7.7/10
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28 user 46 critic

Merchants of Doubt (2014)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 12 December 2014 (UK)
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A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.

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(original book), | 2 more credits »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamy Ian Swiss ... Himself - Magician and Magic Historian
... Himself (as Stanton Glantz)
Sam Roe ... Himself - Journalist, Chicago Tribune
Patricia Callahan ... Herself - Journalist, Chicago Tribune
... Himself - Climate Scientist
John Passacantando ... Himself - Former Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
Bill O'Keefe ... Himself - Former Chairman of Global Climate Coalition
Naomi Oreskes ... Herself - Professor of the History of Science
... Himself (as Fred Singer)
Michael Shermer ... Himself - Founder of The Skeptics Society
James Taylor ... Himself - Self-Proclaimed Science and Economical Expert, Heartland Institute
Matthew Crawford ... Himself - Former Executive Director of the George C. Marshall Institute
Marc Morano ... Himself - Self-Proclaimed Environmental Journalist
Benjamin Santer ... Himself - Climate Scientist (as Ben Santer)
... Himself - Climate Scientist (as Michael Mann)
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Storyline

A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Propaganda (noun). 1. Derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 December 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Climate Project  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,300, 8 March 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$192,400, 5 April 2015
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Roughly 59 minutes into the documentary it cuts to an interview with James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. In the background an office worker in a mobility scooter reverses into doorway. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Himself - Magician and Magic Historian: My expertise is in deception. The thing that sets magicians apart from con men, and other kinds of thieves and liars, is that we are honest liars. It's the moral contract.
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User Reviews

 
My fellow reviewers are sad people
22 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

The doc is enlightening, and timely. I worked in the tobacco litigation and this film gets it spot on. In the face of near universal consensus, tobacco companies hired marketing firms and paid scientists to poke holes in prevailing well established theory, attempting to cast doubt where anything less than 100% certainty exists, which in science, it essentially always does.

Now the climate change deniers come out, in the face of 97% worldwide consensus, peddling the same nonsense. The doubters don't contest the data, which is indisputable. They instead attack the motives of 97% of the climatologists in the world. And their intended audience buys it hook line and sinker yet again.

Reasonable doubt is essential to science, and in that meritocracy, the best explanation wins. Here, decades of data have made the situation clear. Yet, climate denier laymen, for some reason, choose to believe the 3% of scientists who are largely funded by the interests most likely to suffer financial harm should alternative energy be explored in full.

You can't fix stupid.


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