Sowing Doubt

Industries hiring scientists to sow public doubt is not a new strategy.

For example. . .

The tobacco industry did it, beginning in the 1950s. It raised doubts to delay regulatory action against cigarettes. This strategy worked for decades.

Chemical companies directed a smear campaign against Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring, which first brought public attention to the hazards of unregulated chemicals. Chemical companies and industry-funded front groups opposed regulation despite overwhelming evidence that their chlorofluorocarbons were creating a hole in the protective ozone layer necessary to the Earth’s atmosphere.

The US government put an effective protocol in place under President Ronald Reagan. Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush all supported sensible regulation to protect the environment.

In the 1990s, Frederick Seitz ran the George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) – which industry had originally founded to defend Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Seitz was a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, and when GMI sowed the seeds of doubt about climate change, other equally well-credentialed scientists joined with him.

According to Robert Proctor’s book Golden Holocaust: How Cigarette Makers Engineered a Global Health Catastrophe, these scientists acted out of allegiance to their fundamental view of the free market. Seitz and other climate-denying scientists published a letter with a petition and a dubious report that they meant to look as though it had appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Science publicly disputed GMI’s efforts. Newsweek called it a “central cog in the denial machine.”

Marc Morano started his career working for broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, and achieved fame by attacking Senator John Kerry’s military service. He’s made a hefty profit since by engaging in such “swift-boat” efforts to damage climate scientists’ reputations. Morano ran a smear campaign against well-regarded scientist James Hansen, formerly head of the NASA Goddard Institute, after Hansen publicly declared in 1988 that climate change portended grave threats. Morano questioned Hansen’s mental health, as if his calls to action reflected insanity. Morano and other deniers attack the “process of science itself,” and hamper truthful, transparent public discourse.

Allah’s Messenger (SAW), revealed to us that, in the End Times, some people acknowledged as scholars will actually be two-faced impostors, posing as someone whom wishes well for the general public, but secretly only in for personal gain.:

Wolves will give readings in the End Times. Let those who come to see those times seek shelter from their evil in Allah. They will be very corrupt people. Hypocrisy will prevail, and nobody will be ashamed of it and its manifestations.

(Tirmidhi, Nawadir al-‘usul)

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