By JR on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The documentary "Merchants of Doubt"
Below is a review of a Warmist film based on the work of an old hag named Naomi Oreskes -- who some years ago did a literature survey that showed 100% agreement in the academic journals on the reality of global warming. The test of any scientific claim, however, is replication and when Benny Peiser attempted to repeat the Oreskes results using her methods, he found radically different results. For instance: "Of all 1117 abstracts, only 13 (or 0.1%) explicitly endorse the 'consensus view'". Oreskes is just an ugly old lady seeking attention. She is a fraud. So anything based on her work is on very shaky ground.
Some excerpts from a review of the film below that will surprise no skeptic. It's just the usual Warmist boilerplate. Paragraph 3 below does however make the surprising claim that (unidentified) media pundits have made death threats against Warmists. I am sure we would all like to hear details of that! It would seem that the reviewer is as imaginative as Naomi
Note that the review is just the usual rage-filled smears one expects from those who have no chance of surviving a debate based on facts. As usual, there is of course no mention of a single climate datum or of arguments from the skeptic side
UPDATE: Oreskes can actually be amusing. She is by training a geologist and has worked on scientific methods, in particular model validation in the Earth sciences. So why have we not heard from her about the repeatedly invalidated models used by Warmists? Surprising answer. She says: "Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible... Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question". But no sign from her of climate skepticism, despite the total reliance on models by Warmists
"Merchants of Doubt," a new documentary which had its U.S. premiere Wednesday at the New York Film Festival, is a film that will likely sow despair in anyone who would like to believe that truth always wins in the end, or that the rational sides of peoples' (or even Congressional members') brains -- when choosing between the facts that will protect us and the misinformation intended to protect special interest -- will go with the facts every time.
Sadly, they don't. And certainly not in a world with 24 hours of cable news airtime filled with gladiatorial battles of sound bites and screaming Cassandras.
Directed by Robert Kenner (the Oscar-nominated 2008 documentary, "Food, Inc."),"Merchants of Doubt" is inspired by the 2010 book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, which explored the plethora of media pundits consistently throwing sand in the gears of action on climate change. These pundits -- many with no scientific training or experience -- trumpeted the existence of scientific discord over climate change when there was none. They slandered climate scientists as socialists, and attacked them with death threats. They skewed the contents of leaked emails to suggest climate data number-crunchers were cooking the books. And even if they do bend to admit that climate change IS real (hard not to after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy), they dig their heels in by denying a causal relation to human industrial activity, and scare the populace with dire warnings of lost jobs and government overreach. To them, reducing coal and oil = Big Brother.
The film points to the origins of this pundit class in the late 1950s, within the PR efforts of the tobacco companies, whose secret documents (revealed by whistleblowers or as evidence in lawsuits) detailed the playbook that a company peddling a hazardous product should follow to avoid financial ruin: cast doubt upon medical research (or even produce studies of your own); warn against the economic impacts in terms of job losses; rail against regulations as government overreach impinging upon people's liberties (it doesn't hurt to liberally throw the terms "Socialist" or "Communist" around); and make the culprit in any public health issue the consumer, as a matter of "personal responsibility."
Fred Singer, of the Heartland institute (a libertarian think tank funded in part by Exxon), is a well-known climate change denier who for years has called scientific evidence of a warming planet a lie. He proudly displays the publications his group produces that mimic actual scientific publications but which are meant to confuse Congressmen.
Also interviewed is Marc Morano, a former producer for Rush Limbaugh and staffer for James Inhofe (a major climate change denier in the Senate), who specializes in spin. He proudly tells Kenner about his role in "creating chaos" through on-air debates with actual scientists; and he shows no remorse for the public attacks he launched against NOAA scientist James Hansen, who was among the first to warn of the dangers of CO2 pollution to irreversibly affect the Earth's climate. Morano laughs off having sent or encouraged threats of violence to Hansen, saying he's entertained by reading the threats he receives.
UPDATE from Russell Cook about the movie:
In just a quick internet search of where this movie is showing in the US, I had to resort to using the Google Cache to read what the http://movietimes.com/movies/merchants-of-doubt.html web page said, since its current page shows a "movie you were looking for doesn't appear to be with us anymore" message. The Oct 10 Cache version of that page showed the movie as only being released in LA and NY. This may end up to be a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' movie release. For those of you on Facebook, the movie's FB page only has 24 'Likes' for it so far. By way of comparison, when I went to see "Greedy Lying Bastards" in order to review it last year, there were only around a half dozen or so other people in the theater and I don't think it played for more than a week in the Phoenix metro area.