Faced with proof that they were harming people or the environment, corporations have long denied evidence, blamed victims complained of witch hunts, attacked their critics and found other rationale for their harmful activities. No denial campaign was more insipid than that of the tobacco industry. That effort set the standard for establishing doubt in the public’s mind where none should exist. In her book, ‘Industrial-Strength Denial’, attorney Barbara Freese lays out eight stories of corporations defending the indefensible, from slave trade to climate change. Corporations can be checked by law, regulation, and public outcry but it’s often after serious damage has been done as corporate lawyers and inestimable dollars are thrown at the efforts to blunt these unscrupulous practices. The corporate structure is a perfect one in which to make anonymous an individual’s role in carrying out practices harmful to others. We explore the history and the current attack on the science of climate change by the fossil fuel industry.
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