The Corpus Callosum

Global Warming and Disease

I’ve quietly worried about this for a few years, but now I have
company.  Increased temperatures, combined with increased
climate variability, could have a significant effect on human health
worldwide.

href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CLIMATE_HEALTH">Diseases
Appear on Rise With Temperature

Nov 14, 5:51 PM EST
By CHARLES J. HANLEY
AP Special Correspondent

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A warmer world already seems to be producing a
sicker world, health experts reported Tuesday, citing surges in Kenya,
China and Europe of such diseases as malaria, heart ailments and dengue
fever.

“Climate affects some of the most important diseases afflicting the
world,” said Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum of the World Health Organization.
“The impacts may already be significant.”

Kristie L. Ebi, an American public health consultant for the agency,
warned “climate change could overwhelm public health services.”

The specialists laid out recent findings as the two-week U.N. climate
conference entered its final four days, grappling with technical issues
concerning operation of the Kyoto Protocol, and trying to set a course
for future controls on global greenhouse gas emissions…

One reason this is important to note, is that there are some people who
seriously think that climate change presents opportunities for economic
gain.  

href="http://www.utdallas.edu/news/archive/2006/dumas-warming-opps.html">Practical
Solutions to Global Warming
href="http://www.utdallas.edu/news/archive/2006/dumas-warming-opps.html">May
be Major Economic Opportunity for U.S.
Climate Change Fixes Could Boost Profits, Jobs, Says UTD
Professor

RICHARDSON, Texas (June 1, 2006) — Global warming may
represent a major opportunity for investment and job growth in the
United States, but any such potential is endangered if the public and
policy makers remain mired in either panic or a sense of resignation
about climate change, according to a new report published by Dr. Lloyd
Jeff Dumas, professor of economics and public policy at The University
of Texas at Dallas (UTD)…

No doubt it is true that that there will be economic opportunities.
 The same was true of the href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_plague#Socio-economic_effects">bubonic
plague in the middle ages:

The great population loss brought economic changes
based on increased social mobility, as depopulation further eroded the
peasants’ already weakened obligations to remain on their traditional
holdings. In Western Europe, the sudden scarcity of cheap labour
provided an incentive for landlords to compete for peasants with wages
and freedoms, an innovation that, some argue, represents the roots of
capitalism, and the resulting social upheaval caused the Renaissance
and even Reformation. In many ways the Black Death improved the
situation of surviving peasants.

I suppose a nuclear war would create all kinds of opportunity, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Matt
    November 17, 2006

    Too bad we eradicated smallpox – it offered so many new opportunities for those New World settlers.

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