Merchants of doubt

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”

Edmund Burke

Merchants of doubt begins with magician Ian Swiss doing some card trick and also giving us his theories about the techniques of magicians. Merchants of doubt is about American companies and politicians, who like the illusionist, are trying to perform tricks to sell just about anything to Americans. Take the tobacco companies’ decades of lies about the harm caused by cigarettes, when they were hiding the studies that proved cigarettes were lethal since the 1950s. Those companies had so-called scientists on their payrolls also denying the truth. In this documentary, we meet people on both side of the debate. It is about more than tobacco. It also deals with the science of climate change and the deniers. It’s disconcerting to see how many conservatives just don’t care that the data are proving global warming is happening. There is Marc Morano, a jerk who brags about sending threatening e-mails to journalists and scientists because he doesn’t like what they wrote. The ray of hope comes from people like Micheal Shermer. The editor of Skepticmagazine read the findings in 2006, and has since joined the fight against global warming. North Carolina Republican Congressman Bob Inglis lost his long-held seat in 2010, when he started to talk about a carbon tax. Inglis now travels the country speaking about the environmental issues. There is hope. Merchants of doubt is fun to watch too. It comments the subject with clips from The twilight zone old TV show and others. Graphics are also first-rate.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

Merchants of doubt

Directed by:
Robert Kenner
Based on the book by Naomi
Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
96 min.
Rated Parental Guidance

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