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where there’s smoke

I began reading Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway last evening. It starts off with a little bit about one climatologist who had his work questioned, then with the next chapter the book begins tracing the history of how some conservative think tanks got their starts.

Starts that got funded by the tobacco industry. It was this industry which discovered the profitability of finding ways to cast doubt upon the findings of scientists, findings that were put through the rigors of peer review and scrutiny. So long as the tobacco industry to manufacture enough doubt and controversy about the findings of scientists and doctors, the industry could stave off regulation and fend off lawsuits.

It was a game the tobacco industry would eventually lose.

But it doesn’t mean that there isn’t money out there that would seek to find ways to cast doubt upon other scientific findings. Like the oil industry.

You want to know something funny about the tobacco industry? All the time they were denying the health risks of smoking, they also invested money and time into trying to develop safe cigarettes.

It makes me think of how you’ll sometimes see commercials from oil companies about how they are trying to develop green energies. Yet at the same time, they pour funding into think tanks to cast doubt and uncertainty upon climate change.

I still have a lot more of the book to read.


Woke up from crazy dreams around 2, took over an hour to get back to sleep. Lots of crazy dreams til the alarm went off.

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