ON CLEARANCE (90% off): Doubt

ON CLEARANCE (90% off): Doubt

by Elizabeth Plascencia

Cigarette on the beach

What does it mean to doubt? Is it the dictionary definition of “a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction” or rather this mindset that has been spoon-fed to us about climate change? How does one so easily doubt the change that is evident right before our very eyes? Easy. It has to do with something in your pocket or on your desk right now – your wallet.

Our wallets expand and contract every so often, rarely, or never. Unfortunately, it is now evident that human beings are fragile enough to be swayed by meaningless dollars signs and devour the doubt in exchange for the green. The climate change skeptics who claim that the science behind the matter is “unsettled” or “to be determined” are particularly of this nature.

I found the book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway of special interest due to the language of presentation. Not only did the authors blatantly spell out the truth but did so in a way that brutally clarified the raw material at the core of this so-called “dispute” over climate change.  I soon realized that the raw material was in essence composed of industry and power through the familiar green noted above. Basically, this book enraged me and I had to put it down twice.

It is sickening to me, 19-year old me, to be aware of these outstanding faults in our society and feel slightly powerless. Because what I observe around me is not the tobacco industry crashing but rather the latter – I return home every summer to the strewn cigarette butts that ornament my hometown beach in Santa Monica, California.


Congruently, the quote that stood out most to me was the following:

“How could the industry possibly defend itself when the vast majority of independent experts agreed that tobacco was harmful, and their own documents showed that they knew this? The answer was to continue to market doubt, and to do so by recruiting ever more prominent scientists to help” (p.24)


As symbolic as the cigarette butts are to the tobacco consumer, we must stop the market for doubt right in its tracks. No sale today. No sale tomorrow. The market for doubt has crashed.

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