Merchants of Doubt
Watch the movie “Merchants of Doubt” using the following url
Make sure to read the questions before watching the movie.
A goal of this course is to give each of you the ability to discuss climate change with others who do not have the same knowledge or who have differing viewpoints. This assignment will provide a challenging and rewarding opportunity for you to practice this. With everything you have learned to this point, write an essay/discussion post of how you would explain the climate change controversies discussed in this movie to an interested voter who has heard of global warming and the various debates, but is not familiar with the science of Climate Change.
Be sure to explain all parts of each of the following questions and use different paragraphs for different topics.
1) General Discussion (4pts)
a) What is the goal of the climate change deniers in the movie (hint – use title of movie)? Describe how this goal is achieved using two examples from the movie.
b) Describe two unethical practices of climate change deniers that were highlighted in the movie. How do you think these practices have affected the climate change discussion?
2) Oregon Petition & Climategate Discussion (2 pts)
Just before the Kyoto Negotiations, the Oregon Petition was created to attack the climate change science. Just before the Copenhagen Summit, there were the attacks from Climategate.
a) What was the Oregon Petition as described in the movie? How many “scientists who specialize in climate science” actually signed this document? See the first paragraph at this link https://skepticalscience.com/OISM-Petition-Project-intermediate.htm (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)
or read the link below for more details
b) What was Climategate as described in the movie or in your textbook? Which of the tactics explained at the following link is used to promote the Climategate allegations? How so?
3) Deniers that Switched (2 pts)
The movie discussed two climate change deniers that changed their views and became important spokesman in the fight against climate change.
a) Who was the Director of Skeptic Society and what caused him to change his views on climate change?
b) Who was the very conservative Congressman from South Carolina and what caused him to change his views on climate change?
4) Think Tanks and Institutes (2 pts)
The movie discussed several “think tanks” that were created specifically to promote specific views, often so their founding organizations could be anonymous.
a) The Cato Institute created the NIPCC. What does NIPCC stand for and why was it created? Did they do any new scientific work?
b) Who was the CEO of the George C. Marshall Institute? What industry was he a registered lobbyist for? What was the goal of this institute?
5) Russian Arctic (2 pts)
Near the end of the movie, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who was the CEO of ExxonMobile at the time was shown shaking hands with Vladimir Putin. What actions were planned to take place as a result of this agreement? How did Climate Change allow this to occur? While this particular deal is no longer intact, there is much contention between nations over who will have access to arctic drilling rights.
6) Personal Review of “Merchants of Doubt” (3 pts)
How we can move beyond the questions and controversies that this movie brings out?