Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blame it all on global warming

Everything from heatwaves to hurricane Katrina, from West Nile to hantavirus is the fault of climate change according to this article in the NEJM.

I think the evidence indicates that human activity is causing climate change, specifically warming, but this is the kind of truly hysterical article that makes me skeptical. I am opened to reasoned arguments about the effects of climate change on human health and disease, but this article starts with the premise that climate change is all bad and goes on to attribute just about every new disease or spreading illness to it, with little if any evidence.

Mix that with a liberal dose of punitive environmentalism
All in all, it would appear that we may be underestimating the breadth of biologic responses to changes in climate. Treating climate-related ills will require preparation, and early-warning systems forecasting extreme weather can help to reduce casualties and curtail the spread of disease. But primary prevention would require halting the extraction, mining, transport, refining, and combustion of fossil fuels — a transformation that many experts believe would have innumerable health and environmental benefits and would help to stabilize the climate.
Note the false understatement (no one would accuse this author of underestimating the biologica response to climate change. It is my general sense that creative solutions to climate change are likely to be more succesfull than attempts to get the development genie back in the bottle. Others obviously disagree, but can anyone seriously propose a halt to use of fossil fuels?


At 2:49 PM, Blogger ollie said...

Many of us would love to achieve something reasonable, such as a higher MPG standards, or having more bike lanes, better public transportation, etc.

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