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No, but I'll "queue" it. It sounds fascinating.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah watch it. It's basically about a town that uses a form of insulation - vermiculite - that is very toxic form of asbestos. A rather ordinary woman discovered when she was reading electric meters that there were lots of men - middle aged - on oxygen tanks. After both of her parents died in their 50s she started to piece together what was going on and realized that the vermiculite was very toxic. When she started to tell people, they completely ignored her. They even went so far as to bumper stickers made saying "Yes, I'm from Libby, Montana, and no, I don't have asbestosis."

She finally got help when a researcher came to town to look into her claims. He of course didn't believe her, but when he later did his own research he realized she was right. But, even then, people said things like:
"Well, if it were really dangerous, someone would have told us." "If that's really why everyone was dying, the doctors would have told us." Some of the guys used to very heavy jobs said, "I don't want to be a victim. I can't possibly be a victim, and anyway, every industry has its accidents."

Even after someone came from a federal agency to screen the inhabitants they found out that there was an 80% higher mortality rate than anywhere else in the USA, people still refused to believe it.
The worse thing was that the playground was also lined with vermiculite and no one would talk about that.

Still years later, people will enter in the back of the asbestos clinic that Gayla Benefield brought into being (the whistleblower in this story) because they don't want to publicly acknowledge that she was right.

Moral: The truth hurts, people don't want to see things because it is easier not to.... the speaker does a much better job telling the story (oral story telling is usually superior). Anyway, there were just so many comparison, I thought it would be a valuable story to put forth.
 

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Yeah watch it. It's basically about a town that uses a form of insulation - vermiculite - that is very toxic form of asbestos. A rather ordinary woman discovered when she was reading electric meters that there were lots of men - middle aged - on oxygen tanks. After both of her parents died in their 50s she started to piece together what was going on and realized that the vermiculite was very toxic. When she started to tell people, they completely ignored her. They even went so far as to bumper stickers made saying "Yes, I'm from Libby, Montana, and no, I don't have asbestosis."

She finally got help when a researcher came to town to look into her claims. He of course didn't believe her, but when he later did his own research he realized she was right. But, even then, people said things like:
"Well, if it were really dangerous, someone would have told us." "If that's really why everyone was dying, the doctors would have told us." Some of the guys used to very heavy jobs said, "I don't want to be a victim. I can't possibly be a victim, and anyway, every industry has its accidents."

Even after someone came from a federal agency to screen the inhabitants they found out that there was an 80% higher mortality rate than anywhere else in the USA, people still refused to believe it.
The worse thing was that the playground was also lined with vermiculite and no one would talk about that.

Still years later, people will enter in the back of the asbestos clinic that Gayla Benefield brought into being (the whistleblower in this story) because they don't want to publicly acknowledge that she was right.

Moral: The truth hurts, people don't want to see things because it is easier not to.... the speaker does a much better job telling the story (oral story telling is usually superior). Anyway, there were just so many comparison, I thought it would be a valuable story to put forth.
What doesn't completely come clear in her account is that it was a one-industry town. People didn't want to admit there was a problem because if they did they would have no jobs, no economy, no town.
 

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Also, I brought up this story in the main forum and someone, I don't remember who, argued that it is a fallacy to point to bad things that have happened in the past as evidence that something current is a parallel situation.

I've been asking the pro people to give examples of a current substance which is causing major health problems which is also profitable and is nevertheless being briskly sorted out. Some examples of willful blindness due to profitability: antibiotics in animal feed (already connected to thousands of deaths each year), triclosan (increasing the number of people carrying staph every year), leaded gasoline being pushed in developing countries (the dangers are very well-known at this point) and on it goes.
 

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Also, I brought up this story in the main forum and someone, I don't remember who, argued that it is a fallacy to point to bad things that have happened in the past as evidence that something current is a parallel situation.

I've been asking the pro people to give examples of a current substance which is causing major health problems which is also profitable and is nevertheless being briskly sorted out. Some examples of willful blindness due to profitability: antibiotics in animal feed (already connected to thousands of deaths each year), triclosan (increasing the number of people carrying staph every year), leaded gasoline being pushed in developing countries (the dangers are very well-known at this point) and on it goes.
Is this a question to lump into the not-getting-answers category? I'd love to hear an answer. Whistleblowers seem to be welcome until their findings challenge our biases.

And you're right. We do get defensive when our livelihoods and very identities are at stake. Ranchers don't want to hear about methane pollution or topsoil depletion. Doctors don't want to hear that the way they've been practicing is completely wrong. Entire towns in PA and NJ would close their doors if local pharma employers did the same. But most of us would rather self-justify than admit that we're wrong about something.

I did watch finally the TED Talk and found it quite provocative.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What doesn't completely come clear in her account is that it was a one-industry town. People didn't want to admit there was a problem because if they did they would have no jobs, no economy, no town.
Yeah I was thinking that too while I listened to the TED talk - how many of the people were involved in this industry and what would happen to them if they acknowledge this. I def. agree,... sometimes it is much more complicated than simply refusing to see something because it is inconvenient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, I brought up this story in the main forum and someone, I don't remember who, argued that it is a fallacy to point to bad things that have happened in the past as evidence that something current is a parallel situation.

I've been asking the pro people to give examples of a current substance which is causing major health problems which is also profitable and is nevertheless being briskly sorted out. Some examples of willful blindness due to profitability: antibiotics in animal feed (already connected to thousands of deaths each year), triclosan (increasing the number of people carrying staph every year), leaded gasoline being pushed in developing countries (the dangers are very well-known at this point) and on it goes.
I think I remember that. That's probably how I found out about this TED talk,... or maybe your mention of it made me intrigued enough to look into this topic. Yes, all of those examples seem like prime situations where intentional blindness occurs. It was also mentioned in the TED talk, but the biggest one I have always compared it to is the subprime mortgage crisis... and the fact that everyone knew that it was unsustainable, unethical, and hugely problematic but because of the acculturation of institutions and education, it went ignored until it could no longer be. I actually used this metaphor in my letter to Barbara Boxer and Diane Feintstein when the Measles scare exploded all over and they were itching to react. Of course, neither of their "vaccines are generally safe" letters addressed the problems of institution and regulatory blindness and corruption. Even with the potential evidence - the CDC whistleblower - no one seems very interested in addressing the varying issues in the vaccine program.

I may recall the examples used by the poster in response to you - I think it was changing the Rota vaccine and the DTP vaccine? That response basically boiled down to - if the industry decides to change a vaccine or recommendation it is because of evidence. If they decide not to change something, it is because of scientific evidence proving adverse reactions as coincidences, and therefore, not worthy of adjusting. Kind of convenient response.
 

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Yep, the powers that be just don't screw up.

Except that they do.
 
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