Chapter two talksabout the doubt sold in nuclear war and the idea of a nuclear winter. TheUnited States does not want to ever enter into a nuclear war, but if onestarted, the government wanted to make sure that we would win. A group of CIAmembers called Team B scared the United States, saying that the Soviets werearmed and ready for a nuclear war. The Soviets were said to be a big threat andtons of nuclear weapons were created in response to the Soviets “Superiority.” TeamB were the merchants of doubt: everything that they said was supported by littleto no evidence.
The Soviets were not a big threat and did not want to engage ina nuclear war at all. This proves to show that someone can have no evidence fora claim and can still get a large number of people to believe in the claim. TheUnited States government concluded that there is no way to fully prepare for anuclear war and scientists were saying that there would be no winners of a nuclearwar due to nuclear winter. After a nuclear attack, a nuclear winter wouldhappen, which is when the Earth’s temperature would drop drastically causing theworld to either freeze or become chilly.
Nuclear winter was a hot topic in the sciencecommunity and the amount of degrees that the Earth’s temperature would drop toowas argued about. Either way, the science community agrees a temperature changewould detrimentally affect the environment. Doubtcan be a powerful feeling that can take over peoples’ intuition of a certainproduct or a person. Someone can doubt the harmfulness of alcohol because apowerful figure stated that alcohol is safe to use daily and or a beer company createsa persuasive ad. In the first two chapters of the book, “Merchants of Doubt,” ittalks about how some big companies sell doubt to people to make their productsor ideas seem superior.
The scandals of the tobacco companies were talked aboutin chapter one. Not only did the tobacco companies sell tobacco products, buttheir most profitable product was doubt. The companies did everything in their powerto make sure that people did not know the dangers of smoking, so that they wouldcontinue make money from tobacco. Although there was evidence that tobacco causescancer, the evidence was shut down because the correlation between smoking andcancer was “unclear.” The tobacco companies said that air pollution, genetics,prions, and stress are potential causes of cancer, tobacco not being one of them.
Scientists for the tobacco companies worked tirelessly finding other ways peoplecan get cancer so that they can put the blame for cancer on those other waysrather than tobacco. Since the tobacco company never gave up on defendingtobacco and that they generously donated tons of money to medical researchinstitutes, people had the doubt that tobacco is deadly.