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Harvard Professor, Documentary Take On Climate Change 'Merchants Of Doubt'

Fred Singer, a physicist and critic of the climate change consensus among scientists (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics).MoreCloseclosemore
Fred Singer, a physicist and critic of the climate change consensus among scientists (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics).

The documentary "Merchants of Doubt," based on the 2010 book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, targets the naysayers of climate change, shining a light on the corporations that employ scientists denying climate change to misdirect and obfuscate in order to protect the bottom line. The book’s authors argue that this practice started with Big Tobacco. When the health risks of smoking became widely documented by the medical and scientific communities, tobacco responded by conducting their own studies, putting scientists in their pocket, conjuring up counter-evidence and most importantly, casting doubt.
"It's easy to poke holes," Oreskes, a professor of history of science at Harvard said in an interview. "Real science is hard." And it seems especially arcane when it comes to the state of our environment's health. "Global warming and climate change are very complex," she explains. "There’s a lot of science behind it, so it’s not so easy to explain, and scientists are not the best at explaining. That’s why it’s easy for a ‘merchant of doubt’ to hold up a snowball in Congress." (Oreskes will take part in a Q&A at the Kendall Square Cinema after the 7:10 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday.)

Naomi Oreskes, author of the book "Merchants of Doubt." (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
Naomi Oreskes, author of the book "Merchants of Doubt." (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
Marc Morano, a leading climate change skeptic, featured in "Merchants of Doubt" (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
Marc Morano, a leading climate change skeptic, featured in "Merchants of Doubt" (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

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Tom Meek Twitter Contributor, The ARTery
In addition to The ARTery, Tom Meek's reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in The Boston Phoenix, Boston Globe, The Rumpus, Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal.

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