Consensus Conspiracy theories

Paradoxes of Oreskes & Conway’s “Merchants of Doubt” conspiracy theory

In this post, we look at the popular “Merchants of Doubt” conspiracy theory promoted by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in their 2010 book. They claim to have proven, “how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming”.

Oreskes & Conway’s conspiracy theory is remarkably popular among those trying to dismiss anybody who disagrees with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s statements on climate change. The book is even cited favourably in academic publications. However, as we discuss in this post, it is remarkably illogical and inconsistent and doesn’t stand up to critical scrutiny.