The Current Wisdom is a series of occasional articles in which Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, from Cato’s Center for the Study of Science, review interesting items on global warming in the scientific literature or of a more technical nature. These items may not have received the media attention that they deserved or have been misinterpreted in the popular press.
We hardly need a high tech fly-swatter (although they are fun and effective) to kill this nuisance—it’s so languorous that one can just put their thumb over it and squish.
Jeb Bush’s candidacy? No, rather the purported connection between human-caused global warming and the highly-publicized spread of the Zika virus.
According to a recent headline in The Guardian (big surprise) “Climate change may have helped spread Zika virus, according to WHO scientists.”
Here are a few salient passages from The Guardian article:
“Zika is the kind of thing we’ve been ranting about for 20 years,” said Daniel Brooks, a biologist at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “We should’ve anticipated it. Whenever the planet has faced a major climate change event, man-made or not, species have moved around and their pathogens have come into contact with species with no resistance.”
“We know that warmer and wetter conditions facilitate the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases so it’s plausible that climate conditions have added the spread of Zika,” said Dr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a lead scientist on climate change at WHO.
Is it really “plausible?”
The Zika virus is transmitted by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, that are now widespread in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the globe (including the Southeastern U.S.), although they haven’t always been.