Merchants of Doubt
Q&A with director Robert Kenner
The evidence of man’s role in climate change is overwhelming; despite that, there are many alleged scientific experts, ubiquitous presences in the mass media universe, who have managed to confound and confuse the issue. In their 2011 book Merchants of Doubt, authors (and scientists, academics, and historians) Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway uncovered the agendas behind these ideological sales pitches. Now filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) explores this issue further through interviews with some of the best of these scientific spin doctors, some of whom let us in on their secrets. Kenner likens their public relations and marketing skills to magic, and he puts their many appearances before congressional committees and on CNN in an entirely fresh light. Kenner’s take on these “magicians” at work is funny and witty, but it’s also chilling to witness their sleight of hand, which has helped to land us that much further from saving the planet. A Sony Pictures Classics release.