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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Duesberg on AIDS – Musings about the Nature of Dissidence

Peter Duesberg at a Libertarian Conference

I have not seen this before although I am familiar with most of the contents.

Now, here's a funny thing. I am genuinely puzzled by this. Your comments will be welcome, honestly.

There are no hard and fast statistics about what follows. It could be done by conducting polls at Libertarian Conferences.

My strong impression is that upholders of free markets (1) are very likely to be sceptical about Climate Catastrophism (2). If you are doubtful about Climate Catastrophism, you are unlikely to be a hard-line Darwinian (3). If you are dissatisfied with the Darwinian consensus, you may well be similarly dissatisfied with the HIV theory of AIDS (4). If you are an AIDS dissenter then you may not be persuaded of the "peak oil" disaster scenario (5). Clearly, I am not saying that 1 leads inexorably to 2, 3, 4 and 5.

I am in all these camps and suspect that if I were to meet a kindred spirit from any of them, there would be a better than even chance that the person would be in at least one of the others.

So, assuming that there is some validity in my speculation, how shall we account for the phenomenon?

The easiest answer would be say that I am simply mad, that mad people have all sorts of mad ideas. This answer has the advantage of simplicity.

Another answer would be to say that I am incorrigibly contrarian, that I oppose pretty well everything the majority accepts. The problem with this is that I do accept thousands of mainstream opinions. I don't go around looking for conventional ideas to oppose. You have to trust me on this; I have privileged access here.

Each of these camps is very different from all the others in detailed respects. But a similarity shared by all of them is that in each case the position they oppose is supported by very powerful vested interests. Of course a position is not invalidated by the fact some people benefit if others accept the position.

It would be interesting to know if you are in any of my five camps above. If so, are you in any of the others too? If someone hints that they are, for example, "tired of all this Global Warming nonsense", ask them whether they think that government interference in markets (by manipulating interest rates, by high taxes and heavy regulation) is, on balance, good or bad.

Regrettably, although there are lots and lots of people who detest socialism and an increasing number who are unconvinced by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change, most people are totally unaware of, for example, the Russian/Ukrainian Theory of Abiotic Petroleum. How many people know that thousands of scientists admit that the fossil record does not provide the proof of Darwinian Evolution that the Biology Establishment claims it does? Cambrian Explosion, what are you talking about? Everybody knows that HIV is "the virus that causes AIDS" – radio and TV and the press have told them so thousands of times. The vested interests do not typically address their opponents' arguments. They do their damnedest to prevent them from publishing. Phil Jones at the CRU (University of East Anglia) admits as much.

Is it because I am mad or contrarian or because I have eccentrically decided to read up on these controversies?

What about "9/11 Truthers", I hear you cry. Frankly, I believe some of these people have difficult questions. Equally frankly, I have not read up on the subject – I simply cannot bear the thought that they may be on to something. What a coward!

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