UN Cuts AIDS Estimates, Will Global Warming Projections Follow?

November 20th, 2007 10:56 AM

As NewsBusters readers are aware, one of the positions of those not buying into the manmade global warming hysteria is that the United Nations -- whose Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a large part of the alarmism -- is an organization that has seen more than its share of malfeasance and corruption.

The recent scandal surrounding the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food program is one example, with problems that eventually plagued UNICEF another.

Now, it has been revealed that the U.N. has been exaggerating the AIDS epidemic for many years. As reported Tuesday by the Washington Post (emphasis added throughout):

The United Nations' top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents prepared for the announcement.

AIDS remains a devastating public health crisis in the most heavily affected areas of sub-Saharan Africa. But the far-reaching revisions amount to at least a partial acknowledgment of criticisms long leveled by outside researchers who disputed the U.N. portrayal of an ever-expanding global epidemic.

Kind of like the so-called climate change deniers that have long leveled criticisms disputing the IPCC's portrayal of an ever-expanding catastrophe caused by anthropogenic global warming, wouldn't you agree? But there's much more:

The latest estimates, due to be released publicly Tuesday, put the number of annual new HIV infections at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 percent from last year's estimate, documents show. The worldwide total of people infected with HIV -- estimated a year ago at nearly 40 million and rising -- now will be reported as 33 million.

Having millions fewer people with a lethal contagious disease is good news. Some researchers, however, contend that persistent overestimates in the widely quoted U.N. reports have long skewed funding decisions and obscured potential lessons about how to slow the spread of HIV. Critics have also said that U.N. officials overstated the extent of the epidemic to help gather political and financial support for combating AIDS.

Sounds exactly like claims being made by global warming skeptics concerning the IPCC, doesn't it? But there's more:

"There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way."

Indeed. Yet, these revelations should also refocus Americans and people around the world to recognize that this is what the U.N. does, and that any projections and estimates from this body should be seriously questioned for their veracity.

Taking this a step further, as a result of this announcement, maybe everything coming out of the IPCC should be totally ignored, as nations around the world, certainly including the United States, should not be making economic or energy policies based on anything an organization so obviously corrupt is producing.

After all, wouldn't it be unconscionable for America to embark on an economically devastating carbon cap-and-trade program only to find out years from now that the IPCC had intentionally exaggerated its climate change predictions for political and funding reasons?