July 21, 2010
By: David Gutierrez
Newsweek has published a feature article exposing what many psychology researchers refer to as “the dirty little secret”: that antidepressant drugs do not work any better than placebo pills.
Author Sharon Begley notes that while antidepressants do in fact cause improvement in 75 percent of patients, so do placebo pills. In a landmark 1998 study, researchers Irving Kirsch and Guy Sapirstein found that a full 75 percent of antidepressants’ effectiveness could be attributed to the placebo effect.
Upon facing criticism for not including every study in their analysis, Kirsch and Sapirstein used the Freedom of Information Act to acquire data from all corporate-funded antidepressant studies submitted to the FDA. Two interesting facts emerged. First, the researchers found that 40 percent of studies conducted had gone unpublished, significantly higher than the 22 percent for other drugs.
“By and large, the unpublished studies were those that failed to show a significant benefit,” Kirsch said.
Second, when all studies were included, the drugs came out less effective, with placebo accounting for 82 percent of their effectiveness. The non-placebo improvement was only 1.8 points on the 54-point depression diagnostic scale. Sleeping better counts for six points.
The Newsweek article further notes that even those extra 1.8 points can be attributed to placebos: people in drug studies who experience side effects realize they are taking a real drug, which makes their placebo reaction stronger. The placebo effect also explains the increased effectiveness of higher drug doses, and why sometimes a second or third drug is effective when the first failed. It all comes down to belief.
These findings have serious implications for the entire premise on which antidepressant drugs rest: the chemical theory of depression. Other than the presumed effectiveness of antidepressants — a presumption called into question yet again by a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association — there is literally no evidence to support this theory.
“Direct evidence doesn’t exist,” Begley writes. “Lowering people’s serotonin levels does not change their mood.”
November 4, 2009
By Paul Joseph Watson
In a new development that is potentially devastating to the agenda to introduce a global carbon tax and a cap and trade system, Al Gore admits that the majority of global warming that occurred until 2001 was not primarily caused by CO2.
Before we get too excited, Gore is not backing away from his support for the theory of man-made climate change, but his concession that carbon dioxide only accounted for 40% of warming according to new studies could seriously harm efforts to tax CO2, that evil, life-giving gas that humans exhale and plants absorb.
“Gore acknowledged to Newsweek that the findings could complicate efforts to build a political consensus around the need to limit carbon emissions,” reports BB News.
Yesterday we reported on how Gore was set to become the first “carbon billionaire” on the back of vast profits from companies invested in the “green revolution” that the former vice-president has a hefty stake in.
We also highlighted how the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has direct ties to both Al Gore and Maurice Strong, two figures intimately involved with a long standing movement to use the theory of man made global warming as a mechanism for profit and social engineering. Gore’s investment company, Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offset opportunities, is the largest shareholder of CCX.
Gore stands to make windfall profits from his stake in carbon trading systems that would be used to manage the cap and trade system currently being readied for passage in the Senate, but his admission that CO2 is far less of a threat than global warming alarmists have been claiming could be a terminal blow for such a proposal.
As Andrew Bolt writes in today’s Australian Herald Sun, his flip-flopping “Suggests not only that was Gore wrong to claim the science was “settled”, but that the hugely expensive schemes to “stop” warming by slashing carbon dioxide emissions will be less than half as effective as claimed.”
“Over the years I have been among those who focused most of all on CO2, and I think that’s still justified,” Gore told Newsweek . “But a comprehensive plan to solve the climate crisis has to widen the focus to encompass strategies for all” of the greenhouse culprits identified in the Nasa study.”
Gore now blames soot and methane for the majority of global warming, leaving the door open for a tax on livestock, a tax on meat, a tax on milk, and on and on until he changes his mind again and blames another culprit so that too can be taxed.
In another indictment of Gore’s accuracy in warning about climate change, he has now virtually abandoned scientific “facts” in favor of characterizing his Inconvenient Truth presentation in the context of a religious sermon.
“Simply laying out the facts won’t work,” admits Gore.
That’s right, the church of environmentalism has come full circle with Gore’s intention to deliver his widely debunked presentation with spiritual overtones, a move that will shock most hard-headed empirical scientists.
“I’ve done a Christian [-based] training program; I have a Muslim training program and a Jewish training program coming up, also a Hindu program coming up. I trained 200 Christian ministers and lay leaders here in Nashville in a version of the slide show that is filled with scriptural references. It’s probably my favorite version, but I don’t use it very often because it can come off as proselytizing,” Gore tells Newsweek.
In a new book Gore has been working on, he attempts to address the rapidly growing skepticism towards global warming alarmism not with science, but by blaming people’s own thoughts, a Kafkaesque cop-out if ever there was one.
According to the book’s press release, “Among the most unique approaches Gore takes in the book is showing readers how our own minds can be an impediment to change.”
“Our own minds are the enemy! Don’t free the minds – imprison them!,” scoffs Tim Blair.