Yellow Fever, Used Tires, and Global Warming

There is this great article in the Korea Times about how the international in used tires is spreading tropical diseases like Yellow Fever (h/t to Junk Science.com). The article also makes the point that diseases we now consider tropical disease have never really been limited to the tropics so their outbreak today means nothing in terms of climate. From the article:

Until DDT, malaria was endemic and common in many regions as far north as Russia, with 13 million cases a year in the 1920s: at Archangel, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, 10,000 people died in one year.

In Italy the highest incidence was in the Po valley, in exactly the same area now hit by chikungunya. Dengue, another so-called tropical virus, infected 1,000,000 people in Greece in the 1920s.

Despite all this, a WHO official has claimed that warming allowed this cold-weather mosquito to settle in Italy. Whether this is ignorance or deliberate misinformation, it diverts attention from the real cause: the increasing globalization of disease as a result of modern transportation.

World leaders have just been discussing far-reaching policies at the U.N.’s High Level Event and at President Bush’s Meeting of Major Economies on Climate Change and Energy Security, where they were bombarded with this kind of distortion.

The public will surely soon get fed up with constant hype about global warming. Sadly, when they realize that the alarmists were crying wolf, it is confidence in science and scientists that will suffer: we have to stick to the science and nothing but the science.

The whole article is worth reading.

The last paragraph really points out what bothers me about global warming hype. I am a science fanatic. I love science. Seeing science being abused the way it is makes me feel like someone seeing their sister working the streets as a prostitute.

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