The politics of doubt

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Old Rocks, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    From tobacco to asbestos, to global warming we see the same cast of people denying real science.

    Wunder Blog : Weather Underground


    Posted by: JeffMasters, 3:07 PM GMT on November 25, 2009

    In 1954, the tobacco industry realized it had a serious problem. Thirteen scientific studies had been published over the preceding five years linking smoking to lung cancer. With the public growing increasingly alarmed about the health effects of smoking, the tobacco industry had to move quickly to protect profits and stem the tide of increasingly worrisome scientific news. Big Tobacco turned to one the world's five largest public relations firms, Hill and Knowlton, to help out. Hill and Knowlton designed a brilliant Public Relations (PR) campaign to convince the public that smoking is not dangerous. They encouraged the tobacco industry to set up their own research organization, the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR), which would produce science favorable to the industry, emphasize doubt in all the science linking smoking to lung cancer, and question all independent research unfavorable to the tobacco industry. The CTR did a masterful job at this for decades, significantly delaying and reducing regulation of tobacco products. George Washington University epidemiologist David Michaels, who is President Obama's nominee to head the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), wrote a meticulously researched 2008 book called, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. In the book, he wrote: "the industry understood that the public is in no position to distinguish good science from bad. Create doubt, uncertainty, and confusion. Throw mud at the anti-smoking research under the assumption that some of it is bound to stick. And buy time, lots of it, in the bargain". The title of Michaels' book comes from a 1969 memo from a tobacco company executive: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy". Hill and Knowlton, on behalf of the tobacco industry, had founded the "Manufactured Doubt" industry.

    The Manufactured Doubt industry grows up
    As the success of Hill and Knowlton's brilliant Manufactured Doubt campaign became apparent, other industries manufacturing dangerous products hired the firm to design similar PR campaigns. In 1967, Hill and Knowlton helped asbestos industry giant Johns-Manville set up the Asbestos Information Association (AIA). The official-sounding AIA produced "sound science" that questioned the link between asbestos and lung diseases (asbestos currently kills 90,000 people per year, according to the World Health Organization). Manufacturers of lead, vinyl chloride, beryllium, and dioxin products also hired Hill and Knowlton to devise product defense strategies to combat the numerous scientific studies showing that their products were harmful to human health.

    By the 1980s, the Manufactured Doubt industry gradually began to be dominated by more specialized "product defense" firms and free enterprise "think tanks". Michaels wrote in Doubt is Their Product about the specialized "product defense" firms: "Having cut their teeth manufacturing uncertainty for Big Tobacco, scientists at ChemRisk, the Weinberg Group, Exponent, Inc., and other consulting firms now battle the regulatory agencies on behalf of the manufacturers of benzene, beryllium, chromium, MTBE, perchlorates, phthalates, and virtually every other toxic chemical in the news today....Public health interests are beside the point. This is science for hire, period, and it is extremely lucrative".

    Joining the specialized "product defense" firms were the so-called "think tanks". These front groups received funding from manufacturers of dangerous products and produced "sound science" in support of their funders' products, in the name of free enterprise and free markets. Think tanks such as the George C. Marshall Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer's SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been active for decades in the Manufactured Doubt business, generating misleading science and false controversy to protect the profits of their clients who manufacture dangerous products.
     
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  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Real science? IE Science that supports your preconcieved notions.. Yep we definitely doubt that. We prefer looking at actual facts first.

    You see when the earth's tempature hasnt increased in over a decade. Its a pretty good sign that global warming is a hoax. Especially when the political culture decides to change the terminology from global warming to climate change acknowledging that there is no warming and trying to pretend that any shift in climate is man made.

    And isnt it funny that the only solutions for these so called man-made problems are the same socialist principles that the people rejected when presented with them based on their own merit? Funny how that seems to work.

    No you are right. This is purely science. and anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.
     
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  3. Oddball
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    I guess nobody told that dopey blogger that the "research" behind so-called second hand tobacco smoke was totally cooked, too.

    Looks like the e-mail blast has gone out to all the Goebbles warming hacks, to start baffling everyone with their bullshit! :rofl:
     
  4. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The anti-global warming lobby (aka oil companies) use the same tactics as the tabacco lobby

    The "my grandmother lived to be 92 and smoked three packs a day" logic

    The "we need to do more study" logic

    The "our scientists have different results" logic
     
  5. Toronado3800
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    Wow, I've been reading more and checking up on the wunderground fella. He's spot on. May everyone who doesn't believe in Global Warming enjoy two packs of non-cancer causing camel non filter cigarettes a day on Dr. Seitz.

    My I don't know how some folks sleep with themselves at night.
     
  6. Toronado3800
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    I can believe any one piece of research was flawed. But the idea second hand smoke isn't bad for you is comparable thinking to the idea working in coal mines is healthy for the lungs.

    I love my 68 Mustang buy I know what the exhaust does for my lungs if the car is running in the garage.

    Also I love wood working and know when all them small particles from sanding off stain just aren't doing me any good when I'm blowing them out of my nose for two days.
     
  7. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah. keep telling yourself that. The facts only differ from your perspective because those big bad oil companies are trying to spin them. It cant possibility be because your idealogy is a crock and your theories are completely incompatible with reality. No its those big bad oil companies.
     
  8. Toronado3800
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    Avatar, are you saying you don't believe second hand smoke is bad, you don't believe in the effects of greenhouse gasses on heat retention, or ?
     
  9. Avatar4321
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    Dont care about second hand smoke. And i sure as heck dont believe in the global warming junk. Especially dont believe the believe that CO2 emissions are going to warm the planet. The tempature of the planet is decreasing and we have more emissions than ever. Not only that, the argument is dangerous because if people continue teaching it, it wont be long before some nut case like Hitler is going to take the theory to its logical conclusion and decide to begin the mass murder of humanity to "save the planet"
     
  10. Oddball
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    Didn't say it wasn't bad, just that the "research" deeming it as much a health threat as actually smoking the cigarettes was cooked, as admitted by the people who cooked it.

    BTW...I'm an ex-smoker and don't like my clothes smelling smokey after coming home from the bar. But I also realize that I signed up for it by going to the bar.
     

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