AGW and HIV/AIDS denial

Eli Rabett has been looking at Joel Kauffman who has published some HIV/AIDS denial in JPANDS and some AGW denial in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. I’ve mentioned JPANDS here before, but JSE is even further out on the fringe, promoting stuff like UFOs and parapsychology.

Rabett has some choice quotes from Kauffman’s piece:


Either Warmers or Skeptics may accept that primordial ionizing radiation from within warms the Earth.

Later in the article Kauffman elaborates, arguing that undersea volcanoes are warming the oceans. I debunked that theory here. And he believes E-G Beck’s nonsense about CO2.

And then there’s this:

Because of the existence of a research cartel and media control in this field (Bauer, 2004), the readers’ forbearance in my use of websites and non-refereed sources is requested.

Turns out (Bauer, 2004) is also a JSE paper. And the author, Henry Bauer is another HIV/AIDS and AGW denialist. Some interesting quotes from (Bauer, 2004):

The dissident opinions on HIV/AIDS or global warming, for example, can be
found most commonly in publications associated with conservative political
views, for instance the Spectator (UK), the Washington Times, or books from
publishers like Regnery.

and

“Everyone knows” that promiscuous burning of fossil fuels is warming up
global climates33. Everyone does not know that competent experts dispute this34
and that official predictions are based on tentative data fed into computer models
whose validity could be known only many decades hence (Crichton, 2003).

Yes, he’s citing Michael “Spoon Bender” Crichton.

Anyway, Quadrant, Australia’s other pseudo-science magazine (besides Nexus), has published an HIV/AIDS denial piece by Bauer. And they also published an extremely positive review of Bauer’s HIV/AIDS denial book. The author of the review, one Sev Sternhell, also has an AGW denial piece in the latest issue of Quadrant. (It’s not online, but it’s the usual stuff, falsely claiming that the IPCC have dropped the hockey stick down the memory hole, and recommending junkscience.com as the place to go to learn about the science.)

And curiously enough, Kauffman, Bauer and Sternhell, as well as being HIV/AIDS denialists and AGW denialists are all emeritus professors of chemistry.

Comments

  1. #1 Tilo
    June 17, 2008

    Crichton once fondled my spoon while reading my aura at a dinner party. I won’t get into details, but let’s just say it didn’t bend.

  2. #2 ben
    June 17, 2008

    What’s wrong with promoting stuff like UFO’s? I saw a UFO yesterday. It might have been a rock or a baseball, but I’m not sure, so it remains unidentified to this day.

    I also think “they” ought to change the name for HIV/AIDS to AHIV/AAIDS, since it’s man induced. Really, what’s the point of denying HIV/AIDS? Like, wherever it comes from, the way to stop it is simple. Quit burning fossil fuels… er, I mean, quit using drugs and quit scrogging each other in the bum. If ever there was a bigger waste of money than that of trying to combat HIV/AIDS, I haven’t seen it, since change in lifestyle is all that is needed to wipe out the disease.

  3. #3 Noadi
    June 17, 2008

    Tell that to my hemophiliac friend who got AIDs from a blood transfusion. Oh wait, you can’t because he died in the early 90s when he was only 19.

    That’s why we need money for HIV/AIDs research and combating it, because that sort of thing happened before we knew how to screen blood effectively. It still happens in countries where that technology isn’t available due to lack of funding. As does transmission by heterosexual sex. Wake up, there are many ways HIV is spread, drug use and homosexual behavior is most common here but is not the only ways by any means.

    Not to mention it is unethical to deny treatment for any disease simply because of the way it was contracted. I know people with skin cancer, should they not be treated because they knew the risks of sun exposure? What about lung cancer or heart disease?

  4. #4 ben
    June 17, 2008

    Tell that to my hemophiliac friend who got AIDs from a blood transfusion. Oh wait, you can’t because he died in the early 90s when he was only 19.

    Well, then by that logic we ought to spend $50 million so that every person can have a lightening deflector hat to wear, since I have (had) a buddy who was hit by lightening (I made that up). Yes, there was high probability that some people would contract an HIV infection regardless of lifestyle, but now that we know about it this is highly unlikely. Now it is just a waste of money. Probably more lives could be saved around the world if the money spent on HIV/AIDS research was spent elsewhere.

    I also never said that people shouldn’t be treated. I just think that since there is a limited budget for research for ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT CAUSE DEATH that we could spend the money in ways that will lead to more lives saved. And yes, I think ailments caused by poor lifestyle decisions should take a back seat to those that are not, at least with public money. With private money, well, that can go to wherever the donor wishes.

  5. #5 Lee
    June 17, 2008

    Worldwide as of the end of 2007, about 31 million living adults, and about 2.5 million living children, were infected with HIV.

    During 2007, about 2.1 million people died of AIDS, as consequence of HIV infection – down only slightly for the peak death rate in 2005, adn continuing at that rate despite the ‘success’ fo antiretroviral therapies.

    In 2007, about 2.5 million people were infected with HIV.

    ben here argues that because HIV transmission is often due to a “lifestyle choice’ to have sex, that these numbers are not compelling reason to invest in HIV research. ben apparently also thinks that the social and personal devastation in much of africa is best addressed by telling people “quit using drugs and quit scrogging each other in the bum” without spending on trying to learn how to treat or cure a devastating transmissible disease.

    Excuse me, please, while I fight back the urge to say something very, very, very impolite to ben.

  6. #6 Lee
    June 17, 2008

    ben is apparently unaware of the following information. At least, I hope he is unaware. If he is aware of this information, and making the argument he makes – then I have no sufficient words.

    http://www.avert.org/worlstatinfo.htm

    Globally, around 11% of HIV infections are among babies who acquire the virus from their mothers; 10% result from injecting drug use; 5-10% are due to sex between men; and 5-10% occur in healthcare settings. Sex between men and women accounts for the remaining proportion – around two thirds of new infections.

    Around half of the people who acquire HIV become infected before they turn 25 and typically die of the life-threatening illnesses called AIDS before their 35th birthday. By the end of 2005, the epidemic had left behind 15.2 million AIDS orphans, defined as those aged under 18 who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. These orphans are vulnerable to poverty, exploitation and themselves becoming infected with HIV. They are often forced to leave the education system and find work, and sometimes to care for younger siblings or head a family.

    In 2007, around 420,000 children aged 14 or younger became infected with HIV. Over 90% of newly infected children are babies born to HIV-positive women, who acquire the virus during pregnancy, labour or delivery, or through their mother’s breast milk. Almost nine-tenths of such transmissions occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa’s lead in mother-to-child transmission of HIV is firmer than ever despite the evidence that HIV ultimately impairs women’s fertility; once infected, a woman can be expected to bear 20% fewer children than she otherwise would. Drugs are available to minimise the dangers of mother-to-child HIV transmission, but these are still often not reaching the places where they are most needed.

    The overwhelming majority of people with HIV, some 95% of the global total, live in the developing world. The proportion is set to grow even further as infection rates continue to rise in countries where poverty, poor health care systems and limited resources for prevention and care fuel the spread of the virus.

    The area in Africa south of the Sahara desert, known as sub-Saharan Africa, is by far the worst-affected in the world by the AIDS epidemic. The region has just over 10% of the world’s population, but is home to 68% of all people living with HIV. An estimated 1.7 million adults and children became infected with HIV during 2007. This brought the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the region to 22.5 million by the end of the year. HIV prevalence varies considerably across this region – ranging from less than 1% in Madagascar to over 30% in Swaziland.

    HIV prevalence (the proportion of people living with HIV) appears to have fallen slightly in this region over recent years because the number of new infections is exceeded by the number of deaths each year. However, the total number of people living with HIV is still rising because of overall population growth.

    In sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS killed approximately 1.6 million people in 2007. Average survival in the absence of treatment is around 10 years after infection. ARV drugs can dramatically extend survival, allowing many years of healthy life, but these remain unavailable to most Africans.

    Unlike women in most other regions in the world, African women are considerably more likely – at least 1.4 times – to be infected with HIV than men. There are a number of reasons why female prevalence is higher than male in this region, including the greater efficiency of male-to-female HIV transmission through sex and the younger age at initial infection for women.

  7. #7 Ian Forrester
    June 17, 2008

    Ben said: “If ever there was a bigger waste of money than that of trying to combat HIV/AIDS, I haven’t seen it, since change in lifestyle is all that is needed to wipe out the disease”.

    That is one of most blatant racist, sexist, homophobic and truly ignorant statements I have ever seen on this blog. You should be ashamed of your self for such spiteful and uncaring comments.

  8. #8 pough
    June 17, 2008

    I dunno. I think ben’s solution is too complicated. We don’t need to stop doing drugs, just stop having any kind of sex. After a hundred years or so, problem solved. No more people = no more AIDS (that people need to worry about, anyways).

    We’re one simple lifestyle change away from a solution.

  9. #9 James Haughton
    June 17, 2008

    I find the JSE quite interesting, actually – I think parapsychology is a fairly legitimate field of inquiry (I don’t expect they’ll find anything, but given widespread public belief, there should be people who look) and they need somewhere to publish their results. I don’t think they compare to Nexus/New Dawn. That said, I’m disappointed they’ve published this HIV denial stuff.
    I didn’t know Quadrant had taken up HIV/AIDS denial as well. But since McGuinness and then Windschuttle became editors, they have drifted further and further to the lunar right, and I suppose this is one more sign of that.

  10. #10 Boris
    June 17, 2008

    Why not let the free market take care of those AIDS babies? It’s their fault for not being more profitable.

  11. #11 Eli Rabett
    June 17, 2008

    Hell, they published plate tectonics denial stuff. You can’t go much lower than that.

  12. #12 ben
    June 17, 2008

    That is one of most blatant racist, sexist, homophobic and truly ignorant statements I have ever seen on this blog. You should be ashamed of your self for such spiteful and uncaring comments.

    There is nothing spiteful about my comments. You seem to find them emotionally challenging though. Uncaring? Like I said, there is a limited amount of money that can be spent on research and treatment of fatal conditions and diseases. Given this fact, and the GREAT DIFFICULTY researchers have had in developing a vaccine, and the impossibility of a cure (has any viral infection ever been cured?), and the fact that HIV is still a problem of lifestyle, I think the money should be spent elsewhere. Like I also wrote, feel free to donate as much of your own money to HIV research and treatment, but don’t force others to do so.

    African women are considerably more likely – at least 1.4 times – to be infected with HIV than men. There are a number of reasons why female prevalence is higher than male in this region, including the greater efficiency of male-to-female HIV transmission through sex and the younger age at initial infection for women.

    Right, and are they infected by other women? No, they are infected by men. Are they infected most often by sex with a single partner, or do they have multiple sexual partners? Given that men are less likely to acquire HIV from heterosexual sex, and that women only acquire HIV from sex with men, how exactly are the men becoming infected with HIV?

    Yes, it is a terrible tragedy in Africa, and I don’t think it will go away until Africans adopt the lifestyle of abstinence and monogamy, much as liberals hate those things. In the meantime, what I write here won’t have any effect, many millions of dollars will continue to be spent on research, and many millions more people will still die from the disease.

  13. #13 z
    June 17, 2008

    it is incontrovertible that the environmentalists have caused millions of deaths from HIV/AIDS by banning DDT.

    “you just rub the spoon for a while and pretty soon it gets soft, and it bends”
    oh, Michael, that’s not a spoon…

  14. #14 Ian Forrester
    June 17, 2008

    Ben, stop showing your ignorance. When you say “and that women only acquire HIV from sex with men” you are showing that you live in a blinkered world among racists, sexists and homophobes. Try doing some reading before making your unjustified and wrong statements.

    You also know next to nothing about viruses. Read up on small pox, it has been declared extinct, except for cultures in US and Russian labs.

  15. #15 ben
    June 17, 2008

    Racist? How the hell do you get that? Where do women (not children nor infants) contract HIV from if not sex with men or from intravenous drug use? I’m only referring to these women referred to above:

    African women are considerably more likely – at least 1.4 times – to be infected with HIV than men. There are a number of reasons why female prevalence is higher than male in this region, including the greater efficiency of male-to-female HIV transmission through sex and the younger age at initial infection for women.

    Wasn’t it clear which women I was writing about? Homophobes? Really? What was homophobic about what I wrote? Sexist? Dude, you are off your nut.

    Look, probably the biggest barrier to improvement of the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa is their inability to develop economically. Is this a problem caused or fostered somehow by the West? Hardly. African leadership is certainly the most despicable in the world. From South Africa to Zimbabwe, African governance is the most pathetic group of Marxist thugs imaginable. Someone needs to shoot Mugabe in the forehead, and it probably wouldn’t hurt anyone else if the same thing happened to Thabo Mbeki

    And don’t forget that one of the darlings of left, your good buddy Jimmy Carter, is responsible for Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror. How nice.

  16. #16 bi -- IJI
    June 17, 2008

    ben:

    > And don’t forget that one of the darlings of left, your good buddy Jimmy Carter, is responsible for Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror. How nice.

    Someone obviously can’t think about any topic outside his roster of conlibertarian talking points…

    > What’s wrong with promoting stuff like UFO’s? I saw a UFO yesterday. It might have been a rock or a baseball, but I’m not sure, so it remains unidentified to this day.

    It’s a rock or a baseball, so let’s attribute it to aliens or Area 51. Yeah, what’s wrong with that?

  17. #17 Tushara
    June 18, 2008

    I am sure that Ben would therefore agree that G.H.W. Bush is responsible for Saddam Hussien, Bin Laden and henceforth 9/11.

  18. #18 Roger Jones
    June 18, 2008

    Tilo @ #1

    Tilo, you bastard. I was sitting here with my silver spoon in my mouth and you made me laugh so that hard I swallowed it. My aura now has a spoon-shaped deformity in it.

  19. #19 PSC
    June 18, 2008

    “has any viral infection ever been cured?”

    A great many, in many hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of people annually. Hepatitis B and C, rabies, and some strains of influenza are the ones that spring to mind where a post-exposure vaccine or antiviral is used in the clearing of the virus from the body.

    Of course there’s a bajillion self-limiting viral infections which occur every year as well.

  20. #20 Marion Delgado
    June 18, 2008

    Let me introduce you all to the postmodern concept of a “subtext.”

    ben, for instance, has a subtext of “stupid covers a multitude of sins.”

  21. #22 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 18, 2008

    Here is an exercise for those concerned about geothermal heating of the climate system.

    The climate system receives a steady-state average of about 237 watts per square meter of the Earth’s surface in solar energy.

    The geothermal surface flux averages 0.087 watts per square meter.

    Divide A by B. Discuss.

  22. #23 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 18, 2008

    ben writes:

    And yes, I think ailments caused by poor lifestyle decisions should take a back seat to those that are not, at least with public money

    So you’d be against using public money to search for a cure for lung cancer, I take it, or heart disease, since the overwhelming causes for those are smoking and poor diet, respectively?

    I’ve got another idea. How about funding research into diseases on the basis of how many people they affect?

  23. #24 Interrobang
    June 18, 2008

    What Lee was apparently too nice to tell Ben is that a vast number of women in Africa who contract HIV get it from rape. That is, men rape them. (And yes, coercing a prostitute to let you have sex with her without using a condom is rape. Period. The fact that men in Africa can do so bespeaks a deeply sexist culture where men can not only purchase women’s bodies for their use, but override the woman’s wishes as to what is done with her body.) So in what way is saying “change the women’s lifestyle” not an incredibly sexist thing to say, given that men are the problem here.

    And Ben, if you can come up with a way of stopping men from raping women (let’s be very clear about how this happens; passive voice kills), I’m all ears and then some. But you can’t, so you’ll just whine about abstinence some more.

  24. #25 Lee
    June 18, 2008

    ben shows his ignorance and bias again:

    “probably the biggest barrier to improvement of the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa is their inability to develop economically. ”

    Actually, Africa IS developing economically. The problem isn’t an inability to develop – there is no such inability. Most of Africa shows respectable rates of growth. The problem is that they started so far behind, that even respectable rates of economic growth havent yet hit that inflection point in the growth curve that gives large positive results.

  25. #26 ben
    June 18, 2008

    So you’d be against using public money to search for a cure for lung cancer, I take it, or heart disease, since the overwhelming causes for those are smoking and poor diet, respectively?

    Yep.

    So in what way is saying “change the women’s lifestyle” not an incredibly sexist thing to say, given that men are the problem here.

    I think the money could be better spent in this case on kicking the crap out of these rapist assholes. Prevention you see. And still, I don’t think anything should be done about it with public money. Feel free to donate all you like.

    Actually, Africa IS developing economically.

    Tell that to Robert Mugabe. IIRC, the country with in Africa with the greatest economic freedom is also the country there that is having the best results in dealing with HIV/AIDS: Uganda. How about that?

  26. #27 ben
    June 18, 2008

    And I know, I know, “abstinence only” sex education is the devil, at least to the left who wants us to all go around scrogging like bonobos. I never did understand this. Anyway, just to get this out, I read that recent study about “abstinence only” sex education and was quite surprised by what “abstinence only” refers to.

    For certain, the term conjures up images of sex ed in which oppressive and ignorant religious teachers instruct their pupils to not have sex until marriage, and to not ask any questions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The sex ed class I took in the 9th grade in a little farming town in Oregon was, according to the definition used in the study, “abstinence only.” Why? Because the course stressed that abstinence is the only 100% method in terms of pregnancy prevention and STD avoidance. The course was EXHAUSTIVE about all the other methods of birth control. How to employ these methods. For whom the methods are suitable. And THE FAILURE RATES. OMG not that! If kids know that these methods aren’t perfect, the might not go on bonobo-esq scrogging rampages! Can’t have that!

    The point I’m trying to make is this: calling sex-ed programs “abstinence only” when they are not is highly dishonest and underhanded. And the left wonders why the right thinks the education establishment is biased.

  27. #28 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    “The course was EXHAUSTIVE about all the other methods of birth control. How to employ these methods. For whom the methods are suitable. And THE FAILURE RATES.”

    Then it wasn’t abstinence only, was it?

  28. #29 ben
    June 18, 2008

    That’s my point. And actually I goofed. In the survey, the researchers considered any ed program that was comprehensive regardless of the abstinence focus to be “comprehensive.” The strange thing was that the reference [6] is a democratic party study on the issue, and that …

    Argh. Upon closer examination, I retract everything I wrote about sex ed. Good fricking grief, but you won’t be the only ones glad to see Bush go. I’m just sad that Obama and McCain are the only choices left.

  29. #30 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    “If ever there was a bigger waste of money than that of trying to combat HIV/AIDS, I haven’t seen it, since change in lifestyle is all that is needed to wipe out the disease.”

    How about heart transplants for the obese and medical care for smokers with lung cancer?

  30. #31 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    “Why not let the free market take care of those AIDS babies? It’s their fault for not being more profitable.”

    No, no.no.

    It’s the lack or CLEAR PROPERTY RIGHTS, if we sold the AIDS babies, their new owners would have an incentive to invest in AIDS drugs for them in order to maximise the value of their investment.

  31. #32 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    I’m sure if one of Ben’s kids gets hold of one of daddy’s guns and accidentally blows half their brains out, Ben will fight tooth and nail to prevent any public money being spent on their care.

  32. #33 ben
    June 19, 2008

    How about heart transplants for the obese and medical care for smokers with lung cancer?

    I suppose it isn’t a waste of their money. Too bad they didn’t eat right and not smoke in the first place, eh? And my money is better spent somewhere else, probably. Like on HIV/AIDS orphans in africa, for example.

    I’m sure if one of Ben’s kids gets hold of one of daddy’s guns and accidentally blows half their brains out, Ben will fight tooth and nail to prevent any public money being spent on their care.

    Your just a sexist, racist homophobe.

  33. #34 saurabh
    June 19, 2008

    I find the odious things ben has written on this page to be extremely distasteful. If this were my blog, he’d be banned. Not only is his writing extremely ignorant and wrong on just about every point he has made, he evinces a complete lack of sympathy for people in dire circumstances and condemns them to death and their children to misery. Can we be rid of him?

    My grandfather smoked pipe tobacco all his life. If he hadn’t, he probably wouldn’t have had the severe heart problems he has now. He could have avoided it through his lifestyle choices. But you know what? That doesn’t merit a death sentence. And I’m amazed anyone who suggests it does has the audacity to call themselves a Christian.

  34. #35 ben
    June 19, 2008

    My grandfather smoked pipe tobacco all his life. If he hadn’t, he probably wouldn’t have had the severe heart problems he has now. He could have avoided it through his lifestyle choices. But you know what? That doesn’t merit a death sentence. And I’m amazed anyone who suggests it does has the audacity to call themselves a Christian.

    Merit a death sentence? This is what I wrote, please read it carefully: The amount of money available to research and treat deadly diseases is LIMITED. I suggest that those ailments NOT brought about by lifestyle choice ought to get first dibs at public funds. OTHERWISE YOU ARE CONDEMNING THE INNOCENT TO DEATH, SO MAKE YOUR CHOICE AND PLEASE FUCK OFF!

    Sorry if you find reality distasteful. And always remember that your private money can go wherever you like. And if you make a choice with your private money to help with one disease or group affected by it, then are you condemning the ones you didn’t help to death?!? Or is it a fact of life that time and resources are scarce.

  35. #36 John Mashey
    June 19, 2008

    As a public service:
    Of 35 posts so far:
    1) there are 6 posts by ben
    2) there are about 20 posts replying to ben, I think [sicne I don't see ben's posts, courtesy Firefox+Greasemonkey+killfile].

    Hence, ben has achieved a 26/35 = 74% consumption of this thread, which theoretically was about the relationship between AGW-denail and HIV/AIDS denial.

    Some otherwise rational people just CANNOT resist feeding trolls and letting them totally drown out a topic. While threads are recorded “for eternity”, only a few are actually worth reading after the heat of battle, because the S/N ratio gets so low.

    So, back to the original topic:

    if someone is an HIV/AIDS denier, are they likely to be an AGW denier?

    if either, are they likely to be fond of other odd ideas, or these just specific hot-button issues?

  36. #37 ben
    June 19, 2008

    if someone is an HIV/AIDS denier, are they likely to be an AGW denier?

    For what purpose would they be denying HIV/AIDS? Certainly not for the evil capitalist reasons behind AGW denying, since the drug companies need to make their dough off of HIV/AIDS treatments. Where’s the relationship? Who stands to gain?