On The Huffington (Puffington) Post
Full "re-doctored" piece:
Global Warming Denialism and beyond to HIV & AIDS
by Bob Ostertag
Also featured on Aidstruth.org
People are actually challenging the out of touch claims and the propaganda spun by those who seem to think that they have real authority on these subjects. So Bob gets angry.
Bob is an "artist", a musician and actor, at least that what the information available on the Internet says, still this does not stop him from writing with total authority on such issues, which would be fine I he were not doing it all under the banner of "anti-denialism". He is attacking and slandering those who question by calling them "denialists" and equating them with "holocaust denial". His use of this label is also affirming the fevered religious nature of his argument, as opposed to the scientific or simply the clear headed.
Must he incessantly cry "heresy" to make his point? It seems so...
After listing the questions people have raised in their posts in a dismissive manner, he takes the high moral ground, claims absolute authority and he retorts back with a tirade, which reads like the journalistic equivalent of a Bonnie Langford (Violet from the classic 60's kids show Just William) moment:
Answering some points:
Quotes in italics and some in colour for some unfathomable reason.
Replies are in bold.
Two days ago, I wrote about a recent survey that showed that Americans' concern over global climate change had decreased over the last 12 months, and urged the Obama campaign to make it a much bigger priority than it has. Though I did not anticipate this would be a controversial argument, as of now the post has over 300 comments. Even more surprising is the number of commenters who assert that global warming is either a myth or a conspiracy. To cite just a few: * "If you're lucky to live long enough, you'll see a lot of these "scares" come and go throughout your lifetime. This is just the latest. When the next one comes the chanting crowd will move over and attach itself to it." * "In a few more years Global Warming will be shown to be the scam and money making scheme that many already know it to be. I'm not going to argue degrees and post link after link showing the falsehoods." * "Green house gases are a myth. A volcano puts out more green house gases with one eruption than the US puts out in 3 years. Get a new cause - check your facts." * "All this hysteria about global warming is a ruse to allow governments to tax us more." * "Americans are finally coming out of the ether. Slowly we are realizing "man made" global warming is one of the greatest lies told to the world. More and more scientist are coming forward with the truth about the flawed science behind it. I'm, as I have been ALL my life, am proud of this country!! We are the best at thinking for ourselves." There are many more. And these are from readers of The Huffington Post, a group I would have thought would be among the best informed. However, Huffington Post readers are likely among those Americans who get most of their news from the Internet, and these responses highlight the complex impact of the Internet on public opinion.
-Your “opinion” is found on the Internet too. So, the same criteria would apply to you too I presume?
These commenter are for the most part not uninformed but rather misinformed.-Your “opinion” again. Your statement of “opinion” is based on what "authority? How misinformed?
And what about vested interests? Don't they count? Many have vested interests in these causes, where huge sums of money are granted to practically anyone claiming to be an activist organisation fighting to save the world or lives. AIDS is a classic example of this, where you have many organisation who receive huge amounts of money from the Pharma industry. Just look at the sponsors for an AIDS conference, or any AIDS event. They always look more like a "Pharma" event more than an "AIDS" one.
No, I think we are rather well informed on many things that you do not seem to be.
They can cite a combination of research that was well-done but is out of date, research that was well-done but has been misinterpreted, research that was badly done, and weird conspiracy theories, all with the support of key conservative institutions and pundits.-Here are two statements based on "reserch" posted over at Hank Barnes Blog. They are by two leading "AIDS" figures, none of whom are "denialists" though I admit I don't know if they are "conservatives":
"HIV is unquestionably transmitted through heterosexual intercourse. Indeed, heterosexual intercourse is now responsible for 70-80% of all HIV transmissions worldwide"
----Dr. Nancy Padian, UCSF, (2006)
"It is very unlikely there will be a heterosexual epidemic in other countries. Ten years ago a lot of people were saying there would be a generalised epidemic in Asia – China was the big worry with its huge population. That doesn't look likely. "
--Dr. Kevin De Cock, World Heath Organization, Dept. of HIV/AIDS (2008)
It is an important reminder that when we discuss how to mobilize our country on the issue of climate change, we must reckon not only with educating the uneducated and mobilizing the inactive, we must also reckon with a surprisingly large group of the active, vocal and miseducated.
-Political paranoia apart, with what “authority” do you present yourself as someone who has it "right" whilst all the rest who disagree have it “wrong”? For every study you present to make your case, there are 20 more that will demolish it. Are you a climatologist or a retrovirologist as well as an artist and journalist?
The whole stance of climate change denialists has uncanny parallels to that of AIDS denialists, who deny that HIV causes AIDS.
-Yes the most striking one being the use of the word “denialist” by both groups who defend the baloney, to equate any questioning and skepticism with ”holocaust denial". That is the most glaring example of that parallel.
The causative role of HIV in the development of AIDS has been established and is the subject of scientific consensus.
-Now who is out of touch? Wrong! There was never, nor is there now a scientific consensus on "HIV" causing "AIDS", whatever those terms mean.
See here on HIV & AIDS
See here for Global warming as well, since you seem to be such an expert on both these issues.
The false scientific consensus on "aids" was shattered last week when Kevin De Cock of the who said Heterosexual AIDS was OVER was over. With that, the phony “consensus” you talk of was shattered on all fronts, scientifically, politically and journalistically as well.
Denialist arguments are considered to be the result of cherry-picking and misrepresentation of predominantly outdated scientific data, with the potential to endanger public health by dissuading people from utilizing proven treatments.
-“Considered” by whom? I will deal with the idea of “endangerment” later...
With the rejection of these arguments by the scientific community, AIDS denialist material is currently spread largely through the Internet. (Wikipedia)
-it is everywhere not just on Wikipedia. There are books and documentaries too. There is 25 years of material on this topic, on which you claim there has been a “consensus”.
This is a group with whom I have had extensive experience, as they have had a very public activist presence here in my home town of San Francisco. As with climate change denialists, AIDS denialists piece together their arguments from misinterpretations of valid scientific papers, from the comments of respected scientists venturing out of their specialty and writing in non-peer reviewed journals, and the political support of conservative institutions. And again, as with climate change denialism, the whole package gets its momentum and false air of rigor from being endlessly circulated on the Internet.
-The mainstream media censors any open questioning, so the internet is where one can find all arguments, both sides of the coin are there. So, maybe it is through the internet that one can get a clear picture of the truth here. To suggest that you are the only one offering it is ridiculous.
Are aidstruth not on the internet too? And you. Where do you think we read you? You use the medium, but also criticize it on the grounds that it does not give you and your chums from the "email aidstruth group" sole clout.
Here on the internet you have to actually debate, as opposed to just dictate, as you do on the msm. That is really why you are so furious with the internet. You try and invalidate it because it does not just give you and yours alone the space to dictate, but puts you out there, so people can answer you and question you. Why are you so scared of that?
What is most remarkable about AIDS denialism is how it has persevered through 25 years of the epidemic. In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, many of the arguments were not so far-fetched. But in 1996-1997, the course of the epidemic changed with the introduction of highly effective medications. People who started taking the medications stopped dying.
-There's a good bit of Orwellian “doublethink/newspeak".
People did not stop dying when the new "lifesaving" but "toxic black-box label" drug cocktail was invented.
People stopped dying when mono-therapy AZT was not given anymore to all and sundry who tested "positive" with that highly questionable, totally non-specific-non-validated, so called "HIV" test, which detects nothing specific to "HIV" and everything else besides.
Azt was given to people at three times the dose it had been shown and known to kill anything or anyone that took it. We all saw our friends die from that. Healthy men who came home with a "diagnosis" and a bag of AZT pills, who took them and shrivelled up and died right in front of our incredulous eyes.
That is why people stopped dying.
One would have thought that would have ended the debate. Incredibly, it did not. In fact, many denialists clung to their misunderstandings right through their own deaths – deaths that in many cases could have been avoided had the deceased taken HIV medications that were readily available to them. Ken Anderlini was a co-moderator of the "AIDS Myth Exposed" message board on MSN. Anderlini died in April of 2007. A fellow denialist wrote a death announcement saying: "Over the past couple of years his health had declined rapidly with a strange neurological disease for which nobody could pinpoint the cause (except doctors who claimed it was HIV related, of course)." Another denialist activist, Michael Bellafontaine died on May 10, 2007. His obituary reported that "According to Andrea Lindsay, a friend and fellow activist, Mr. Bellefountaine died of a sudden systemic infection, though the exact cause has not been determined." (AIDSTruth.org has a web page that tracks the deaths of AIDS denialists.)
-Aidstruth.org? The “leaderless-email group of “doctors” and "hobbyists” according to Nick Bennett, one of its leading members? That Aidstruth?
Aidstruth whose list of members dwindles by the day? That aidstruth? Where JP Moore and others have just recently all vanished from the members list, because they could not dedicate all their life and time to aids? (according to Nick Bennett again), but that does not seem to stop them or you from claiming total authority on the subject.
Links to the full exchange are here & here
Well, forgive us for not putting our lives in their hands, but somehow, I for one just don't trust them.
Some leading sceptics have been doing just that, dedicating all their time and effort to look into this issue, how have these people less authority and credibility than the aidstruth gang? On what grounds? How?
How are these people at Aidstruth.org an authority on aids? How are our lives best served by the “opinions” of a group of chums who email each other, according to you? How?
How about that for public endangerment?
The spectacle of AIDS denialists clinging to their views right through their own illnesses and up to their very deaths does not bode well for the future of debate on global climate change.
-Right now the true spectacle is the one offered by people like Aidstruth.org and yourself, who seem to think that throwing wobblies slandering, taking the high moral ground, claiming authority, consensus, superiority, ignoring facts, denigrating the dead, claiming you know what they really died of…
Now that is one hell of a spectacle. Yes!
Many of us have been asking ourselves at what point the effects of climate change will be so obvious that debate over the basic facts of the matter will finally cease. The course of AIDS denialism suggests that the answer to the question might be never.
-There you are right. Never!
And just for the record, the Brits don’t buy the "Global Warming" baloney either: read here
And here is another good piece by The Guardian you may wish to read.
"The exploitation of AIDS".
He seems to be talking about the people you say are to be trusted. Oh those traitors the Brits, they have gone all "denialist too.
You should take note that right now, not even the World Health Organisation has the moral right to claim that kind of authority, because it has just publicly admitted that it lied, so for you to claim it yourself or in the name of your chums at Aidstruth.org, is not only foolish but the hight of bad taste and ignorance too.
To keep using the term "denialists" against people who question is an obvious dirty tactic reminiscent of the worse excesses of the hysterically deluded clergy rallying support to slaughter in the name of the "holy" inquisition. It is grotesque.
People have every right to question because they actually pay money, tax contributions that goes into these "unproven" and at times, insultingly outlandish theories. Everyone pays, sceptics are not exempt, so on those grounds alone, your tone and choice of words describing them as "denialists" are totally out of order. So if you want to be taken seriously you should consider dropping the Bernardo Gui attitude.
You should also stop protesting because people are refusing to listen to you and your chums from Aidstruth.org, after all, neither you nor they have any real "authority" here, all you are entitled to is an "opinion". Stop calling people names just because they are refusing to believe your opinion anymore and are asking questions.
After all if people are more skeptical and outright vocal at this moment, it must be because there are some pretty horrendous facts coming to light, that frankly, smell bad, very bad, and it ain’t the corpses either, but that “old smell of mendacity” that has pervaded the air to such an extent, that it has made it quite unbreathable.