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The Great Warming: Anthropogenic Global Warming and the spread of disease

Regular readers of Australian political blog sites will be familiar with Deknarf, whose ‘Graphic Manipulations’ provide a barbed, light-hearted observation of the fools on the Hill on a weekly basis.

Lesser known, is that Deknarf is a researcher in his right in the field of micro-biology. As this weeks guest blogger, he takes a look at the micro-biological effects of AGW.

Now there’s a heart-stopper of a headline! Presenting information on the likely effects of Anthropogenic Global Warming and the related spread of disease tends to make people’s eyes to glaze over. It does mine after a lengthy sojourn wading through the science-speak! So, perhaps a hypothetical. Remember Joe Hockey saying that it’s highly probable that a child is being born and that it will live until 150?

So here we go!

It’s 2035!

I’m sitting on the mosquito-proofed verandah, beachside in tropical Sydney, gazing out to sea. Wasn’t able to do that a few years ago because there were beachfront houses over the road. More rapid global sea rise took care of those. Another prediction that went awry! Forgot to incorporate in the models that as the world warmed the rate of sea rise would increase, not stay at a steady rate.

It wasn’t so much that the models were wrong, they just didn’t include a couple of factors, and it all turned out to be less incremental, more logarithmic, eh? Especially when the Arctic permafrost let go and released all that methane! Anyhow, now that they’ve removed the wreckage there’s just the road between home and the beachfront and luckily home is still three or four metres above sea level.

The property value went up accordingly but since they reckon that the road will be inundated in another 10 to 15 years, that little bubble’s going to burst soon I’d say. But then again, on current expectations, I won’t be around to see it.

It’s a bit of a shame that you have to go inside around 4.00 in the afternoon unless, of course you cover yourself in anti mozzie stuff and smell like a bad case of body odour. Since the “Great Warming” started those bloody Queensland disease bearing mozzies headed south and now we’ve got them all over the place!

Part of the daily grind is the “get rid of the stagnant water patrol” just to make sure the little buggers aren’t breeding in every puddle! Given that we now get afternoon tropical storms it’s a right pain in the bum! So if you want a dose of Dengue, Japanese Encephalitis or Malaria just step outside for a bit and get a mozzie bite, or two!!

Going outside at night? Brave person! If you dodge the mozzie’s then there’s always the Cane Toads! Along with the mozzie and disease invasion those bloody toads came too! Sydney these days has become “Tropical one day, hospitalized the next!” Someone said the other day, that they’d found fire-ants in Vaucluse! That’ll play havoc with the real estate prices!

And all this, on top of the increase in food and water borne diseases, respiratory diseases as well as animal borne disease mean that, these days, living past about 70 is primarily down to good luck, living in Tasmania, and good genes!

What with Dengue, Chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, Malaria, E coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Giardia, Cholera, influenza, whooping cough, as well as the Hendra and Leptospirosis I’m surprised that there’s still a population of 20 odd million in the Sydney metro area! Most of them moved down from Queensland after the desertification, and the refugees from all those Pacific Islands are still coming! Some smarty-pants called them “submergees”!

And the odd part! There are still the seriously deluded who still believe that the last 30 years is just a warm weather anomaly and it’ll all change back again – eventually! I’m wagering they still vote Liberal or National Party and think, “Coal is Good!”

150 years old Joe? Don’t think many of us will get to see that milestone.

Perhaps we could use the now ex-Prime Minister of Team Australia’s approach!

“My fellow Team Australians. The are coming after us and they strike, wraithlike, from the shadows and in the darkness of the night. In their urgent quest for our blood, they send their Death Cult terrorists amongst us. Everything possible needs to be done to defeat these evildoers!

This is a Government utterly committed to a campaign against those who are coming to get us. And the point I keep making is that these killers of women and men, child murderers, these medieval barbarians, broadcast to the world through the mounting death toll the ugly dimension to their evil. We may not always feel that we are at war with them, but they certainly know that they are at war with us!”

“And, as the world warms new battlefronts open up to these murderers. New territory to conquer, new opportunities to wreak their evil, murderous havoc on the innocent and unwary.

Rest assured my fellow Team Australians, as long as we have our energy, our industry, and our coal is good, we will fight them on all fronts! In tropical Sydney, in Mediterranean Melbourne, in the deserts of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory – we will never surrender!


Then again, perhaps the Abbott approach was just a tad hyper hyperbolic. After all. We did create the opportunities for these little beasties, didn’t we?

Deknarf blogs on his own site; Deknarf: The Australia Blog.



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  1. brickbob

    Great article and one that everybody should read.”

  2. paul walter

    He has gone against the grain but his conscience has given him no rest. He is reduced to irrational apologetics and in melt down.

  3. kerri

    And Deknarf didn’t mention all the heat rashes and fungal infections from the humdity!

  4. deknarf

    Thanks Brickbob! 😉

    I am but a molten blob upon the floor under your crystalline glare Paul Walter! 🙂

    EGAD! Heat rashes and fungal infections slipped under the raiment of forgetfulness! 😉

  5. Roswell

    Good one, deknarf.

    By the way, I thought you must have worked in finance or money, as your name is franked backwards.

  6. Backyard Bob


  7. diannaart

    Having already suffered from some weird-arse tropical illness…. be afraid….be very afraid….

  8. deknarf

    Thanks Roswell!

    Backyard Bob picked up on the “franked” bit pretty quick!

    diannart: In science the experiments are undertaken usually small scale and under controlled conditions, and they can be turned off if things go wrong. We are running an experiment using the whole Earth, already aware that things have gone awry, know that things will get worse, don’t know the final outcome, argue about what to do about it, and when we finally turn it off it will take centuries to stop! Who said homo sapiens was clever?

  9. Roswell

    It’s good to see your work here on The AIMN. I hope we see more of it.

  10. Kaye Lee

    One of the reasons that previous ideas about developing the north have been rejected was to provide a buffer quarantine zone between us and other countries where tropical diseases infect their plants, animals and humans.

  11. Paul

    What, no Rat.
    Good work as always Deknarf.

    For a good blog about Climate change have a look at http://robertscribbler.com/
    Read the comments too, some very educated and wise folk follow him.

  12. deknarf

    Thanks Roswell! It was a privilege to be invited to contribute! 😉

    The great advantage of Oz Kaye is that we are an island nation with decent bodies of water between us and other countries. While an important barrier to disease our most important barrier is our quarantine and disease monitoring programs in the North. Long my the Government give them maximum support! 😉

    Who knows Paul, Rat may get a run here sometime, and thanks for the praise. Also thanks for the pointer to robertscribbler! 😉

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