There is a review of “Merchants of Doubt” by Oreskes at the Economist.
This quote shows roughly their take:
In this powerful book, Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway, two historians of science, show how big tobacco’s disreputable and self-serving tactics were adapted for later use in a number of debates about the environment. Their story takes in nuclear winter, missile defence, acid rain and the ozone layer. In all these debates a relatively small cadre of right-wing scientists, some of them eminent, worked through organisations sometimes created specially for the purpose to take on a scientific establishment that they perceived to be dangerously unsympathetic to the interests of capital and national security.
Notice how careful they are in that summary to avoid saying that these right-wing scientists were wrong. No, all that happened was that the right-wingers “perceived to be dangerously unsympathetic”. Later on they manage
The techniques employed included disinformation of various sorts coupled with an enduring and disgraceful willingness to stick to discredited arguments that seemed to play well. It is a shameful story for many of those concerned
but still they can’t bring themselves to say “and they were wrong”.
More interestingly, although the book subtitle is Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. the Economst somehow contrives to avoid even mentioning GW. I felt moved to tell them so; I wonder if that will prove interesting?