Junk Scientist Michael Mann Now Promoting HIV/AIDS Misinformation
Not content with promoting junk climate science the former poster boy of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has now published his latest unscientific rant, ‘The Subterranean War on Science‘.
Pronouncing that “science denial kills,” Penn. State University’s Michael Mann’s new paper launches off by promoting a myth first promulgated by data fraudster, Dr. Pride Chigwedere (2008). Chigwedere’s false claim was of 300,000 needless South African deaths due to President Mbeki’s refusal to adopt Big Pharma’s use of antiretroviral drugs.
Clark Baker, CEO of the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice (OMSJ) and a dedicated opponent of junk HIV/AIDS science unequivically dismisses Mann’s claim as “pure propaganda.” But then, those of us familiar with Michael Mann, infamous for his ‘hockey stick’ graph, can see why he and co-author, Stephan Lewandowsky, find such affinity with Chigwedere. Mann’s reputation is now so low that even those who were once his closest colleagues distance themselves from his shenanigans.
Lewandowsky, Mann’s accomplice in the latest tawdry piece, is likewise increasingly mocked among his peers. The tortured (and tortuous) twosome have just published (November, 2013), in the Association of Psychological Science (APS), a 2,400-word outpouring of hate against critics who simply demand that scientists be more open about their methods and data. And heaven knows this is desperately needed with so much apparent fraud and deceit tarnishing the image of government scientists in general.
But in this paper we see that Lewandowsky’s and Mann’s old habits die hard. They are back to the same tricks – this time telling ‘porkies’ about the AIDS/HIV controversy.
As Clark Baker points out, “As I reported here, Chigwedere admits to using estimates that UNAIDS admits were deliberately inflated and FAR BELOW South Africa’s actual mortality numbers.” (see table below)
The Chigwedere data begs the question: if AIDS allegedly kills millions in Africa, why has Africa’s population doubled from 400-800 million during the same period? The source of such misinformation is Nathan Geffen of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which is funded by mining giant AngloGold and TAG, which is funded by pharma. Chigwedere’s report was funded by the Harvard School of Public Health, which received a $160 million spike of AIDS funding from HRSA in the years leading up to publication (2008). As they say: follow the money!
Just as Mann has had his judgment skewed by having his snout deep in the funding trough, so has Chigwedere who admits to using estimates that UNAIDS admits were deliberately inflated. Indeed, when you perform due diligence and check the actual data – rather than junk science hype – we see that South Africa’s actual mortality represents a tiny fraction of Geffen’s inflated numbers:
By 2007, reported HIV mortality remained negligible:
The evidence thus shows that Michael Mann will shamelessly and unscrupulously promote a lie to meet the needs of the Academic-Governmental-Industrial Complex (AGIC). We may fairly infer that what we have here are unprincipled scientists now reduced to using misguided science journals to publish vicious and vituperative attacks on others who dare question why science of key public interest is done in secret.
But with the likes of Mann, Lewandowsky, Chigwedere and Geffen exposed as data manipulaters shilling for AGIC, aren’t we right to demand they show us all their numbers? And we should continue to remind them it is both a requirement of the Scientific Method and a Kantian principle to allow information to flow. It is for the better good of science that henceforth all claims made by the aforementioned are properly scrutinised. In the final anaylsis full transparency is worth the cost.