Merchants of Doubt Film Debuts, Textbook Denial Attack Campaign Led By Fred Singer Ensues

Read time: 3 mins

Merchants of Doubt, a new film from Food Inc. director Robert Kenner, hits the big screen nationwide this week and it is already making controversial headlines as the climate deniers go on the attack as predictably as possible. 

Merchants of Doubt zooms in on the anti-science campaign outlined in Naomi Oreskes' book of the same name, and has some pretty shocking and frank interviews with some of the more colorful and influential operatives in the climate denier movement.

Apparently the film sent such a wave of indigestion through the climate denial cabal that, back in October, S. Fred Singer and a small group of his chosen deniers and PR spindoctors discussed via email the opportunity to sue the film into oblivion. 

E & E revealed yesterday an email chain written by the grandfather of climate denial, Fred Singer, in which he seeks legal advice from the likes of Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, James Delingpole, Christopher Monckton, Tim Ball, Patrick MichaelsJudith Curry, Willie Soon and Joseph Bast, asking:

One of the recipients of the Singer email is James Enstrom (a researcher skewered in the media decades ago for his skeptical views on the links between tobacco smoke and cancer, while at the same time he collected checks from Phillip Morris) who suggests that Singer go on the attack before considering any legal action:

merchants of doubt

The film debuts across the country this week and no lawsuits have arrived on Dr. Oreskes' or Robert Kenner's doorsteps. Although a stern letter of warning from Singer to Kenner was sent last week and subsequently published here on the blog maintained by the Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education.

But nonetheless this email string is important in that it shows clearly that there is a small group of climate deniers that are colluding behind the scenes to stifle their critics in a coordinated way. The casual language and easy offers of assistance make it clear that this is a group that is familiar to each other and has coordinated together in the past.

Read and download a copy of the entire Fred Singer Merchants of Doubt email chain

One of the recipients of the Singer email, Marc Morano, offers up a poignant interview in Merchants of Doubt, making it clear that he revels in his leadership role amongst climate deniers and his view that it is not scientific fact that wins the day, but who wins the communications war in popular media. 

Here's the official Merchants of Doubt trailer, which heavily features Morano, who I have to say (or would like to think) will someday look back with deep regret for his complete lack of respect for science and academic endeavor. Or at least he might be embarrassed by it:

Merchants of Doubt opened at select theaters in New York and Los Angeles this past weekend and will open across the US in the coming weeks.

You can visit this page to see when it is playing at a theater near you. 

And if you want to help spread the word about the film, then click here to tweet out a link and message about Merchants of Doubt.

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