Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Heartland Institute flaunts its tobacco denialism

It's well documented that tobacco companies are promoting climate change denialism and then latching on to the distrust of science they've created to assist their own denial of the link between second-hand smoke and cancer (shown here and here).

So the Heartland Institute's "Environment & Climate News" publication somehow ended up in the building full of environmentalists where I work. It's a 20-page tabloid-sized publication that resembles a news-packed summary of everything climate-related. Someone's paying them good money to write and produce it.

And of course, pages 8 and 9 are about why second-hand smoke isn't dangerous (available here). The author appears to be a pulmonologist. I have trouble seeing how he could tell his patients that second-hand smoke isn't dangerous (especially children) and not be committing malpractice. On the other hand, he appears to spend so much time writing articles that maybe he avoids that problem by not having actual patients.

Anyway, I didn't expect to see the tobacco-climate connection be so blatant. In effect the newsletter is saying to smokers, "all this science stuff they throw at you is garbage - go ahead and light up, it's not really hurting your spouse or your kids."

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