Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If You Don't Use Your Head They're Using You

[Thomas Friedman], Al Gore, James Hansen of NASA, and others present climate change as some kind of super-ultra emergency. Global warming is a problem, one that must be managed via greenhouse-gas restrictions and a weaning away from fossil fuels. But in a world of poverty, disease, dictatorships, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, lack of girls' education, and more than 1 billion people without cleaning drinking water or electricity—climate change barely makes the Problem Top 10.

-- Gregg Easterbrook, mentioning the #1 lie of our time, in the Slate.com.

For [James Chin, who worked in the World Health Organisation’s Global Programme on AIDS], the,...AIDS story is an example of a ‘glorious myth’ – a tale that is ‘gloriously or nobly false’, but told ‘for a good cause’. He claims that government and international agencies, and AIDS advocacy organisations, ‘have distorted HIV epidemiology in order to perpetuate the myth of the great potential for HIV epidemics to spread into “general” populations’. In particular, he alleges, HIV/AIDS ‘estimates and projections are “cooked” or made up’.

While [Elizabeth Pisani, of UNAIDS] disputes Chin’s claim that UNAIDS epidemiologists deliberately overestimated the epidemic, she admits to what she describes as ‘beating up’ the figures, insisting – unconvincingly – that there is a ‘huge difference’ between ‘making it up (plain old lying) and beating it up’. Pisani freely acknowledges her role in manipulating statistics to maximise their scare value, and breezily dismisses the ‘everyone-is-at-risk nonsense’ of the,...‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ campaign.

-- Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, on how the claims of an AIDS epidemic "made a fool of everyone", in Spiked!.