Rearranging The Deckchairs

Frank O'Dwyer's blog

Naomi Oreskes on Her New Book 'Merchants of Doubt'

Via Tim Lambert: A talk by Naomi Oreskes on her new book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. As with any talk by Naomi Oreskes, it is well worth a watch. Though she makes a couple of minor slips, for me there was only one bum note in the whole thing, where she suggests that ‘sceptics’ as a whole are responsible for the CRU emails hack. The banquet analogy she uses is excellent, and reminded me of a classic piece of standup from the Seinfeld episode ‘The Stock Tip’. Unfortunately I can’t find the clip on youtube, so you’ll have to settle for the script:

JERRY: Went out to dinner the other night. Check came at the end of the meal, as it always does. Never liked the check at the end of the meal system, because money’s a very different thing before and after you eat. Before you eat money has no value. And you don’t care about money when you’re hungry, you sit down at a restaurant. You’re like the ruler of an empire. “More drinks, appetizers, quickly, quickly! It will be the greatest meal of our lives.” Then after the meal, you know, you’ve got the pants open, you’ve got the napkins destroyed, cigarette butt in the mashed potatoes - then the check comes at that moment. People are always upset, you know. They’re mystified by the check. “What is this? How could this be?” They start passing it around the table, “Does this look right to you? We’re not hungry now. Why are we buying all this food?!”