Is Global Warming to Blame for Spread of ‘Tropical’ Diseases?

"<a href="">Aedes aegypti CDC-Gathany</a>" by James Gathany - PHIL, CDC. Licensed under Public Domain via <a href="">Commons</a>.Aedes aegypti CDC-Gathany” by James Gathany – PHIL, CDC. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.The New York Times has just published an article claiming that global warming is (partly) to blame for the spread of various “tropical” diseases to the U.S. and other areas where previously they had been eradicated or had never existed. Donald G. McNeil Jr. begins his article titled “U.S. Becomes More Vulnerable to Tropical Diseases Like Zika” thus:

Tropical diseases — some of them never before seen in the United States — are marching northward as climate change lets mosquitoes and ticks expand their ranges.

A little farther along he concedes that other causes probably contribute, too:

Some factors in the new spread are, for now, unstoppable, scientists say: the weather is hotter; cheap airfares mean humans travel more than they did decades ago; and cities in tropical countries are becoming more crowded, creating nurseries for each disease.

I am extremely skeptical of any claim that the spread of these diseases is affected significantly by global warming.

First, there’s been no statistically significant increase in global average temperature since February of 1997, 18 years and 10 months ago, which makes changes more recent than that very difficult to tie to any warming trend.

Second, the slight increase that did occur in global average temperature (GAT) over the previous 20 years, precisely because it was in global AVERAGE temperature, would have made little difference in local temperatures, and local temperatures are what affect vector (insect and other germ carrier) survival.

Third, according to the climate models on which the climate alarmists rely, most of the increase in GAT was embodied in warming in the North Polar region, and the empirical data support that, which means little of the increase in GAT was left to occur in the regions in which the vector and disease spread are identified.

Fourth, the two other causes mentioned in the report — “cheap airfares mean humans travel more than they did decades ago; and cities in tropical countries are becoming more crowded, creating nurseries for each disease” — are far more likely to explain the spread of the diseases than the climate change that hasn’t happened for nearly 20 years.

The impression that malaria, for instance, is a “tropical disease” is completely false. It was endemic in over 40 of the 48 contiguous United States, plus Alaska. The biggest malaria epidemic in history was in Siberia. It’s essentially a disease of poverty. Other vector-borne diseases are likely the same.

So chalk this up to another instance in which the mainstream media automatically blame a problem on AGW when the evidence for the connection is thin to nonexistent.

The report also predictably avoids any mention of DDT, either as a potential response to the current risks or as the means by which we eliminated malaria from the South here in America. Note this paragraph: “The importance of living conditions and medical treatment is exemplified by malaria. It once was widespread in the South and ranged as far north as Boston in hot summers.” No mention at all of why it disappeared from the South, but it was by widespread and intensive use of DDT spraying.


Comments (5)

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    [b]After the last 35 years of climate action delay why can’t science just agree their climate change crisis is as real as they already agree smoking causes cancer and end this costly debate to save the planet?[/b]

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    Well because it is not “real” Mini-Meme 69.

    When every single prediction based upon the CAGW hypothesis has failed it means only one thing.

    Professor Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics said,

    “It does not matter who you are, or how smart you are, or what title you have, or how many of you there are, and certainly not how many papers your side has published, if your prediction is wrong then your hypothesis is wrong. Period.”

    Climate predictions are consistently wrong, so the hypothesis is wrong and the computer models built on it are wrong and produce meaingless results.

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    To answer your question ..because there are still at least 30,000 scientists and millions of people that do their homework and who know their is no “climate crisis ” .

    You keep on believing though . How’s your car running , got any flight’s planned . Nah , guess you are so scared you prefer to live in a cave .

    What is costly is spending $$Billions on trying to control the earth’s thermostat through a trace gas, beneficial to life , when other
    environmental and social issues could be actually addressed .

    Certainly respect your right to your point of view . Just don’t share it that’s all .

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    Chances are that it’s coolwhip back again! 😀 ya know like that 196 = zero turned out to be coolwhip! 😆

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    They are back on to the stupid “mosquito” thing again? .. .sheeesh .. will these morons never learn?

    Alaska, North Dakota and Minnesota have, by far, the largest mosquito populations in the United States.

    Northern Siberia had the worst mosquito borne malaria outbreak in recorded human history.

    What do these places have in common? .. They are NORTHERN latitudes and very cold during the winter months. But that has little to do with their mosquito populations. What they DO have in common is vast flat areas holding vast amounts of stagnant standing water for long periods of time, providing prime breeding grounds for mosquitos and malaria itself. Climate has virtually NOTHING to do with it.

    Freaking buffoons .. will just never learn.

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