Your Daily Climate Panic Story…

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.[2] Insufficiently cooked seafood is a common source.[5] 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.[2][8] This occurs mainly in the developing world.[53] 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:

cholera distribution

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.

10 responses to “Your Daily Climate Panic Story…

  1. Excellent take down. The hysterical nonsense of our cliamte obsessed friends is not getting wiser, only louder.

  2. As usual, it’s incidental information taken way out of context.

    The scientist taps into a funding stream by examining the effect of on . This is usually things like cancer, heart disease, obesity etc. If you want to continue to tap into the money, you have to make sure you highlight just how important your findings are in relation to said risk. Hence, we get all these media reports, often blown way out of proportion and context.

    • Formatting mangled it a little. The sentence should say “The scientist taps into a funding stream by examining the effect of “insert speciality” on “insert health risk”.

      • “Research shows global warming will cause more deaths from hypothermia as people fall through unseasonal thin ice”.

        “Scientists at the University of Southern Australia have published a paper in Nature Climate Science documenting the coupling of their climate and human behavior models applied to iced over ponds in Western Europe. Results show a 21 % mortality increase in the BAU case, when CO2 concentration reaches 860 ppm. The total number of deaths through the year 2300 is 856,300, of which 87 % are little children. This heart breaking statistic was estimated using the ICES Message Climate Risk model, developed at the University’s Climate Catastrophe Institute”.

  3. If the powers that be want more cholera they can restrict energy development in Africa to solar panels and wind turbines. I’m sure the Pope will issue the needed dispensations for their sins.

  4. From the Lancet’s Commission on Climate Change:

    The links between climate change, vector populations and hence malarial range and incidence may become significant in areas where the temperature is currently the limiting factor, possibly increasing the incidence of a disease that causes 660 000 deaths per year.68 In some highland regions, malaria incidence has already been linked to warmer air temperatures although successful control measures in Africa have cut the incidence of malaria in recent decades, and there are long established successes of managing malaria risk in temperate countries including in southern USA and in Europe.69,70 There are equally complex relationships and important climate-related risks associated with dengue fever, cholera and food safety.54,71,72 Dengue fever for example has 390 million recorded infections each year, and the number is rising.54,73

    • Hiya Harold

      Since 2000, malaria, predicted by some climate scientists to become wider spread due to warmer temperatures, has seen mortality decrease by 47% worldwide and by 54% in the WHO Africa region, where about 90% of malaria deaths occur. As for global spread, “In 2013, 2 countries reported zero indigenous cases for the first time (Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka), and 11 countries succeeded in maintaining zero cases (Argentina, Armenia, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Oman, Paraguay, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). Another 4 countries reported fewer than 10 local cases annually (Algeria, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica and El Salvador).”

      I don’t know that much about dengue fever, although I’m in Taiwan where the southern part of the island gets a couple of hundred cases every year. I’ll see if I can look it up.

      • Dengue has spread in Venezuela because health and sanitation services have deteriorated. They also have an African disease called chikunguya.. The problem is lack of mosquito control, and the way sick persons left exposed to more mosquito bites.

  5. It’s a question of framing: “malarial range and incidence may [my emphasis] become significant in areas where the temperature is currently the limiting factor” and then citing the total incidence, rather than the incidence in areas where there may be a future increase.

    One can construct worrying sentences in such a manner, without literally telling a falsehood.

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