Meet the Merchants of Doubt: The PR Firms Giving You Cancer, Causing Acid Rain and Killing the Planet – The Daily Beast

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The Turning Spiral

A new documentary, Merchants of Doubt, shows how you’re being lied to.

Wei-Hock Soon doesn’t appear in the new documentary Merchants of Doubt, but he might as well be its poster child. That’s because director Robert Kenner’s film, which opens in select cities on March 6, is about how the tobacco, fossil-fuel and other industries hire so-called “scientific experts” to refute charges that their products are dangerous. Soon, a scientist who claims that variations in the sun’s energy, not greenhouse gases, can explain climate change, was recently discovered to have received over $1.2 million from fossil-fuel companies to fund his research. He has reportedly failed to disclose this conflict of interest to the journals that published his papers—and seems to be the latest in a long line of scientists and spokespersons paid to cast doubt on independent scientific research.

Some of these doubters are “ideologically committed, some are just in…

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