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 because it would cause a nuclear winter. A nuclear winter is when the Earth’stemperature would drop drastically causing the world to either freeze or becomechilly. Nuclear winter was a hot topic in the science community and the amountof degrees that the Earth’s temperature would drop too was argued about. Eitherway, the science community agrees a temperature drop would destructively affectthe environment. Doubt can be a powerful feeling thatcan take over peoples’ intuition of a certain product or a person. Someone candoubt the harmfulness of alcohol because a powerful figure stated that alcoholis safe to use daily and or a beer company creates a persuasive ad. In the firsttwo chapters of the book, “Merchants of Doubt,” it talks about how some bigcompanies sell doubt to people to make their products or ideas seem superior.
The scandals of the tobacco companies were talked about in chapter one. Notonly did the tobacco companies sell tobacco products, but their most profitableproduct was doubt. The companies did everything in their power to make surethat people did not know the dangers of smoking, so that they would continue makemoney from tobacco. Although there was evidence that tobacco causes cancer, theevidence was shut down because the correlation between smoking and cancer was unclear.
The tobacco companies said that air pollution, genetics, prions, and stress arepotential causes of cancer, tobacco not being one of them. Scientists for the tobaccocompanies worked tirelessly finding other ways people can get cancer so thatthey can put the blame for cancer on those other ways rather than tobacco. Sincethe tobacco company never gave up on defending tobacco and that they generouslydonated tons of money to medical research institutes, people had the doubt thattobacco is deadly.