…comes to you courtesy of MSN. This time it’s cholera. I guess plague is just around the corner.
MSN writes, “Since the early 1990s, the concern for another pandemic has been haunting public health officials. What makes their worry more pressing is the fact the oncoming onslaught may be due to a factor seemingly out of our control: climate change.”
Now, Wikipedia tells us that “Cholera is caused by a number of types of Vibrio cholerae, with some types producing more severe disease than others. It is spread mostly by water and food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria. Insufficiently cooked seafood is a common source. Humans are the only animal affected. Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty. …Cholera affects an estimated 3–5 million people worldwide, and causes 58,000–130,000 deaths a year as of 2010. This occurs mainly in the developing world. In the early 1980s, death rates are believed to have been greater than 3 million a year.”
It would appear that unless climate change makes people much poorer, less careful about sanitation and more likely to eat undercooked seafood, that any connection between cholera and climate change is a bit ephemeral. It would appear that despite the warming of the planet since 1976 we have made dramatic progress in combating the disease.
Nonetheless, MSN is undeterred: … “In the context of cholera, changes in climate are stressors on microbes forcing them to either die off or figure out means to adapt to the conditions. In Bangladesh, this has been shown through the evolution of the classical strain to one known as El Tor. This particular strain relies less on seasonality and occurs more frequently. The overall result is a year round threat of infection as opposed to only during the rainy season. As to the reason behind this variant, the cause appears to be related to less divergence between the rainy and dry seasons. This has allowed the El Tor strain to develop resistance to drier weather over time such that it can survive in any climactic environment.”
But, waitaminnit. The El Tor strain of cholera was identified in 1905, decades before humans began contributing to the concentration of greenhouse gases. It has been successful in spreading from Mecca to the rest of the world due to increased international travel and has survived because it is milder than other strains of cholera, with more asymptomatic carriers.
As MSN notes in their article, “In 2011, several possible factors were examined to determine if one or a combination could lead to intensified growth and transmission of the bacterium. There were two specific factors implicated, none of which had to do with temperature. The included a higher level of discharge from rivers into the oceans and the level of phytoplankton. Interestingly, the temperature of the sea surface was not implicated as a factor.”
Ah, but the connection comes to us directly from… a computer model that shows that basically the entire world could support the cholera bacterium as the planet warms. ”
Last week, an international team of researchers who undertook the task revealed their results. They developed a global map where cholera may be able to live currently as well as into the future. Based on the findings, there is every reason to believe we are on the verge of another pandemic and this time, even North America may see a return.
The team used 12 environmental variables attained from an existing marine dataset calledBio-ORACLE. These included climate-associated factors such as sea surface temperature, sunlight, and levels of microbial growth. The others focused on physical attributes such as salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate and phosphate levels. From there, they examined regions known to have cholera growth. From this analysis, they were able to define a list of parameters necessary to harbor, grow and spread the bacteria.
At this point, the team went looking at other areas around the world for similar environmental conditions. Using statistical analysis, they were able to determine suitability as a percentage. The most likely places had at least a 50% chance of allowing enough growth to cause an outbreak. They performed this for current climactic conditions and for the year 2100.
Although the authors expected to find more than a few places where cholera could survive, the data showed an almost-global distribution of environments prime for growth. These included expected areas such as Peru, Ecuador, West Africa and parts of Australia. But some regions were completely unexpected such as the North Sea, regions south of the Scandinavian countries. In the American context, the Gulf of Mexico and the entire East Coast of America would also be prime spots for cholera to grow.”
But in actual fact, pretty much the entire world has supported cholera in the past. This map of cholera distribution is from 1842 through 1923:
Climate change Alarmists tried this tactic once before, warning that malaria would spread due to climate change expanding the habitat of the mosquito. They forgot that in 1905 malaria plagued places from Archangel to Alaska.
Just as we made rapid progress in combating malaria during the current warming period, we have made rapid progress in combating cholera while the planet warmed.
That’s because the way to defeat both diseases is through better healthcare systems, improved sanitation and education of the public on what they can do to prevent it.
One shudders to think what the Alarmist Konsensus will do with this story.