Sabotaging Progress with Global Climate Change- Merchants of Doubt

The MVP in the Merchants of Doubt Arena
The MVP in the Merchants of Doubt Arena


Merchant-of-doubt-scientists do not follow scientific practices regarding climate change. At first glance it seems if they do because they claim to represent larger scientific institutions and coordinate with other acclaimed scientists. With a little more research, as Oreskes and Conway did in Merchants of Doubt, their scientific processes are proven fraud and filled with deception. One National Academy report on carbon dioxide avoided the standard cooperation and peer-review process by splitting up the chapters in the report so committee members did not have to agree on one answer. Thus, even though it was published through the National Academy, the assessment did not include the standard scientific peer review practiced by most academy members. Furthermore, the splitting up of chapters resulted in conflicts with the science of global warming pointing to action and the economics of global warming pointing to inaction, with the final chapter concluding to follow the economic path. Thus, scientific evidence was disregarded, a practice unacceptable in the credible scientific community.

The merchants of doubt are also responsible for creating a global climate change debate. Through the Marshall Institute, three scientists distributed an unpublished paper which they later published into a booklet, asserting that science points to the sun causing global warming, not anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. First, an unpublished paper means that it never went through peer-review process, the process vital to the credibility of science. Readers may have overlooked this, seeing that the article was written by three acclaimed scientists, never mind they had no expertise in the field. In fact, the Marshall Institute itself was created to defend President Reagan’s “Star Wars” against scientists’ claims that the strategy was unrealistic. Thus, it was created to defend policy decisions from questioning scientists. The three authors of the booklet represented merchants of doubt, faking scientific credibility in order to avoid regulation to mitigate global climate change. Sadly, their plan worked to convince White House members that global climate change was natural and raised no need for action. Merchants of doubt are the reason anthropogenic global climate change has just recently been acknowledged by the U.S. president even though the idea was first researched and accepted by the scientific community over half a century earlier.

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