‘Merchants of Doubt’: A Documentary for every Volt Owner who has had to fight FUD
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Thread: ‘Merchants of Doubt’: A Documentary for every Volt Owner who has had to fight FUD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Punta Gorda,FL/Fair Haven,NY

    Default ‘Merchants of Doubt’: A Documentary for every Volt Owner who has had to fight FUD

    When was the last time you discussed the Volt and someone threw out the statement, ‘But they catch on fire and/or explode!’? For me it was three weeks ago in a carpet store. After making our selections, my wife and I were discussing all things green with the owner, who was pretty much onboard with all the concepts (he generated much of the discussion). However, when the issue slightly touched on politics, you could tell (without specifics) what his leanings were. Later, when commentary came around to the Volt, he tossed out the infamous line above. Of course, we all remember those early days when we had to explain the circus of having to actually take the battery OUT of a Volt, smash it, rotate it… and wait multiple WEEKS before the fire could be duplicated. And then you go on to mention the 20 THOUSAND gasoline car fires EVERY MONTH that no one ever thinks twice about.

    Last month, I watched ‘The Insider’, a movie from 1999 with Russell Crowe playing Jeffrey Wigand, the tobacco industry whistleblower. I am always drawn to stories that expose ‘righteous’ people and hypocrites when truths are revealed. Having never been a smoker, I didn’t really pay much attention at the time, but hindsight now lets you see that tobacco strategies were adopted by current marketers of mayhem. Given the description of ‘Merchants of Doubt’, I put it on my Netflix list and it just became available. EVERYONE needs to see this.

    While much of the subject matter concerning the current batch of FUD is about climate change, this is NOT a story just about the environment. Beyond tobacco and climate, other controversies are investigated- like how and why toxic flame retardants are legislated into our lives.

    The opening shows a card magician discussing sleight of hand and how the focus is drawn AWAY from where the real action is. We may KNOW what is going on, but some people make their livings by distracting us. This is really the story of the people behind the curtain- and their methods of trickery. What is most disturbing is that these same faces who were bashing electric vehicles have appeared elsewhere in the spectrum of industry bad boys who want to spin us away from facts. These talking heads appear authoritative when asked questions by Fox News or CNN, yet when you see more and more clips, the bigger picture emerges of who these prostitutes of information are and how they operate.

    The best documentaries are the ones that don’t make our decisions for us and ‘Merchants of Doubt’ is definitely in that category. We get to meet completely unabashed manipulators who couldn’t care less if the result of their efforts is death threat emails sent to boring climate scientists. Once you see these hucksters, you know what you have to counter when someone brings up a Volt fire. These people admit to having one goal in mind- gridlock. The longer it takes for the public to come to grips with real truths, the more profits are to be made by these charlatan’s benefactors. These people sleep very well at night, as it is not ‘the cause’ which they stand for, just the dollars they make from messing with your head- and they do appear to enjoy their work as puppet masters.

    I thought I had heard the end of the Volt fire fiasco, but these ‘Merchants of Doubt’ have worked so effectively that people can’t even remember anymore why they have a problem with electric cars. However, as pointed out by that card magician, once you know the source of the distraction, your mind won’t let you be drawn away from where you were deceived. The ‘trick’ is now the CENTER of your attention.
    2012 Volt (Red) 'SUN FUEL'/2012 Volt (White) 'OVR OIL'/2008 Tahoe Hybrid

    Driving Without Destruction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    I agree. The tobacco companies showed how you could stall for decades by throwing out denials, false data, manipulated studies while promoting the idea that smoking was glamorous or even haelthy. This tactic is now used widely, including the new twist that demands schools "teach the controversy".

    I'm sure that there are people today who don't "believe" cigarette smoking can cause cancer.
    Last edited by Steverino; 1 Week Ago at 03:39 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    San Diego


    I think the point of this documentary is not so much that it's the same tactics used to create the illusion that there is a controversy about whether the scientific evidence is clear on climate change as were used to create the illusion that there was controversy about whether the scientific evidence supported the thesis that smoking causes cancer, it's that it's the SAME PEOPLE who are using the same tactics to do this. That was surprising. Never knew we had a professional class of FUDers.

    FWIW the genesis of the this realization came when a scientist started looking at reviewed published papers to see what type of split there was in the scientific community about climate change. Turned out there wasn't one. She found 98 published papers supporting climate change and 0 doubting it. So then she started looking at how the meme had been created that climate change was in fact "controversial" since the science didn't suggest any controversy. Turns out that it's about as controversial as the idea that smoking causes cancer.

    We see this all the time in economic policy. You have really dumb ideas like "austerity" which have been proven never to work being put forth by supposedly serious people. Austerity, efficient markets, and the idea that government is always the problem and never the solution (obviously by people who have never heard of this country called "China") are generally called "zombie economics" because no matter who often they are proven fundamentally false you can't kill them. Basically you can't kill them because they're based on faith and not science.

    OT, I'm thinking this should be moved to politics since climate change is still controversial for some people.
    Last edited by DonC; 1 Week Ago at 04:43 PM.

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