Tag Archives: nicolas nierenberg

Debunking Oreskes Part 4: Disinformation or debate?

← Part 1: A wall of vagueness

← Part 2: The wicked “handful of scientists” 

← Part 3: The “tobacco strategy” 

Part 5: Irrelevance to the current climate change debate →

Part 6: Is it all about the money?

So far in this series, we’ve seen that the claim that “a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming”, both because the scientists identified (the Handful, as I call them) were in fact not involved in all these issues, and because the claim that they “obscured the truth” does not hold water given Oreskes and Conway’s own idea of what that means. Also, there was no “tobacco strategy” connecting the issues. 

Given this, there seems to be no foundation for any claim of disinformation. And yet, they use the term rather emphatically in the book, speaking of “the creation of doubt and the spread of disinformation”.

But let us try to find out what Oreskes and Conway base their claims of disinformation on. Part of it is guilt by association with Big Tobacco as I have mentioned. But there is more.

Continue reading