DeSmog

"Doubt" Video On Fossil Fuel Industry's Tobacco PR Tactics To Undermine Science

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In case you didn’t manage to catch all 24 hours of the Climate Reality Project (I mean, what the heck else were you doing?), I wanted to flag this one video for you, as it’s particularly germane to the ongoing coverage here at DeSmogBlog.

It’s called “Doubt,” and it’s about how the fossil fuel industry took the tobacco industry’s playbook (didn’t just borrow a play, but really the whole playbook) to confuse the public on the science of climate change. Not by disproving the facts – because that’s impossible – but just by creating enough doubt to make a busy public dismiss it.

DOUBT from The Climate Reality Project on Vimeo.

Here’s the core of it all:

“How did the tobacco companies manage to lie to the public in face of all the scientific evidence?

They realized that the science didn’t need to be disproven. It was enough to create doubt in the minds of the public to keep them from recognizing the truth.”

While the subject might be one that we dive deep into regularly (and which Chris Mooney has covered from every direction, upside down and backwards), I think it’s important to spotlight a broader birds-eye perspective like this one. Especially as the video is incredibly well produced, and could be something that manages to reach a whole new audience. Speaking past the choir here.

Here’s to hoping that it goes viral. Spread the word!

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Ben Jervey is a Senior Fellow for DeSmog and directs the KochvsClean.com project. He is a freelance writer, editor, and researcher, specializing in climate change and energy systems and policy. Ben is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor for GOOD Magazine, and wrote a longstanding weekly column titled “The New Ideal: Building the clean energy economy of the 21st Century and avoiding the worst fates of climate change.” He has also contributed regularly to National Geographic News, Grist, and OnEarth Magazine. He has published three books—on eco-friendly living in New York City, an Energy 101 primer, and, most recently, “The Electric Battery: Charging Forward to a Low Carbon Future.” He graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College, and earned a Master’s in Energy Regulation and Law at Vermont Law School. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.

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