Don't be fooled about climate science. In April, 1994 -- long after scientists had clearly demonstrated the addictive quality and devastating health impacts of cigarette smoking -- seven chief executives of major tobacco companies denied the evidence, swearing under oath that nicotine was not addictive. Now, the American public is again being subjected to those kinds of denials, this time about global climate change.It is not surprising that corporate interests flack for their own financial advantage with no regard to anyone or anything else.
It is not surprising that mendacious pols write shabby op-ed pieces like the one to which this is a response.
It is not surprising that stenographic hacks publish them. (Kathleen Graham would be mortified.)
What is surprising is that so many find such people more credible than the thousands of scientists whose work has been subjected to decades of peer review and who have nothing to gain and everything to lose by the slightest misstep. Even when we've seen this movie before.
Did the tobacco companies pay the Camel-loving Doctors and Marlboro Men enough to compensate them for their shortened lives?
There is a big difference, however, between the paid tobacco shills and those gaining advantage (political, pecuniary or both) today--in the past they put their own future at risk; today they imperil it for everyone, for generations to come.