Global Warming blamed for mystery Kidney Disease

Path between the sugar cane - Uploaded by Jacopo Werther, Author Daniel Ramirez from Honolulu, USA https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Path_between_sugar_canes_(5216462193).jpg

Path between the sugar cane – Uploaded by Jacopo Werther,
Author Daniel Ramirez from Honolulu, USA https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Path_between_sugar_canes_(5216462193).jpg

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Does global warming cause kidney disease? According to a study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the root cause of a mystery illness which has killed 10s of thousands of sugar cane workers in Central America might be chronic dehydration, as a result of frequent hard, manual labour in extreme heat.

According to the study;

… Despite limited resources, we documented widespread decreased kidney function in coastal communities related to years of work on coastal sugarcane/cotton plantations. The high prevalence of eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the coastal communities, 18% of men aged 20-60 years, indicates the severity of the epidemic in a region where there is little to offer to patients and where CKD often progresses to ESRD and death. It is noteworthy that decreased eGFR also is related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease at CKD stages 3-4 is higher than that for reaching ESRD.38, 39 This study from El Salvador, as well as the recent Nicaraguan studies,23, 24, 25 provides important clues for etiologic studies, particularly heat stress.

It is urgent to assess the causes of this severe public health problem with properly designed etiologic and clinical research. A thorough medical workup including kidney biopsies and histopathologic examinations from a small group of affected individuals in rather early stages of CKD is needed to confirm the interstitial nature of the disease and provide clues with regard to pathogenesis. Etiologic research would use random samples from a proper study base and repeated measurements of all pertinent exposures with emphasis on heat exposure, environmental and water pollutants (particularly pesticide residues and heavy metals), and amount of water intake during work and rest.

Precautionary preventive actions must be implemented already at this stage, providing sufficient water and rest for workers in hot environments. There is a threat that global warming will dramatically increase populations exposed to hard work in hot climates. If heat stress is a causal factor for CKD, this disease will be an added health risk related to climate change.

Read more: http://www.ajkd.org/article/S0272-6386(11)01785-9/fulltext

One of my first jobs was working in a poorly ventilated rubber and plastic moulding factory in Australia. During summertime, under the blazing Australian sun, the temperature outside frequently reached 104F (40c). Inside the factory the temperature often exceeded 120F (50c). Due to the poor ventilation, the air inside the factory was humid, and was thick with a haze of poisonous chemicals – sulphates, organo-chlorides, ketones, a thoroughly nasty cocktail of toxic substances. Undoubtably anyone working in that environment sustained at least some organ damage, including most likely to our kidneys – we all absolutely stank of chemicals when the end of shift bell rang.

Why didn’t we suffer high mortality rates, like the workers in this study?

For starters, we were properly hydrated – the one thing the company did right was to ensure we were receiving the correct amount of well balanced rehydration electrolytes, rather than whatever random concoction people working in third world cane fields receive. On the hottest days, someone would circulate with drinks every few minutes.

The other factor, is we were using machines. The work was boring, and physical, but it wasn’t hugely strenuous. Nothing like the level of physical exertion required to work cane fields, without the benefits of modern technology.

If physical work in extreme heat is causing the mystery kidney disease, the simplest solution is surely to help workers in poor countries buy modern equipment, such as a few fossil fuel powered tractors and harvesters, to reduce the need for extreme manual exertion in harsh conditions.

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155 thoughts on “Global Warming blamed for mystery Kidney Disease

      • Actually, it’s not that simple.
        The phrase “well balanced rehydration electrolytes” really means something here. Sweat is not just water, it contains salt, among other things. If you sweat heavily for a long time and drink only water, your body gets salt-depleted. This causes crippling pain, a phenomenon known as “stoker’s cramp”.
        Ultimately, it can be fatal.

      • It is not that simple I am afraid. The reality is that sugar cane farmers working under the conditions prevalent in central America are unlikely to have access to the quantities of clean water and salt replacements needed. One of the main factors that reduced serious disease rates in the Commonwealth armies in Africa and Asia during WW2 was down to the efforts of the Army Medical Corps in ensuring that adequate water and salt tablets were provided and that sanitary regulations were enforced. The result was a far lower level of disease than was prevalent in the Axis forces.
        The real answer to these disease issues is a plentiful supply of clean water and wholesome food. As a retired British medical officer for a local authority once said in a lecture they are two of the main factors that raised life expectancy in the developed word. The third was cheap soap.

      • As time goes on, their predictive models become more and more farcical compared to the new raw data. They’ve gotten to the “grasping at straws” point of their argument.

  1. add “languages” to theendless list…
    17 Oct: Tribune Pakistan: Shabbir Mir: Endangered: ‘Climate change threatening languages’
    We have all heard of climate change impacting topographies and ecosystems, especially in mountainous regions. However, languages and cultures in particular areas have not been spared by the effects of this phenomenon.
    A study conducted by Zafar Shakir of Karakoram International University (KIU) reveals Shina language is a casualty of climate change.
    Belonging to the Dardic tribe, the origin of the language dates back to the arrival of Aryans into Shinaki area (areas along the Hindukush and Karakoram) circa 1,500 to 2,000 BCE. Words from other languages have encroached into particular regions of the Shinaki area, thereby categorising it within the threatened languages.
    A lecturer at the Department of Modern Languages at KIU, Shakir carried out a study in September with 20 Shina-speaking participants displaced by floods over the past year…
    According to Shakir, “There is a direct and indirect impact of climate change on our material culture, which includes our clothing, agricultural norms and housing.” The lecturer added, “However, there is also a direct and indirect impact of climate change on our non-material culture, which revolves around languages.”…
    The KIU faculty member said the impact of climate change on the target group forced them to code switching (switching from one language to the next in one conversation), inter- as well as intra-sentential switching, and blending and borrowing of words from other languages…
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/974655/endangered-climate-change-threatening-languages/

    • Halfway around the world, in the Amazon jungle, is an area where nearly all members of several tribes are fluent in two or more tribal languages. This area’s extreme multi-lingualism has been studied for many years; here are two published studies, some 40 years apart, that give a serious account of factors affecting the Vaupes linguistic system. The notion that a change of a couple of degrees in average temperature would have an effect on indigenous languages that wouldn’t be swamped by all the other factors…. I’m afraid this doesn’t pass the sniff test.
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/aa.1967.69.6.02a00030/pdf
      http://www.ailla.utexas.org/site/cilla2/Stenzel_CILLA2_vaupes.pdf

    • pat
      Thanks.
      You quote
      – I think from the Tribune Pakistan: –
      “Words from other languages have encroached into particular regions of the Shinaki area, thereby categorising it within the threatened languages.”
      I fear for English, which has had ‘words from other languages’ encroach and assimilate into it’s lexicon.
      Well
      Some – biro, karaoke, pogrom, bungalow, bard, corgi, coffee, igloo, selfie, cul-de-sac, handphone, sauna, goulash, gulag, laptop – in no particular order – are assimilated.
      There are many others.
      For English, this is probably no real problem – the vocabulary is huge – maybe a couple of million words – and English will – crucially – absorb any word that works . . . .
      For Shina language, it may have been too late, some years, decades, or centuries ago.
      Relevance to CAGW – decidedly unproven, I suggest.
      Auto

      • If you go back 3 or 4 hundred years, most of the words now in the English language, weren’t in it back then.
        Between introduction of foreign words and linguistic drift, the language has changed dramatically. If you take a modern English speaker and dropped them into Elizabethan England, the locals would assume that he was speaking a foreign tongue, it would be that indecipherable to them.
        I helped install a first installation of some business equipment back in the 90’s in Tokyo. It was weird listening to the technicians talk. Fairly frequently highly accented but clearly distinguishable English worlds would pop up. Hard disk, floppy disk, mouse, and other technical terms.
        It never made any sense to me, Japanese already has perfectly serviceable words for everyone of those English words, so why not do a direct translation? Never did figure it out. English usually adopts new words when they words either describe a new concept, or carry a nuance that no existing English word currently covers.

      • Much to the concern of the French, English predominates as the lingua franca of the world precisely because of its huge vocabulary (largest of any language) and because of its complex unwieldy grammar. This is not too surprising if one believes the Sapir-Warf Hypothesis, “Language determines the boundary of thought.”
        On the other hand, the French word-police enforce strict guidelines as to how foreign words are imported into their language, which ironically has seen a diminution in its influence as the original lingua franca of many world governments.
        -i.e. OPENESS, as we would all like to see in the study of our climate, is better than CONTROLING CLOSED-MINDEDNESS!

        • “the French word-police enforce strict guidelines ”
          Tell us more. What is this “police” and what can is do?

      • Back in the late 60s, I was working in Quebec (as a mine superintendent). The shift bosses reported in a diary like log book, and they changed languages (French-English-and back again) all the time Sometimes several times in one sentence.
        I read these log books with English and school boy French (learned in Australia). All it did was improve my French.
        Global warming? In northern Quebec? You would have to be joking.

      • MarkW wrote
        “If you go back 3 or 4 hundred years, most of the words now in the English language, weren’t in it back then.
        Between introduction of foreign words and linguistic drift, the language has changed dramatically. If you take a modern English speaker and dropped them into Elizabethan England, the locals would assume that he was speaking a foreign tongue, it would be that indecipherable to them.”
        To paraphrase a well known writer of the Elizabethan era ‘the gentleman doth protest too much’. The fact is that around the world people read books written in Elizabethan English and watch films and plays where actors speak the same language.
        Yes some of the words used would puzzle an Elizabethan but for the most part conversation would be no more difficult than between and Englishman and an American. In fact English at the time was rapidly changing. At a time when even educated men used only around 7000 words Shakespeare alone added around 2000. The worst that would happen is somebody would ask that new word’s meaning.
        Below is a brief sample of the new words that became commonly used at that time.
        Accused Addiction Amazement Arouse Assassinate Blushing Champion Circumstantial Compromise Courtship Countless Critic Dawn Epileptic Elbow Excitement Exposure Frugal Generous Gossip Hint Impartial Invulnerable Jaded Label Lonely Luggage Majestic Negotiate Obscene Premeditated Puke Scuffle Torture Tranquil Varied and Worthless.

      • simple-touriste wrote:
        ‘“the French word-police enforce strict guidelines ”
        Tell us more. What is this “police” and what can is do?’
        The French word-police is the Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologisme, which seeks to enrich the French language by finding French alternatives for Anglicism’s.

        • So there is no police and no enforcement.
          We have witness (témoin) for web cookie. Nobody uses that.

    • Anyone who is bi or multilingual knows that when talking with someone who speaks the same languages, you tend to switch back and forth in the same conversation. It’s been that way at least since 1971, when I found myself doing it; possibly even longer… 😉

    • Let bottom line has encroached into the french language. They have to make up words, like to describe a jumbo jet, big fat grub. All due to global warming, no doubt. What’s next? 4G lte? No doubt in Japan and Korea, all due to global warming, english words are working their way in, konglish. We have to stop global warming to stop this outrage! Wonder why they have to go off to some remote place to study changes in languages? Grants? Sarc

      • All of which begs the question of why is continued mixing of languages necessarily bad? If climate change allows us to communicate in a common language, I’m all for it.

      • I am quite sure that Mobile and landline phones had nothing to do with it, nor did the advent of radio, television and the Internet…. Then again I might be wrong, how about a couple of million dollars and… wait make it 3 millions and I’ll do the study………..

    • We sceptics need a slogan. Can someone post a translation of
      “Sceptics of the world unite – throw off THEIR chains”
      In Esperanto

  2. Does global warming cause kidney disease? According to a study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the root cause of a mystery illness which has killed 10s of thousands of sugar cane workers in Central America might be chronic dehydration, as a result of frequent hard, manual labour in extreme heat.

    But there has been no “global warming” for over 18 years as documented at this site so often by Lord Monckton. On top of that, “global warming” was always supposed to mainly happen away from the tropics. It was supposed to warm the poles so that the “average temperature” would increase. Given these facts on has to say, “what sinking Central American warming?”
    On the other hand, being dehydrated while doing extreme physical labor has been known to be dangerous for a long time. Do these “scientists” not know that?

    • “being dehydrated while doing extreme physical labor has been known to be dangerous for a long time. Do these “scientists” not know that?”
      How would mediocre minds that are incapable of the simplest analytical logic and with an inbred and narcotic desire for an easy dole on the AGW hook “know that”?

    • Wouldn’t surprise me if a fairly large majority of these scientists are unfamiliar with extreme physical labor, with or without dehydration.

  3. Or maybe they’re using cheap as hell tablets to “sterilize” the water being pumped for the workers to drink.
    It is far more likely that poor or dangerous work conditions combined with insufficient vitamin intake is causing the damage.

    • Traditionally, the sugarcane workers of Australia and New Guinea at least, were pretty big on rum as an additive to fluid intake. I’d be looking at that first as a possible cause for organ damage.

    • poor pay, low standard and not much of it food, add a shitload of chemical absorption vie dermal route AND top it off with dodgy water, heat and hard labour.
      and the chem factors a biggie as the sprayings increased hugely over time.
      then the matter of Fake and who knows what substitution IN the chem?
      these same people in the same areas for generations climate adapted didnt get this problem before and they had less mech assistance back then
      so its NOT just climate and water.

  4. “Global Warming”, “Climate Change”, “Extreme Weather”, or whatever their boogeyman-du-jour is, are all nothing but convenient scapegoats and an excuse to not addressing actual problems, the primary one being poverty. Ironically though, the very thing the Warmista want to do to “solve climate change”, which is to make energy both less affordable and less available lowers living standards, both creating more as well as exacerbating poverty.

  5. I sometimes wonder why we need weather stations and satellites to measure the weather. The number of available proxies that you could use instead grows by the day.
    Why not just measure the size of sheep, or jellyfish, or incidence of rare kidney disease and convert it straight to temperature?
    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  6. For decades there have been people cutting sugar cane in Brazil, under similar conditions. Why has the disease not been found there?
    In fact the conditions used to be worse. Up until about 2000 there was frequent burning of sugar cane prior to harvesting to strip off the leaves. The workers used to end up as black as coal miners.

    • Not forgetting workers in arid environments around the world.
      Arid environments are much more likely to cause dehydration than working in high humidity environments.
      Kidney’s are damaged by a myriad of chemicals including over the counter pain/inflammation pills.
      Only a proper study performed under controlled conditions can validate this. Doubtless that the alarmist crowd want to run through the streets screaming precautionary woes, but one sweaty swamp does not make their case.

    • Then the pessimists will tally the numbers killed by accidents and exposure to exhausts, to try and convince the world to revert back to manual labor and “natural” power sources.
      Only this time around, we can only burn wood on Wednesdays when the air quality is ‘green’.

  7. What chemicals are they using to grow the sugarcane, or to purify the water for drinking? (are they even allowed to have sufficient water breaks?) Since there has not been “global warming” in some 18 years, these are the obvious questions. But, _people who live in the 2nd dimension cannot conceive of a 3rd_ In other words they cannot conceive of any other reason for people dying of renal failure, not even obvious ones. (And, of course we know every other problem in the world not caused by GWBush is caused by AGW.)

  8. Not to worry. At the rate they’re emigrating to the United States, I don’t think there will be anyone left in Central America to get kidney disease.

  9. Looks like pure speculation. Preliminary thinking before the real research has been completed. I suspect a lot of reports of this nature will begin to flow as countries line up for the “redistribution” of the Paris Pot.

  10. Sorry but this does not fly with this white guy, using simplistic climate data from the world bank. Temperatures in El Salvador have only warmed over the entire century less than .5C. When your average annual temp is roughly 25C and you vary by .6C either direction, I am not buying that kidney failure is on the rise due to dehydration. Unless of course its dehydration from other sources. I have been to El Salvador multiple times over a decade and watched the conditions become worse and worse for poverty. While other countries in the region have shown some signs of economic growth, there is only signs of economic losses. I would bet if records were kept on alcoholism, this might be a problem. I would also guess that intake of Coke-a-cola products (universal name for this family of sugar and CO2) might be a problem also.

  11. Cruel working conditions for poor laborers is the problem. Freezing half of the planet to make Central America somewhat cooler is insane.

    • I suspect that if we cooled the planet enough so that the workers in El Salvadore no longer had to deal with extreme heat, then we would end up cooling the planet enough so that sugar cane no longer grew well in El Salvador. Eliminating their jobs altogether.

  12. Some larger employers are now requiring workers to wear more clothing, including helmets, to adhere to international standards. This might not apply to sugarcane workers, but I have seen carpenters and electricians suffering in the tropical heat due to decisions made at large geographical and philosophical distances.

    • Guy,
      I have also seen this as a problem.
      We have suggested that folk working on deck be allowed – after a Risk Assessment – be allowed to not use safety helmets.
      Management did not immediately agree.
      Fine – if there is overhead work – but simple chipping and painting . . . . .
      Come on.
      We will try again.
      Auto – with a mariner’s cap on!

  13. Is there any evidence to suggest Central America has warmed ?
    It seems more likely that the medical problems discussed are simply the result of poor labour practices.
    A badly managed workforce.
    The way to avoid chronic dehydration/kidney problems in extremely hot conditions is to drink more water.
    Possibly with some dilute electrolyte. Not difficult. However this seems to be a surprisingly difficult concept for some people to come to grips with.
    In Pakistan this year a heat wave coincided with the start of Ramadan when the faithful are not supposed to eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Thousands died, particularly labourers. In my experience outside workers can get a dispensation that allows them to at least drink when conditions are extreme.
    Unless you have the misfortune to consult a fundamentalist imam.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/uk-heatwave-pakistan-death-toll-rises-as-clerics-urge-followers-to-abstain-from-ramadan-fasting-10360322.html

  14. The global warming wording looks like a gratuitous add-on to an otherwise unremarkable piece of epidemiological research. With (cynical interpretation?) the object of securing more grant funds for their next project.
    Unfortunately, with any publication using the words “climate change” or “global warming”, cynicism has to be the standard pose taken by the reader. Unlike “normal” science where the reader’s default position is that the authors were seeking some truth.
    How sad that we have come to this.

    • And your paper gets counted as part of the 97%, which is handy too.
      Independent of the content of the paper, of course.

  15. As a high school student, I worked in a similar environment to the author’s (a textile dyeing house — less chemicals, more physical labor). It was a miserable place to work made worse by the fact my dad owned the factory. A co-worker was this big West Indian guy who loved the job — he had cut sugar cane in Jamaica and thought this was easy work.

  16. I suppose if you are stupid enough to believe in global warming, you are going to be stupid enough not to drink when you feel thirsty and assume others share this stupidity too!

  17. Sugar cane needs plenty of water to grow. Without water, no cane, hence no need for workers. There is cane, hence enough water. No problems relating to lack of water in either case.
    It’s the same story every time: a problem somewhere, obviously caused by mankind. By pollution, and if not pollution then lack of something or too much of something else, all caused by mankind.
    In the 1970-ies there was a mass dying of seals in the North Sea. Greenpeace, kneejerking: PCB poisoning, obviously. A biologist said, actually it’s a virulent version of distemper (and was pooh-pooh-ed). Then, Greenpeace again: the PCBs must have lowered the resistence of the seals, obviously. Then tests showed no particular high levels of the stuff in the dead seals (falsifying their models, also then).
    Same story today with “bee colony collapse”. Greenpeace: agricultural pesticides. BAN them, and they were, affecting the livelihood of countless numbers of farmers. But biologists will tell you that the problem is caused by a viral infection carried by a parasitic mite which has infected the hives. Countries like New Zealand have not banned the pesticides and also no mite infection and, guess what, the bees are doing fine.

    • “Ed Zuiderwijk
      October 18, 2015 at 7:24 am
      But biologists will tell you that the problem is caused by a viral infection carried by a parasitic mite which has infected the hives. Countries like New Zealand have not banned the pesticides and also no mite infection and, guess what, the bees are doing fine.”
      The varroa bee mite is a real problem. As far as I know, the only country that has bee colonies without any infestation is Australia. And we export bees to other countries. But consider, New Zealand has not banned 1080 poison, which pretty much destroys anything it falls on. Almost all other countries that used it, now does not.

    • cute….except?
      Bayer admitted in their own early data that the neonic chems DID kill bees moths and Small mammals as well,
      when issues arose pre bees problems they then swapped to coating seeds prior to planting
      the dust from that still caused issues
      its a bloody systemic! every cell in the plant inc pollen and nectar is contaminated
      and it spreads IN soil and water rather well
      trees a distance from farmed land tested show it in their pollen etc
      and we idiots eat the seed thats got this toxic crap IN it?
      same as Bt gmos , we are ingesting they DO affect gut bacteria in us as well.
      ditto glyphosate.
      consider this…the no till regimes were pushed and still are very heavily BY the GMO producers as ecofriendlt re soil erosion etc with a HUGE climate change saver push///
      suckers for the greentard farm ideas go buy chem. sheesh
      but untilled soils with dry non rotting non oxygenated non water ingress soils for much of a hot summer in Aus ..are bugger all good.
      a decent burnoff -kills far more of the rusts n fungus/moulds and weed seeds and tillover with a bit of late rain to settle it down still has root material but its open to oxygen and biota for the end phase before the big heat

    • Plenty of water is not the same as plenty of drinkable water. If the only water available is a stagnant green pool full of parasites then you have a real problem as troops fighting in the tropical jungles of SE Asia found during WW2

  18. Read http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/02/04/383628551/new-clues-to-mysterious-kidney-disease-afflicting-sugar-cane-workers .
    It’s much more interesting than this post & comments. Someone studying both the Nicaragua and a similar problem in a rice growing area in Sri Lanka posted several comments there.
    No mention whatsoever of |warming| and just a few of |global| that have nothing to do with climate. Several snarky comments toward Monsanto, but most of those are in the second URL of comments.

    • I’m familiar with that part of Nicaragua and the high rate of kidney disease there. I first became aware of it in 2002.
      The area was extensively used for cotton farming with aerial spraying of numerous pesticides and herbicides for decades; in fact you can still see the old crop dusters falling apart at the small airport in Leon. The common belief among the locals is that various chemicals found their way into the water table and are the root cause of the problem.
      In 2006, I brought several samples of water from a shallow well in one of the affected communities to the U.S. for testing. They came up clean.
      Although one set of tests from one well in one community are not sufficient to prove anything, the experience was interesting and I thought of an alternative hypotheses: The people are afraid of the water and therefore don’t drink enough of it. The fear could have started with a random cluster of outbreaks which was blamed on the water, and that led to a self-perpetuating cycle of more dehydration and more kidney failure.
      Whatever the cause, the kidney disease was there long before global warming was in the headlines.

      • Used to be – still is! – that drinking “field water” DID KILL you
        But not from kidney disease. Heck, they were lucky if they lived long enough to get killed by kidney disease. And not yellow fever, cholera, pneumonia, sepsis, dengue fever, measles, syphilis, intestinal worms, leaches, mites, … etc.
        From the microbes and parasites living IN the field water, the tanks, the pipes, the un-chlorinated storage pipes and pumps, the uncleaned water filters, the pots and pans and trash barrels collecting the dirty water running off of roofs and into streams and ponds.

  19. And then what are the workers displaced by the machines supposed to do?
    Mechanization creates problems of it’s own. It’s not a panacea. Perhaps a different attitude by the sugar Growers towards their workers might be in order.

    • Well most of these kinds of labor jobs are nasty ones that most, including many of the ones doing them, would like to see done away with. But unless the displaced are willing, and able, to be retrained or educated, and also perhaps move (say to an urban area, likely with sub-standard living conditions) then they will be stuck on welfare or selling illegal “stuff”. As the future world becomes even more “robotocized”, the people at the bottom with fewer skills will increase and there is owed them at least enough to live, and the funding, with justice in mind, coming from the corporations that make huge amounts off of creating the problem to begin with. However many may easily be trained to write robo-papers off the tax dole say for AGW types.

    • The money saved by robots will be used to buy something else. Which causes employment in the industries that make “something else” to rise.

      • The money saved by robots is company money that will go to buying……more and better robots or, at best, items that require an even a higher level of skill to make. The re-employment ratio is always much less than 1:1 as these are manual labor jobs and the only new jobs for the employees are other different types of manual labor, assuming that those are available/not already taken. For example, if the sugar cane pickers are replace by machinery, what are these uneducated/untrained workers to do and then where to go to do that labor. Education may be a partial answer but really not widely applicable at this level. Service industries maybe, but already much taken.

        • “if the sugar cane pickers are replace by machinery, what are these uneducated/untrained workers to do”
          with extremely little training, they could author sciency studies about globul warming…

      • Your paranoia is duly noted.
        Why would the plantation owners buy new robots when they just finished buying one set?
        As to your claim that the re-employment ratio being less than 1:1, that’s only if you consider the direct employment in the maintenance of the robots. The vast majority of the new jobs will be in fields quite distant from both sugar cane and harvesting robots.
        People have been replacing labor with automation for several hundred years, and guess what, most of us are still employed, despite the rantings of the permanently clueless.

    • What did your ancestors do jakee? They got higher paying jobs is what they did, and used their improved economic circumstances to provide better opportunities for their children.

      • I’ve had a home in Nicaragua since 2002. You find a lot of people who have climbed the ladder, but the ones who have are generally 1) exceptionally bright, and 2) lucky enough to have found someone from the developed world to employ them.
        Mechanized agriculture won’t occur until the cost of labor becomes greater than the cost of modern machinery. That won’t be any time soon. The typical worker we are talking about lives in a dirt floor shack, has no running water, is illiterate, is a grandparent by the time he is 35, and a successful day is one where his kids don’t go to bed hungry.
        That being said, he is in many ways happier than we are, until some gringo shows up and tells him he is suffering..

      • BFL has the standard Marxist view of the labor markets in which there is absolutely no flexibility and people are incapable of learning new skills.

  20. “the sleep of reason produces monsters”
    What has happened to the art of medicine when having identified a problem (kidney Damage), its cause (improper rehydration) and remedy (proper rehydration), it is then suggested that to stop the problem getting worse the whole world should stop using fossil fuels.
    Reason in these people isn’t asleep, it is terminally comatose.

  21. …Global Warming blamed for mystery Kidney Disease…
    Global Warming blamed for mystery psychological disease affecting Western intelligentsia…
    There. Fixed that for you…

    • Government “fear” policies and government and other big grants cause those with limited moral principles and critical thinking skills to benefit from the “global warming” scare.
      That may fix it a bit more…

  22. I’m in my 80s and I’m still waiting for this %^%$# global warming thingie to extend my golf season. When’s it gonna land in Canada, eh?

    • As a fellow Canadian, I’m really starting to get worried about Global Cooling…It would be the end of Canada !!!! Vote Conservative , pump more CO2 !!!

    • What? You mean you haven’t noticed that it’s possibly as much as 0.8degree warmer than 1850. on average across the globe. Everyone who I speak to about this topic seems convinced that they’ve noticed extreme changes in just the last couple of decades.
      In fact – the argument that I most frequently encounter is, “well, if global warming is just hype, then how do you explain the way that the weather has changed. Because, I’ve noticed massive changes just in the last decade.”
      The brainwashing of the population is almost complete.
      Now they actually see what they are told to see.
      Certainly here in the UK, anyway.

  23. I’ll go one better. Weight Loss causes global warming. 🙂
    During weight loss, nearly all of your weight is lost is due to exhalation of water and CO2.
    Now, I originally wanted to link a video explaining the chemistry of the metabolic processes but I forgot where I saw it and after doing a search on “weight loss CO2 respiration” and seeing all those saggy bodies I just felt like I wanted to puke and I lost my sense of humor.
    Since CO2 is plant food and not linked to global warming, weight loss does not cause Global Warming.
    If anyone can find that video I would like to see it but I am not looking anymore. I saw it on wimp dot com. -gag-

      • Great video. He does misspeak a few times but it is very illustrative.
        C55 H104 O6 +78 O2 —-> 55 CO2 + 52 H2O + Enthapy
        84% of the mass loss is CO2
        ie if everyone in the USA looses 50 lbs on average ( and I do think that is possible) about 7 million tons of CO2 will be released!!!!
        OMG… Everybody….get fat, die and get buried to sequester all that CO2.

      • @Paul Westhaver
        “OMG… Everybody….get fat, die and get buried to sequester all that CO2.”
        I’m working on it. Somebody has to eat that last slice of pie… to save the planet, of course.

  24. I’m really convinced that many of these researchers mention climate change in their studies simply to get more research funding. These people aren’t stupid. Even if the link to climate change is ridiculously thin, it opens up so many more avenues for grants and research dollars. It appears that weather plays a role in this disease, but it’s really about the working conditions. Anyone can clearly see that. But throw in the climate change reference and all of a sudden there’s more money available.

  25. Southern Hemisphere atmospheric climate temperature anomaly: inconsequential..
    End of story.
    Drink more water, demand better work conditions. Suggest a mixture of cold water and a bit of Gatorade always be available at the work site. Kidney disease of this type is unknown in North America, Australia and Hawaii. Because worker health is important.

  26. I moved to Florida in 1991 from New England. I am able to work outside at any time of the year for hours at a time. I take methotrexate for RA which is known to impair kidney function. I take blood tests every 90 days to check on my GFR which is always above 75. I drink lots of water and other fluids to keep hydrated and replace minerals. Blaming climate change is bullspit.

  27. The sugar plantations will mechanize and/or start taking better care of their workers when they run out of slaves.

  28. Wikipedia has a nice description of the Chronic Kidney Disease called Mesoamerican Nepropaathy which suggests there are still many possible causes including over-the-counter use/abuse of NSAIDs for pain relief. The pesticide hypothesis is confounded by CKD found in lower altitude workers and not in higher altitude workers within the same crops, like sugarcane. Environmental ground water contamination hypothesis is also confounded by the high prevalence of CKD in men vs women and not found in children.
    “Mesoamerican Nephropathy (MeN) is a currently unexplained epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu),[1] prevalent in the Pacific ocean coastal low lands of the mesoamerican region, including southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica.”
    The self-medication of NSAIDS hypothesis has a certain merit as the CKD diagnosis has been recognized as recent in origin and mostly in young and middle aged men. Dehydration and NSAIDS chronic use is a treatable/preventable causation as opposed to harebrained schemes as preventing global warming.

    • Funny the mention of NSAIDs as a culprit. It could be, but I doubt the workers in question have the money to buy anything at all at the “farmacia”. If they do have the money, other medications such as prednisone, codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, etc., are basically available OTC for about the same price; yet there isn’t really any abuse problem.

      • Tom Crozier
        “If they do have the money, other medications such as prednisone, codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, etc., are basically available OTC for about the same price;”
        Interesting assertion, do you have any data to support it?

      • Tom Crozier
        I did a Google search for Costa Rica:
        Oxycontin 40 mg 10 tablets 32475.96 crc or $50 USD
        Ibuprofen 800mg 90 tablets $8.60 USD at Walmart.
        What may be available over the counter may not be what people can afford. Ibuprofen appears to be considerably cheaper than Oxycontin and for laborers, self-medication with cheaper product may be more prevalent.

      • Maybe. But if you can’t afford either there is little difference. You are welcome to come down and see for yourself what is available from local small businesseses. The people in question don’t go to Walmart; and even if they had internet access, they don’t know how to read.

      • Tom Crozier
        I was in Costa Rica this last February on an eco tour for three weeks which included sugarcane fields, coffee plantations, and various fruit crops fields besides rainforests and dry arid Western areas choking with dust, burning sugarcane, and diesel transports (Pan American Highway). Our tour took us through some back country to get to these plantations. A lot of labor came from Nicaragua to work seasonally in the fields with the hand work. Besides beer and rum, there were the usual bottled Coke soft drinks stacked two meters high being sold wherever people congregated. Clean water was not a very common sight as most of the rivers and streams were contaminated with bacteria, viruses and parasites.
        As for CKD, it was hard to tell who may have had it until of course they progressed to end stage renal disease: hollow faces, edematous legs and swollen belly, the usual stigmata of systemic disease and dysfunction.

  29. If heat stress is a causal factor for CKD, this disease will be an added health risk related to climate change.

    Translation: We used the “magic word”. Now, give us a grant for us to continue our research.

  30. Access to cheap and abundant energy would also allow for air conditioned break and lunch facilities. In addition having air conditioned homes which are more prevalent when energy is abundant and cheap would also help. Everything is better for the people when energy is abundant and cheap..Progressives and the warmists are all about expensive and unreliable energy, which will increase mortality and lower standard of livings contrary to their claims that it will promote prosperity and health.

  31. 1) Central America has been hot for millenia.
    2) Even the models predict that there will be very little warming caused by CO2 in the tropics because of the already existing prevalence of water.

  32. There is a threat that global warming will dramatically increase populations exposed to hard work in hot climates.
    ….Let’s see…first it was a slight increase in CO2 would cause run away global humidity
    …then it was…no change in the tropics…..temp increase at the higher latitudes
    ….now, we’re all going to die and damn the humidity

  33. RiHo08
    October 18, 2015 at 11:53 am
    Comments are very apt. Queensland cane manual cutters ended up with back problems and ended up leaving the industry in the 60’s.
    NSAIDs used to treat back pain together with dehydration and hence a reduction of renal blood flow lead to kidney damage.
    Additional pain from kidney damage effects such as headaches lead to further NSAID intake when self medicating, compounding the disease.
    In dogs toxic ingestion from Blue Green algae and heavy metals in ground water and dams, together with degradation products of Doxycycline in dried pigs ears all lead to kidney damage and often secondary ascending kidney infections.

  34. The whole study seems like misinformation. They should have studied the use of Roundup/ glyphosate in the same area and measured the glyphosate content in the kidneys and gut bacteria of these prematurely killed men. Climate change is not a threat to human race and life on earth but glyphosate use certainly is.

    • That’s very interesting. I have been very wary of using Roundup to ‘tidy’ up weeds since a friend of ours became very ill after working where it had been sprayed. He was ill for a long time and was very sure the Roundup was the cause of his illness. He sort of recovered but then became ill with cancer and died fairly recently.

    • Roundup is nasty IMO – but very effective. I use roundup to clear the tropical weeds in my garden, which somehow manage to thrive and grow with disappointing vigour, despite the impact of global warming. Always feel like rubbish afterwards, for the rest of the day. I wouldn’t want to spray roundup as a career, or at the very least you’d have to wear full protective kit.
      Still, when you consider what Roundup replaced – the old way was copper sulphate mixed with salt – roundup is the lesser of the available evils.

      • I was going to use Roundup earlier this year to clear a large area of thick brambles.
        But, noticing that they were quite dry, I instead returned with an electric paint sprayer, a barrel of diesel and a cigarette lighter.
        The home-made flamethrower effect looks quite alarming, but, after an hour of work, all the brambles were completely incinerated, and I was able to mow over the area.
        I must state that I did not have environment agency approval for this method of clearing brambles.
        But, providing that you don’t set fire to yourself, it works brilliantly.
        (P.S. I have no links to the oil industry. This is not a promotional message!!)

      • I’ve used products with glyphosate and others with 2,4-D. Many years ago I wanted to get rid of Bindweed under grape vines. More recently the problem (different location) was knapweed. I’ve also pulled and cut weeds out. With acres to do, chemicals are a big help. As the number of weeds gets low a hand sprayer is useful.
        People need to study the weed and know what to spray, and when (important).
        My first use of Roundup was about 1978. I’ve never noticed a medical issue.
        I know there are other issues with chemicals and modified seeds – that is not indicated in the above, but I am aware of these things.

      • My perception of not feeling great afterwards could be psychosomatic, or maybe I’ve got an unusual reaction to glyphosphate. Or maybe its my habit of ignoring the instructions and mixing 3-4x over strength solutions to make sure the weeds actually die…

      • I found using roundup would clear the whole patch sprayed and more, even if you used extreme care not to spray too liberally. In the end, I just used to dig the weeds up carefully. Ended up with a better lawn (Approx 1800 square meters of it) for it!

  35. These days, Global Warming accounts for all actions and phenomena, including the results of horse races, which can be predicted with certainty by Global Warming Theory.

    • Or, at least, using the theory it is possible to explain the discrepancy between the predicted outcome of the horse-race and what actually was documented as the official outcome.
      It might be imagined that in a race with ten horses, ten predictions could cover all possible winners, and hence a group of people making ten predictions would always get one winner,
      The AGW prediction crew, do not seem to have this kind of luck. They make 73 predictions.
      And all 73 predictions are wrong.
      Maybe they should learn, and spread their predictions out a bit!!! 🙂

  36. One’s things for sure, whatever solution they propose to fix this problem by reducing global warming will not only make the problem worse, but will result in a lot more sickness and death overall.

  37. “Does global warming cause kidney disease?”
    Of course it does. The big question is “What doesn’t it cause?”

  38. A bit of clipping and pasting
    October 2012: Dr. Orantes, a local nephrologist, says: “There are three factors: prohibited pesticides, combinations of pesticides, and no protection from pesticides.”
    Richard J Johnson of the University of Colorado says: „ … this (fructose-making and later kidney-damaging) process gets turned on when you get dehydrated .“
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/14/kidney-disease-killing-sugar-cane-workers-central-america
    … chief among suspects are the highly toxic agrochemicals sprayed and dusted on fields throughout Central America, which is the largest consumer of pesticides per capita in Latin America, according to MEDICC Review.
    The cane cutters could also be aggravating damage by slaking their thirst with high-fructose sodas that can harm kidneys, researchers said.
    Other specialists, meanwhile, said irreversible damage may be caused by leptospirosis or a hantavirus, killer pathogens spread by the urine and droppings of infected rats and mice that infest hundreds of square miles of cane fields, gorging on cuttings.
    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/22/central-americankidneydisease.html
    CKD was first documented in Costa Rica in the 1970s, and has since been detected throughout Central America.
    In Nicaragua, they don’t come bigger than the Pellas Group, the conglomerate which owns ISA. Pellas companies also make the prizewinning dark rum Flor de Caña, and produce ethanol, a lucrative sugar cane byproduct used to make biofuels. The group’s CEO, Carlos Pellas – nicknamed the sugar king – is close to Ortega, and was recently .
    ISA says its field hands work on average six hours a day and rest for 20 minutes every hour under shade to minimise the risk of heat stress. Supervisors ensure everyone drinks 1.6 litres of water every hour …
    Workers … say that during the harvest, cane cutters work for eight to 14 hours daily in temperatures often reaching 38C. They usually work a six or seven day week .
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/16/-sp-nicaragua-kidney-disease-killing-sugar-cane-workers
    Chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) was first observed in 1994 in Sri Lankan rice paddy farming communities. Since then the disease has proliferated and affected 11 other countries on three continents, amongst them Central American sugar producing countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras.
    Although CKDu was first acknowledged as a problem in Central America in 2000, it has existed in the region since the 1970s. According to Will Storr, reporting on the CKDu epidemic from El Savlador for the Guardian, the disease remained relatively unnoticed until recently because “there are no kidney specialists [in the deep countryside] to identideclared the country’s first billionairefy such an unusual condition.
    CKD is caused by excessive sugar consumption, while CKDu seems to be associated with the boom in sugar milling spurred by increased consumption and demand. Poor practices in sugar milling countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua expose harvesters to toxic pesticides and harrowing working conditions that appear to be associated with CKDu. http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org/2014/06/sickly-sweet-the-link-between-the-sugar-cane-industry-and-chronic-kidney-disease-of-unknown-origin/
    Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?
    http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2125/pdf

  39. As a slight curiosity, I have just discovered that the very popular and much cited independent newspaper article, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”, has been pulled from their website.
    And opening a link to it produced this result:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html
    Earlier this year it was still available to view, as demonstrated by the wonderful wayback machine:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20150114205355/http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html
    IS IT NORMAL FOR THE INDEPENDENT TO PULL ARTICLES IN THIS MANNER?
    Certainly I have found a few other articles from the year 2000, which continue to exist.
    Is this a case of – the commissar vanishes?
    At this rate, children will not know what articles predicting the end of snow, are.

    • When you find paper copies in far flung areas with a sharp razor cut hole where the article should be then you will know.
      Until then you can expect links to go cold.
      Then there is this (likely unrelated to snow):
      Europe’s highest court said on Tuesday that people had the right to influence what the world could learn about them through online searches, a ruling that rejected long-established notions about the free flow of information on the Internet.” [NYT, David Streitfeld, May 13, 2014]

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  41. Very worried about a few issues here.
    Mad dogs and Central Americans go out in the noonday sun. Why are they growing sugarcane at all? It is a source of added poison to our Western processed food. The only thing sugarcane is good for is making rum and other forms of medicinal drinks. Do only the cane cutters suffer dehydration? Do labour laws prevent a nightshift in the field?
    Possible solution: get rid of the sugar cane and plant rice, cucumbers, ground nuts, corn, and feed a few of the local villages. Just like they do in SE Asia.
    Not climate science I know, but not rocket science either.

    • Not everyone holds the irrational belief that sugar is “poison”. You could ask if it’s a necessary part of diet. That would be no. Neither is coffee, tea, corn, rice, cucumbers or any other single food. Why not just pick say a dozen foods that the most recent, but not replicated, studies show are “good” for you and grow those to the exclusion of others? While we’re at it, meat can go too. After that, find a way to dehydrate and store all of there without refrigeration (Saves billions of gallons of fossil fuel that way—transportation costs are nil on dried foods and cutting out refrigeration saves billions on producing electricity. Then the utopian dream of wind turbines might work. No need for stoves either. Huge savings all around.) Why make eating in any way enjoyable and filled with hundreds of options? Food tablets for all, I always say (or not).

  42. I read this post after reading the one about wind turbines. And I have just one thought: I would say humans are the most fortunate that we can influence our faith, but the animals have to adapt or they will have no other way. At least, we can try and do something, even in this situation….

  43. To end the vicious slavery in the Socialist Utopia of Nicaragua no cane or cotton should be planted. The U. S. taxpayer should provide enough Dollars for the unemployed workers and their Communist Masters..er.. representatives. Cuba should be compensated for their military efforts to kill..er..reeducate the Neanderthal Capitalists, the Caribean Blacks and Indians and Ameriphiles in establishing the Socialist Utopia.
    Or the unemployment could be ignored and machines brought in.
    Herbicides could be eliminated and weeding done by hand and pesticides avoided by crushing insects to put in a water and ethanol solution and spayed on plants. U. S. taxpayers would, of course, replace the lost crop values.
    Or the problems could be addressed by permitting unbridled competition. That seems to have worked in the U. S. and Singapore. Not many native stoop-laborers in those two places. Not much kidney disease either. At least not in 30 year olds.
    Taxpayers sure made the warmists rich in the G-7 countries.

  44. Tom Crozier,
    theres something in it –
    RUM AND COCA COLA SONGTEXT
    If you ever go down Trinidad
    They make you feel so very glad
    Calypso sing and make up rhyme
    Guarantee you one real good fine time
    Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola
    Go down Point Koomahnah
    Both mother and daughter
    Workin’ for the Yankee dollar
    ____
    The typical worker we are talking about lives in a dirt floor shack, has no running water, is illiterate, is a grandparent by the time he is 35, and a successful day is one where his kids don’t go to bed hungry.
    ‘That being said, he is in many ways happier than we are, until some gringo shows up and tells him he is suffering..’
    No offent meant to ANYONE, but has ANYONE ever thougt about hard work under the tropical sun rinsing the kidneys with rum and COCA COLA?
    both high energetic, sugar plus alcohol / which is Turbo Injection Sugar /
    : makes You work hard and long to exhaustion – and DEHYDRATES You every working day long.
    ____
    Thx for the hint – Hans

  45. in the european alpine we are glad growing wheat – and hard outside laborers drink beer, 5 vol.percent alkohol.
    Makes you piss and you drink another 95 vol.percent WATER rinsing your kidneys.
    In countries where wheat is to rare for brewing you get the real energizers –
    wodka from cheap potatoes,
    whiskey,
    rum …
    and seldom holydays for the kidneys ‘on the waterfront.’
    Hans

  46. wodka from cheap potatoes,
    whiskey,
    rum …
    sake from cheap rice – the japanese counterweight:
    the tea ceremony !
    full stop. Hans

  47. last remark – tea must not get imported by the brit’s.
    Its just boiled water, in that decontaminated – with some ‘kick’.
    take proven harmless local herbs: just for the TASTE.
    Regards – Hans
    * and feel free to correct me wherever you find me wrong.

  48. Why do alarmists claim that global warming will cause dryness?
    Seems to me it may cause more precipitation – the earth’s atmosphere is almost a closed system, so more evaporation would result in lots of water vapour in the air and/or more precipitation.
    Distribution of precipitation is key, compare the Amazon and the Sahara for example.
    Soil is another big factor, for example the Peace River country of NE BC and NW AB does not get a great amount of rainfall but is a great growing area, because water is available to plants (much clay under the top soil, so in the dry summer roots can reach it or it wicks up).

    • There is a strong positive correlation between precipitation and global temperature.
      There are many citations on this, but I don’t actually recall them at the moment.
      I seem to remember that Dr. Richard Alley mentioned in it his book, “The Two Mile Time Machine.”

  49. I live in Costa Rica, Its not just cane workers that have kidney issues its the entire populations of those countries. The hard physical labor may just exacerbate it. My guess is diet. rice and beans is a good side order. but heaps of it as a main course aint that great.

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