In the 2014 film Merchants of Doubt a small group of well funded lobbyists cast doubts over the science linking tobacco to lung cancer and fossil fuels to climate change.

In Carbon Tracker’s new series: Myths of the Transition by Kingsmill Bond, the ‘merchants of doubt’ make further appearances, with the likes of Bjorn Lomborg, James Delingpole and Donald Trump spreading myths such as:

  • Renewables are too small to matter
  • Intermittency problems mean renewables are unreliable & can never reach scale
  • The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine so we need fossil fuels
  • Renewables are uneconomic without massive subsidies
  • Fossil fuels are necessary to lift the poor out of poverty

Watch a selection of these common myths and the merchants of doubt who peddle them below.

Carbon Tracker’s Communications Officer Rachel Carr and New Energy Analyst Kingsmill Bond presented on the Myths of the Energy Transition at COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

Kingsmill Bond breaks down each argument, zeroing in upon the myth at its core, explaining why the merchants of doubt are wrong, and how investors stand to lose money at the peak of fossil fuel demand, which will come much sooner than the fossil fuel incumbents dare to imagine, and as soon as 2023.

Watch Kingsmill and Rachel’s Myths of the Transition presentation at COP24 (from 59 mins) on the UNFCCC livestream here:

Find a copy of the powerpoint presentation on slideshare here:

Download copies of Kingsmill’s Myths of the Transition analyst notes series here: