for articles in this issue.
by Jim Hightower
While the Bushites
and their corporate sponsors solemnly assert that governmental actions should be
based on "the best science available," what they really mean is the best science
they can twist to support their position.
They have become
especially expert at deploying a PR tactic that professor David Michaels has
recently dubbed, "manufactured doubt." By creating even a small uncertainty
about a particular scientific reality, industry can defeat public policies that
would protect We the People from corporate profiteering.
The ruthless tobacco
giants, for example, did this for decades, finding a for-hire scientist here or
there willing to say that the data showing that tobacco is addictive and causes
cancer was still "inconclusive." Even though the best science available
overwhelmingly condemned tobacco's destructiveness, the industry and its
political apologists stalled public action for years–while tobacco corporations
continued to hook kids, reap billions in profits, and kill millions of
Of course, the trick
in this ploy is that science, by its very nature, is never absolute–it will
always have some element of inconclusiveness, no matter how miniscule. Thus,
even if 99.9 percent of the science says one thing, the corporate tricksters can
distort the 0.1 percent and pervert public policy. We see this happening now as
the Bushites and their oil industry backers are furiously manufacturing doubt
over the devastating reality of global warming.
corporate flacks are even trying to manufacture doubt about professor Michael's
exposé of their use of manufactured doubt! For example, one industry frontman
said that Michaels, "Takes the position that government is always right and the
private sector is always wrong"–when in fact Michaels has said no such thing.
But such a total fabrication is a way to undermine the credibility of Michael's
This is Jim
Hightower saying...Lies dress up-in many costumes. Be especially wary of those
from industry wearing the mask of "science."
Sources: "Manufactured doubt, made in
the U. S. A.," Austin American Statesman, June 26, 2005
(c) 2005, Copyright - Saddleburr Productions, Inc.
This essay is herein reprinted with the author's
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