The Dark Side of Politics
The new documentary Merchants of Doubt knocks down the lies one by one.
And then the film knocks down the assumptions, one by one.
But it’s hard to know what’s worse: the lies we tell each other, or the lies we tell ourselves?
Merchants of Doubt shatters the first lie by exploring the scientific, peer-reviewed studies about global warming.
Widely-spread rumors that scientists disagree is actually false.
Nearly all scientists agree that the earth is warming as a result of human activity.
So when the movie-makers decided to explore the science published about global warming they found no disagreement: no one had published in a peer-reviewed journal a study that challenged the fact that we are bringing about our own demise.
Once the lie crumbles, what’s left to deny?
If the science is right, then why do folks cleave to their beliefs that the globe isn’t warming?
According to one view examined in Merchants of Doubt, folks simply don’t want to part with their political—not scientific—beliefs.
Several of the opinion leaders interviewed for the documentary dispute climate change on political grounds.
For example, Paul Gallo, a talk-show host in Mississippi, questions how any conservative can share a belief with a liberal.
“To me every fiber in my body is saying [if] you’re a conservative, you can’t believe this,” Gallo says about climate change.
“I don’t believe humans are creating this—and neither do a vast majority of climate scientists.”
But you’re wrong, Mr. Gallo: scientists do believe human actions affect the environment.
On camera, when his guest tells Gallo he is wrong about the science, Gallo ends the conversation.
Clearly we humans have our blinders in place, and the shades go down when a light shines the truth.
Sometimes we’d rather cling to our beliefs than wrestle with truths.
And as Gallo confessed, he’s rather embrace a lie than be called a Liberal.