Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's not just the rising waters

That global warming might bring tropical diseases north is not exactly new news.  What I find most interesting about this article is that it also includes discussions of the impact of an economic downturn.

While you were worrying about rising sea levels…
David Noriega, Remapping Debate, 25 September 2013
Milder winters may also affect the territorial range of vectors — how far north different kinds of mosquitoes are able to survive.
Currently in southern Florida, “we have about a dozen species of mosquitoes that are not found farther north than the Everglades,” said Burkett-Cadena. “Many of these species are vectors of human pathogens.”
As winters grow milder further north, more of the Florida peninsula will become hospitable to these disease-carrying mosquitoes, Burkett-Cadena added.
So far so good, but then we get into the interesting parts:
A real estate nightmare
Increased health problems are serious enough. But those problems have typically gone hand in glove with depressed real estate markets.
In 1997, the population of Churchill County in Nevada began to see an abnormal rate of pediatric leukemia. Lucas Davis, now an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley studied the county and found that the health risk led to a significant decline in housing prices.
There is no explanation for the problems noted.  It could be a statistical blip.  But as the article notes, public perception can be as important as reality. 


PioneerPreppy said...

I been wondering if the milder Winters were going to bring the Africanized honey bees further North again. They stopped spreading not too far South of me the last time.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: I have heard some counter arguments as to the nature of the "killer" bee problem, but am not in any position to know the merits of the case.