drooling socialist zombies.
Starting with the same-named book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway (Oreskes appears in the film), Kenner finds the roots of this purposeful confusion in the last gasps of the tobacco industry, whose own research was carefully hidden by lying hacks. Notably missing is SNL’s Nathan Thurm (“I think it’s so funny that you should ask me that”), but plenty of the same PR flacks show up later, for other indefensible industries, such as the flame-retardant makers who have invaded our lives with carcinogens and falsified evidence.
The climate-change deniers swim in by far the biggest repository of store-bought bullshit, and their campaign against pure science has resulted in a chilling effect across a boiling planet. This particular game was rigged by evil overlords like the Koch brothers, for whose tarsands project our sword-waving prime minister is but a meek junior partner. Their lies are often directed at a poorly educated public by U.S. Republicans like Oklahoma’s James Inhofe, the idiot who now heads the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee and who recently hoisted a snowball as proof that climate change is a “giant hoax”.
Occasionally leaning on Michael Moore–type archival footage for comic relief, the movie makes little mention of the religious fundamentalists lining up to follow Rush Limbaugh off a fast-approaching cliff. But it does address the magical tribal thinking that keeps deniers in line. This matters, because after running out of Al Gores to smear, these frack-happy vampires are gearing up to blame our planet’s impending death on the biggest fall guy in history: God!
Mar 11, 2015 at 4:37pm
When will science agree it's as proven as gravity is, just like how Joe Biden says? Will it be too late when they finally agree beyond their laughable 99% certainty so as to put an end to this costly debate? How close to unstoppable warming will science lead us, it's been 34 years of climate action failure!
Mar 11, 2015 at 6:43pm
Deniers are impervious to empirical evidence—they don't trust fancy-pants "computer models," "basic physics" and "overwhelming international consensus."
Climate scientists have been telling us for almost 3 decades now that we only have a year or two left to make the radical legislative and economic changes necessary to avert catastrophic global trauma.
But so-called "skeptics" have ignored them from the very beginning. Because, hey, what would the world's top scientists know about political science, right?
This film, based on the riveting novel of the same name, will be the killer argument that finally changes their minds.