Warmists and a wave of disease

James H. Fetzer and J.R. Dunn
One overlooked aspect of the climate change argument is the link between climate and disease. Contrary to the fear mongering of the warmist con game, we have a lot more to fear from global cooling than global warming, when it comes to disease.

While researching my very first article about the warming controversy, I came across evidence that climatic changes may well have been a factor in triggering the Black Plague of the 14th century. The culprit was not warming, but its polar (so to speak) opposite -- long-term cooling across the entire northern hemisphere. (That same article contains what may well be one of the first public assertions that the brief post-70s warming interlude had ended and that we were actually entering a period of cooling.)

The last decade of the 13th century saw the end of the little Climatic Optimum (LCO), more widely known as the Medieval Warming Period. During this epoch, roughly the 10th to 13th centuries, Europe experienced a population explosion not seen since the Roman era, along with an episode known to historians as the European agricultural revolution, in which numerous innovations increased both the yield and variety of crops. It also witnessed the first industrial revolution, which introduced such basic mechanical devices as the turbine, complex gear systems, and the rotary crank, along with such amenities as clocks and eyeglasses.

With the end of the LCO, the weather closed in across Europe. Torrential rains became commonplace. The growing season was curtailed. Continent-wide famine, nearly absent for several centuries, returned with a vengeance. And with hunger, and the accompanying suppression of immune systems, came disease. It's not as well-known as it should be that there was a famine in Genoa just prior to the outbreak of the Black Plague in 1348. From there it spread across Europe on wings of cold that cut food supplies, forced humans to huddle in cramped dwellings, and sent the rats in after them. A third of Europe died as a result.

Now, I'm not going to claim that the H1N1 swine flu is a product of our recent cooling spell, or that -- God forbid -- another great plague is waiting around the corner. But this is not something we can leave out of our calculations. Warmists have spoken lightly of increased rates of disease due to global warming without ever explaining what the mechanism might consist of. In truth, warmer weather cuts disease for all the reasons already mentioned, while colder weather aggravates it. If the current cooling continues for the three-decade period predicted for it, this is something we need to keep in mind and remain on the alert against, particularly as regards the more deprived nations, which can act as incubators for all kinds of nasty strains.

As for the warmists, all I'll add here is that it's typical for them to call up evanescent, unreal threats while a real one was growing behind their backs. It's another means by which they have truly provided a disservice to the society that supports them.

...but wait -- what am I saying? Obama's going to take care of all that, with his health-care plan for the ages. Sorry -- just having an Irish moment. Forget I brought it up.
One overlooked aspect of the climate change argument is the link between climate and disease. Contrary to the fear mongering of the warmist con game, we have a lot more to fear from global cooling than global warming, when it comes to disease.

While researching my very first article about the warming controversy, I came across evidence that climatic changes may well have been a factor in triggering the Black Plague of the 14th century. The culprit was not warming, but its polar (so to speak) opposite -- long-term cooling across the entire northern hemisphere. (That same article contains what may well be one of the first public assertions that the brief post-70s warming interlude had ended and that we were actually entering a period of cooling.)

The last decade of the 13th century saw the end of the little Climatic Optimum (LCO), more widely known as the Medieval Warming Period. During this epoch, roughly the 10th to 13th centuries, Europe experienced a population explosion not seen since the Roman era, along with an episode known to historians as the European agricultural revolution, in which numerous innovations increased both the yield and variety of crops. It also witnessed the first industrial revolution, which introduced such basic mechanical devices as the turbine, complex gear systems, and the rotary crank, along with such amenities as clocks and eyeglasses.

With the end of the LCO, the weather closed in across Europe. Torrential rains became commonplace. The growing season was curtailed. Continent-wide famine, nearly absent for several centuries, returned with a vengeance. And with hunger, and the accompanying suppression of immune systems, came disease. It's not as well-known as it should be that there was a famine in Genoa just prior to the outbreak of the Black Plague in 1348. From there it spread across Europe on wings of cold that cut food supplies, forced humans to huddle in cramped dwellings, and sent the rats in after them. A third of Europe died as a result.

Now, I'm not going to claim that the H1N1 swine flu is a product of our recent cooling spell, or that -- God forbid -- another great plague is waiting around the corner. But this is not something we can leave out of our calculations. Warmists have spoken lightly of increased rates of disease due to global warming without ever explaining what the mechanism might consist of. In truth, warmer weather cuts disease for all the reasons already mentioned, while colder weather aggravates it. If the current cooling continues for the three-decade period predicted for it, this is something we need to keep in mind and remain on the alert against, particularly as regards the more deprived nations, which can act as incubators for all kinds of nasty strains.

As for the warmists, all I'll add here is that it's typical for them to call up evanescent, unreal threats while a real one was growing behind their backs. It's another means by which they have truly provided a disservice to the society that supports them.

...but wait -- what am I saying? Obama's going to take care of all that, with his health-care plan for the ages. Sorry -- just having an Irish moment. Forget I brought it up.