Warming alarmism spreads faster, like a virus

Mosquito bite

“West Nile virus spreads faster,” reads the USA Today headline on a story that doesn’t actually say anything about rate of spread, just that the virus is spreading, as one would expect for a pathogen that was first seen in North America only thirteen years ago:

It’s going to get worse, says David Dausey, a professor of public health at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa.

But no, this professional epidemiologist is not talking about the typical pattern of advance for a virulent new disease. Dausey is talking about a much smaller and vastly less certain factor:

He says climate change means warmer winters, milder springs and hotter summers, all of which “create a longer season for mosquitoes to breed and ideal conditions for them to survive.” That will mean more West Nile and, public health workers worry, other mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever, Dausey says.

So the fast spread of West Nile (or “faster” if you prefer) is not because this dangerous disease was only recently introduced (a fact not mentioned in the article), but because of global warming, even though neither the globe, nor the contiguous United States, have warmed since West Nile first appeared here, thirteen years ago, in 1999:

NCDC, US temps since 1940

Then there’s this inconvenient report from last December:

Transmission of infectious parasites slows with rising temperatures, researchers find.

… The study was done with rodent malaria, but the researchers, at PennsylvaniaStateUniversity in University Park, expect the pattern to apply to human malaria and possibly to other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Dausey is also from Pennsylvania. Maybe he ought to get out a little, or talk to someone besides the warming alarmists who control all the grant money. No credit to USA Today‘s Elizabeth Weise either. It’s not like its actually a mystery why West Nile is spreading, but our politicized media doesn’t want readers to know the truth. They only care about manipulating people for perceived partisan advantage.

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Justthinkin

One word….DDT. [snip – while possibly true, it will create an ugliness in this thread I just don’t have time to moderate – Anthony]

Bloke down the pub

You get the feeling that if a cold winter wiped out this disease they would be really disappointed.

Always beware of science announcements from higher ed institutions that believe knowledge in a textbook is soo 20th century if not 19th and earlier.
http://www.mercyhurst.edu/news/news-releases/article/?article_id=2674
I really hate this idea that no one gets to know anything they have not directly experienced and that everybody gets their own perception.
I am sure an NSF or DoED or NOAA climate change grant would be nice and helpful. Dausey does charitable work to get wheelchairs to the diasbled and immobile in developing countries which is a noble effort. But it appears to be in connection with the WHO which means an acute amount of nonsense is in the air.

nemo

In all fairness I assume the response would be it started spreading thanks to the warming prior to the last thirteen years?

Steve Keohane

Mosquitoes need standing, still water to reproduce. They don’t do well in drought.

I thought they made it clear what the cause was this year:
“A mild winter and ample spring rains allowed the mosquito population to build up early. Heat and scant rainfall are creating stagnant water pools, which make great breeding grounds, says Michael Merchant, an entomologist at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas.”

gringojay

“… the occurrence of human West Nile cases were associated with drought 2-6 months prior and land surface wetting 0.5-1.5 mo prior.
“…Drought brings avian hosts and vector mosquitoes into close contact and facilitates the epizootic cycling ….
“…widespread drought in the spring followed by wetting during summer greatly increase the probability of a WNV epidemic in southern Florida.”
( from Journal Medical Entimology’s 2005 “Drought-induced amplification and epidemic transmission of West Nile virus in southern Florida”)

paddylol

The ability to eradicate mosquito borne disease is readily available. It is called DDT. Theri is a plethora of legitimate research that concludes that DDT does not pose a danger to humans, animals or birds.

tadchem

The warmists should point out to this guy that WNV is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes need standing water to breed.
The AGW orthodoxy has already claimed that droughts will be worse, and last longer, so there won’t be any standing water for the bugs to breed in.
Unless someone is developing a strain of mosquitoes that don’t need any water – Culex anhydrensis?

Michael Putnam

Here’s a question: Given it already has been spotted over the entire USA, where is it spreading to?
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/Mapsactivity/surv&control12MapsAnybyState.htm

Robuk
tgmccoy

One of the largest malaria outbreaks was in St. Petersburg Russia in the early 1800’s…

Sorry for going OT. Has Jo Nova been hacked again? I’ve been off line since Sunday, but on returning I’m getting
‘Account Suspended’ from
http://www.joannenovo.com.au
Is anyone else getting in or is something else going on ?
I know she was hacked around 6 Aug, but seemed to recover.

Cam_S

Dr. Suzuki says global warming is a culprit.
David Suzuki: How environmental destruction causes illnesses and diseases
http://www.straight.com/article-755311/vancouver/david-suzuki-how-environmental-destruction-causes-illnesses-and-diseases

Bill Illis

West Nile cases peaked in 2003 at close to 10,000 cases in the US. 2012’s numbers appear to be down about 80% to 90% from the 2003 levels. The reservoir for the virus has declined as immunity has built up in other host species.

WattsUp at JoNova ?
I’m getting. ‘Account Suspended’ from
http://www.joannenova.com.au

michael hart

So the rate of getting worse is going to get worse than we thought?

John B., M.D.

Also keep in mind that the virus originally was imported into New York City via ship from Africa.
It did not gradually spread north from tropical climates as “climate warmed.”

@ paddylol “The ability to eradicate mosquito borne disease is readily available. It is called DDT. Theri is a plethora of legitimate research that concludes that DDT does not pose a danger to humans, animals or birds.”
Really??
“Even small amounts of DDT can affect small microorganisms. This is especially true for microorganisms that live in the water (i.e. algae, and plankton), because the aquatic environment can bring more DDT in contact with these organisms.
As an example of this high sensitivity, water that contains only 0.1 (g (micrograms) of DDT per liter can slow down growth and photosynthesis in green algae. ”
“So exactly how much DDT can my body tolerate before I should really start worrying? That depends on how much you weigh. At concentration above 236 mg DDT per kg of body weight, you’ll die. Concentration of 6-10 mg/kg leads to such symptons as headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and tremors. ”
http://www.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/pest/effects.html
Brant
[Reply: 236 mg/kg is a LOT of DDT! ~dbs, mod.]

oldseadog

Lots of mossies in Alaska where I understand that it is quite cold during the winter.

beesaman

Interesting to note that even the BBC are highlighting the fact that not all alarmism is productive…
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19269571

Theo Goodwin

David Sanger says:
August 15, 2012 at 10:27 am
“A mild winter and ample spring rains allowed the mosquito population to build up early. Heat and scant rainfall are creating stagnant water pools, which make great breeding grounds, says Michael Merchant, an entomologist at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas.”
“Heat and scant rainfall are creating stagnant water pools…”
That’s quite a trick. Those pools must be rather deep if they are seldom replenished because of the scant rainfall.

I’d be willing to wager that Weise hasn’t any idea:
(a) that the Centers for Disease Control were put in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1943 because it was ground zero for U.S. malaria troubles (the original name of the organization was the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities)
(b) that yellow fever plagued New York City from the late 17th century onward, with 2086 souls claimed during a single outbreak in 1798
(c) that the Hamptons culture of getting away from NYC during summer was in response to yellow fever
More on yellow fever in New York here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC194570/pdf/mlab00256-0013.pdf
More on correcting climate-related disinformation here:
http://amzn.to/xam4iF
Anyone who wants to buy a copy for Weise and send it to her at USA Today would be doing the world a favor

Several relevant references in an NAS report on climate change and the indoor environment re pests and DDT. There is also an earlier, more general report from 2001 on climate change and human health, the bottom line of which is that more monitoring and response could, at least in the near term deal with the issues.

oldseadog says:
August 15, 2012 at 11:50 am
Lots of mossies in Alaska where I understand that it is quite cold during the winter
============================================================
Siberia too. I got blood poisoning from a mozzie in Oxford, UK in 1972. Before CAGW was even a twinkle in the Climate Jihadis’s eyes…

timg56

The “spread of tropical diseases” meme was proven false, yet we still see stories like this. Which may explain why I rarely watch or read MSM.

George E. Smith

Well every nature lover has their Rachel Carson Memorial birdbath Shrine in their back yard; including the place where I work, and yes it has it’s mosquito rookery in it.
The fix is simple, a few spoonfuls of vegetable oil on the water does the trick. Skeeter larvae are air breathing, and they must constantly suface, and stick their tail through the surface film to breathe before returning to the depths. The surface oil stops them doing this, so they all suffocate. The fountain pump can still circulate the water and leave the oil undisturbed on the surface.
Well we chose the instant remedy, and put a cup of pool chlorine (Hypochlorite) in the fountain.
So now we have most of the gallon left. Not to worry; it’s exactly the same as Chlorox bleach only 10% instead of 5%. So the Hausfrau can save on bleach for a while, and the pool chlorine is even cheaper than the generic house bleach alternatives to Chlorox.
The birds can figure it out.

George E. Smith

“””””…..Brant Ra says:
August 15, 2012 at 11:50 am
@ paddylol “The ability to eradicate mosquito borne disease is readily available. It is called DDT. Theri is a plethora of legitimate research that concludes that DDT does not pose a danger to humans, animals or birds.”
Really??…..”””””
So Brant, how many humans are known to have died from DDT poisoning, since it was first used as a mosquito control for Malaria and other tropical diseases.
I can remember WW-II era “Social Studies” documentary films showing the natives in the various tropical war zones, being treated with DDT to control malaria. They lined up as if to get their DPT shot, and a worker blew DDT powder inside the sleeves and legs of their clothing, literally covering the person with DDT powder.
I think Malaria alone has killed a million times as many people as DDT.
Incidently just last Sunday, I actually saw the Rachel Carson research vessel (I presume) tied up at the docks at Moss Landing in Monterey Bay, right opposite the Moss Landing Oceanography Research facility, which I think is an arm of UC Santa Cruz, and a den of enviro-wackos.

R.S.Brown

Just a second….

“The study was done with rodent malaria, but the researchers, at Pennsylvania State University in University Park…”

All of a sudden they’ve stopped using “Penn State” and begun using the
official (and officious) “Pennsylvania State University” designation
in their flack packets instead.
No matter what you call the institution, Mike Mann and his cadre
still call it “home”.

James Allison

A truism. Global warming + scary story = grant money.

Doug Huffman

The spread of Lyme Disease and its vector tick Ixodes are attributed to a warming climate even though their lifecycle is quite disconnected from the climate weather and, instead, synchronized (across years and four stages) by diapause (NOT hibernation) and Growing Degree Time.
Indeed, desiccation is their greatest abiotic mortality after starvation.

wayne

“Those pools must be rather deep if they are seldom replenished because of the scant rainfall.”
Most are 8 ft. at the deep end. ☺

graphicconception

I am always staggered by how difficult it is to measure global warming. We need lots of well sited thermometers and even space satellites to have even half a clue. However, all kinds of plants and non-human animals can detect it without any problem using no technology at all.
What are we missing?

scarletmacaw

Brant Ra says:
August 15, 2012 at 11:50 am
“So exactly how much DDT can my body tolerate before I should really start worrying? That depends on how much you weigh. At concentration above 236 mg DDT per kg of body weight, you’ll die. Concentration of 6-10 mg/kg leads to such symptons as headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and tremors. ”

That’s less toxic than caffeine.

Last I heard it was not spreading westward much anymore, in North America, because the most susceptible host had become resistant – crows.

polistra

@beesaman: I had to read it to be sure. Amazing! Harrabin pleading FOR sanity!
BBC has also dropped their weekly “One Planet” Gaian religious program, and Radio Nederland has dropped their weekly “Earthbeat” Gaian wackiness.
Is an epidemic of sanity starting to spread along with the skeeters?

GoneWithTheWind

West Nile Virus seemed to suddenly appear where before it did not exist. By coincidence it is prevalent where many Al Qaeda call home. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions but could this be a terrorist act?

All the while my crazy lefty neighbors attend city council meetings to ban helicopter spraying during peak mosquito season. This month, after hatefully jealous banning of use of SRO (“single room occupancy”) zoned buildings as actual hotels, the city suddenly converted these palatial carved stone facade buildings into homeless shelters, right in the middle of their million dollar condo neighborhood and the stabbings and shootings have them screaming at each other even louder than before. Their depth of understanding on AGW amounts to headline soundbites, but boy do they ever hate fracking. “No Impact Man” is a popular speaker lately, going on and on about hand washing expensive cotton diapers as he claims that he finds his own ideas in other people’s books all the time and how frustrating that is, namely, that the other author had access to more education and sabbaticals to actually formulate and write down his own ideas. His other main topic is how so very shallow and unhappy those who are willing to buy new instead of second hand smart phones. It’s an odd combination of rent stabilized activism by anemic vegans and yuppie financial support of that activism that I don’t yet understand. I think it’s mostly that the wives of city businessmen have terrorized their poor husbands into a sort of “yes honey” support of the whole asinine fantasy agenda of the left in large part to handle their sense of white guilt brought on by basically being trophy wives who didn’t have to do much except smile to look down from their balconies onto the yards of government owned housing projects. Global warming isn’t something they study as much as a penalty ticket they buy for owning track lighting. The fewer details they consider, the more innocent they will be when schemes backfire.

Doug Huffman

By 2006 all states had reported cases of WNV and California had reported >10% of all cases. The spread is complete. The number of cases and mortality are in a tail from 2006.

highflight56433

Less than 1 percent of people who become infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. Most people who get infected do not develop any symptoms at all.
I do not see any trends that warrant the articles concerns and proclamations:
2012 cases = 693
2011 cases = 712
2010 cases = 1021
2009 cases = 720
2008 cases = 1356
2007 cases = 3630
2006 cases = 4,261
2005 cases = 3,000
2004 cases = 2,539
2003 cases = 9,862
2002 cases = 4,156
2001 cases = 66
2000 cases = 21
1999 cases = 62
Alcohol kills flu virus, so eat drink and be merry!

highflight56433

Forgot to mention these are USA numbers from CDC.

Matthew Bergin

As I understand it the West Nile virus isn’t very virulent in fact most people who get infected show no symptoms. I find it hard to worry about a virus when over 95% of the people that contract it will never know they have been exposed.

TomRude

Another Canadian Press advertising job for the carbon capture lobby:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/only-2-per-cent-of-canadians-dont-believe-in-climate-change-poll/article4482183/
The poll was done for IPAC CO2
http://www.ipac-co2.com/about-ipac-co2/who-we-are
Looks like questions were kind of “Have you stopped beating your wife?”
it is worth mentioning that Alberta’s Premier Allison Redford is going ahead with a multi billion dollar project of underground carbone storage and thus will need all the industry and media propagandists’ help to sell this waste to Albertans…

commieBob

” NikFromNYC says:
August 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm ”
Dude, you need a stiff drink. It’s a trivial exercise to find and point out human folly. It has always been so. You can let it put up your blood pressure or you can enjoy it. I enjoy satire. On today’s menu I have the Mikado by G&S. Your tastes may vary.
As others have pointed out, we have a record low population of mosquitoes this summer. It is strange that even the most rabid greenies aren’t starting a campaign to save the mosquitoes from extinction. How can they not notice? Mosquitoes are a vital part of a healthy ecosystem. Maybe the poor mosquitoes just aren’t cute enough.

highflight56433

I read somewhere that Texas mosquito swarms have actually killed cattle by drawing excessive amounts of blood. So it should not surprise anyone that Texas would have more cases of flu just by the massive population of mosquito…the size of Texas and Texas size swarms.

polistra:
At August 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm you ask

@beesaman: I had to read it to be sure. Amazing! Harrabin pleading FOR sanity!
BBC has also dropped their weekly “One Planet” Gaian religious program, and Radio Nederland has dropped their weekly “Earthbeat” Gaian wackiness.
Is an epidemic of sanity starting to spread along with the skeeters?

I answer.
No, you are observing the slow process of retreat from the AGW-scare.
The scare reached its peak in the run-up to the Copenhagen Conference which was intended to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, but it failed. When that failure happened I said – on WUWT and several other places – that the AGW-scare was dead. It would continue to show signs of life but it was like a beheaded chicken running around a farmyard: its movement disguised the fact of its demise. And I said its demise would not be announced but the scare would gradually fade away. So, in 20 years time few would remember it unless reminded. This would be similar to the ‘acid rain’ scare of the 1980s: few remember that unless reminded of it.
Since then I have seen nothing to change that view. “Harrabin pleading FOR sanity” is merely one example of the slow retreat from the dead issue. Another example is the growing plethora of trolls who infest WUWT: they are desperately attempting ‘first aid’ to stop the demise of the AGW-scare because they fail to recognise the issue is a moving corpse.
Now we need to guard against two things.
(a) Political effects of the AGW-scare need to be minimised and curtailed (expensive effects of the ‘acid rain’ scare still continue; e.g. the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, LCPD, continue to damage energy policies).
and
(b) The inevitable next false scare needs to be discerned and prevented or, failing that, inhibited.
Richard

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

What a dilemma! Shall we spend $trillion$ in dubious climate mitigation schemes that will take decades to achieve any measurable impact even under the most optimistic assumptions, or spend a few million in carefully targeted mosquito control measures? This is actually a tough question for bureaucrats to decide: saving other people’s money is simply not as attractive as advancing one’s own career. “Let’s just say it’s for the children and go for the $trillion$ boss; they fall for it every time”.
There are more targeted approaches to mosquito control than large area spraying with DDT or other insecticides and in fact the US funds these measures in developing countries with malaria problems. Insect-borne diseases are a serious problem today as they have been for all of recorded human history (and certainly before that as well). They will continue to be a problem whether the climate warms, cools or stays the same. In any climate I am willing to live there will be insects carrying diseases.
Our technological civilization, made possible among other things by fossil fuels, gives us options for controlling diseases and disease vectors such as insects which our pre-industrial, pre fossil-fuel ancestors did not have. We can’t blame West Nile Virus on “climate change” and trying to address it as a “climate change” problem instead of a disease vector problem criminally stupid.

I. Lou Minotti

With the news of bonnie Prince Philip’s latest hospitalization, I surely hope the mosquito image isn’t a harbinger that he’s finally gotten his wish:
http://www.green-agenda.com/gaians.html

noloctd

Brant Ra’s whinging about DDT is pretty funny. I saw Norman Borlaug eat a heaping tablespoon of DDT in the 1970’s. He died at age 95 in 2004, none the worse for the DDT. Then again, Norman Borlaug was a great man who cared about and benefited humanity greatly. Brant Ra? Well….