UCSB ENVS 106 - Lecture 02 Merchants of Doubt Chapter 1_POST (16 pages)

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Lecture 02 Merchants of Doubt Chapter 1_POST



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Smoking Rates and Deaths in Industrialized Countries Thun et al 2012 Naomi Oreskes Erik Conway greenhouse effect the troposphere should experience most of the warming You ll probably want to view this in SLIDESHOW mode for it to make sense Incoming Sunlight If the Earth is warming because of increased solar activity then we would expect to see warming in BOTH the stratosphere and the troposphere BUT the Earth is NOT warming in BOTH the stratosphere and troposphere only the troposphere It follows that the amplified greenhouse effect is the more likely cause of the warming not increased solar activity Animation by Quentin Gee PhD UCSB Environmental Studies Tr ato op sp os h er p h e er e different traces than human caused variability If the Earth is experiencing an amplified S tr Fingerprinting Why is the Earth Warming Natural variability in climate leaves Reradiated Surface Heat Not to scale Ben Santer Involved in human fingerprinting of climate change research to this day Lead Author of IPCC 1995 Chapter 8 Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes Attacked by Op Eds in the Wall Street Journal Defended himself along with many other IPCC Scientists A few years later Santer is reading the paper regarding the tobacco lawsuits Keep the controversy alive Seitz and Singer the same people that attacked Santer s IPCC work Two PR Strategies 1 Funding Opposition Research an extensive body of scientifically well grounded data useful in defending the industry against attacks 2 Psychological Tools in Advertising Psychoanalytic attempt to tap into people s death drive appeal to notions of masculinity Misdirection Appeal to happiness creature comforts that everything You can review the clip on Gauchospace FYI It s Toasted was a slogan by Lucky Strike before the health claims so there s some narrative license going on in the clip is okay but the strategies discussed have been used in multiple PR Advertising strategies Imagine You re a Scientist You re interested in tobacco Some research has come out that perhaps tobacco is linked to cancer You have a large budget to pursue your work What is your main research question CTR Center for Tobacco Research https www industrydocumentslibrary ucsf edu tobacco docs id hjxc0024 Bates Number 504480340 504480342 Presumably your main research question should be inquisitive and open to various possible conclusions You might want to explore mechanisms of cancer or whether or not it actually does cause cancer Depending on the state of the latest science your question will vary However in the case of tobacco the science was fairly well established and yet the research was framed around defending industry interests Text of Tobacco Strategy Document 1969 https industrydocuments library ucsf edu Document The 1950 s Tobacco Strategy Fallacious Move Appeal To Uncertainty Manufacturing Uncertainty There are other potential correlations with cancer stress genetic proclivity other environmental factors Several unanswered questions about tobacco research Lab mice got cancer when painted with tobacco tar but no when left in smoke filled chambers Why Cancer rates vary greatly between cities even when smoking rates are similar Why Do other environmental factors e g air pollution affect lung cancer rates Why is the recent rise in lung cancer greatest in men but the rise in cigarette use was greatest in women What about other cancers associated with areas exposed to smoke lips throat etc Further Scientific Confirmation 1957 US Public Health service concludes that smoking is the principle etiological factor in the increased incidence of lung cancer 1959 Leading researchers in the literature say that the link is beyond dispute 1964 Surgeon General s Report Smoking and Health comes to a unanimous conclusion the principal cause of increasing lung cancer is tobacco Smokers are 1020x more likely to get lung cancer Other major health effects Industry Response Change the name of the Tobacco Industry Research Council to Council for Tobacco Research More denial more research funding 2 funding source on tobacco behind federal government Note the word dropped from the name change Industry drops out In this case the question of who is conducting the research is obfuscated This isn t because it was a disinterested organization e g Centers for Disease Control but because the term Industry had negative connotations despite its accuracy This is the beginning of another tactic in maintaining controversy If you know that the tobacco companies are declaring that there s uncertainty then you re less likely to believe that there s a controversy Today PR firms and industry funded think tanks are much more sophisticated It can be challenging to track funding the names of front groups talk about safety or consumer freedom Be on guard You re less likely to believe the latest report from the Exxon Center on Climate Change But if it s something not obviously linked to Exxon like the Global Climate Coalition then the chances of maintaining controversy are better Frederick Seitz 1979 RJ Reynolds Brings Seitz to the Table Former President of the American Academy of Sciences WWII Atomic Bomb Development Key ties to Washington Brought a number of other scientists along board 45 million in funding given to various scientists and groups reporting to Seitz Goal of funding is to develop an extensive body of scientifically well grounded data useful in defending the industry against attacks fundamental attacks on its business There s a quick video clip of Seitz on Gauchospace that you also viewed in section When asked if tobacco companies were irresponsible in denying health risks in the 1960 s Seitz says it was irresponsible on the part of smokers Does smoking cause Cancer Martin Cline Appeal to Epidemiological Causal Uncertainty Well if by cause you mean a population base or epidemiologic risk factor then cigarette smoking is related to certain types of lung cancer If you mean In a particular individual is the cigarette smoking a cause of his or her cancer Then it is difficult to say yes or no There is no evidence Oreskes and Conway In scientific research there is always doubt In a lawsuit we ask is it reasonable doubt Ultimately juries began to say no but it took a long time in large part because of witnesses like Martin Cline the of industry cultivated by supporting Herewitnesses we have a form appeal tohad ignorance or uncertainty Today we their should research recognized that clear thinking


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