I recently came across this George Will column pointing out how in the 1970s, there was an emerging scientific consensus on the inevitability of “global cooling.”
Of course, we all know that today it is “global warming” that it supposed to be the big ecological issue. Many deniers of the global warming hypothesis are considered to be shills for the petroleum industry, but Alexander Cockburn has argued that some from the “global warming alarmist” crowd can be accused of being similar shills for the nuclear industry.
The other big doomsday scenario currently being promoted is Peak Oil. At the North American Secessionist Conference in 2008, I heard Sebastian Ronin give a comprehensive and convincing overview of the case for the theory of Peak Oil. Yet there are serious arguments for the other side as well.
Another interesting scientific controversy of this type is the HIV=AIDS denial movement. The most important figure in this movement is probably Dr. Peter Duesberg. According to Duesberg and others of this camp, AIDS is caused not by HIV, but by malnutrition, drug abuse, congenital problems like heart disease and hemophilia or, in some cases, anti-AIDS drugs themselves. There does seem to be some evidence to support this theory, like the case of Lindsay Nagel. The problem is that for every case that seems to detract from HIV=AIDS orthodoxy, there are others that seem to confirm the orthodox position, like that of Christine Maggiore.
So what’s the real story with all of these different controversies? I have no idea, and I have no relevant credentials, experience, or training in fields that would allow me to make an educated guess about the “truth” on these questions. What do readers think?