Needless to say, the climate skeptics are automatically assumed to be the fraudsters. It would be much more logical to compare the fraudsters in the magic industry to the actual fraudsters in the climate debate, namely the climate alarmists, and the movie doesn’t find it important to present any evidence that their reverse link is the better one.
Climate alarmist Ben Santer presents himself as a quiet, modest, peaceful guy who is afraid of violence etc. The movie would be much more attractive if he were allowed to show what kind of a man he actually is, e.g. quote his ClimateGate e-mail:
From: Ben Santer
Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.
Well, the catchy scenes haven’t been included so this supernasty, near-murderous jerk named Ben Santer was painted as another boring sheep and the viewers must have been disappointed by this segment – which was both dishonest and uninteresting.
At the end, the movie made me much less upset than I had expected. It is unquestionably a propaganda piece. But even when it gets to the schools, I have serious enough doubts about its ability to make a difference. It’s a very complex question what are the optimum characteristics of a propaganda movie to achieve a certain goal.
The character of this movie is completely different from some of the good skeptical documentaries, like The Great Global Warming Swindle (TGGWS). TGGWS was filled with historical, scientific, and political facts, popularization of mechanisms uncovered by science, and lots of other things. There is no science and no true evidence in the Merchants of Doubt. After all, Naomi Oreskes doesn’t understand any science (or anything else that matters, for that matter). It’s a propaganda movie that invites you to hate the climate skeptics as well as the tobacco industry, the free markets, and anti-communists. It doesn’t really present good evidence that these topics are related or should be related. At the end, some people (or children) may find it enough to change their mind but I do think that people who buy the message of this movie are so terribly stupid and naive that they can’t possibly influence the fate of the civilized nations.