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« Another view that must not be heard | Main | The unmentionables »
Monday
Aug242015

The World Bank's sexed-up climate claims

The World Bank's climate change unit put out a tweet about climate threats to Eastern Europe yesterday that caught my eye. This one:

There's plenty to take issue with, but let us pick on the claims about chikungunya.

Chikungunya is a viral disease, which is passed to humans by two species of mosquito: A. albopictus and A. aegypti. The problem with claiming that global warming is going to increase the risk of chikungunya is that although A. albopictus is native to East Asia and India, there are established populations in cold countries too: Alaska, North Korea, and Japan are just a few examples.  In other words the species is very versatile and can thrive in both cold countries and in warm ones. It's therefore hard to make a case that a bit of warming is going to change things very much.

The story is a little different for A. Aegypti, but it certain seems to have been implicated in historic outbreaks of yellow fever in such tropical hellholes as Boston Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its lifecycle revolves closely around stagnant water and its spread across the world is closely associated with the trade in used tyres. One might therefore argue that the (alleged) drying of the Mediterreanean in a warmer world will actually reduce the prevalence of chikungunya rather than expanding it. In truth nobody really knows.

Oh yes, and when the World Bank tells us that chikungunya will become increasingly prevalent in the Balkans, would it not have been helpful of them to point out that breeding populations of A. albopictus have been observed in the region since the 1970s?

On this claim at least, the World Bank seems guily of sexing things up rather than reflecting the scientific literature.

Is there a climate conference coming up or something?

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Reader Comments (33)

This was pointed out in the famous Channel 4 documentary attack on climate change of a decade ago. It was true then and is just as true now. Did not Shakespeare write of ague ( malaria) which was still a problem in Kent's Romney Marsh as recently as the mid twentieth century.

Aug 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

There was a huge outbreak of malaria in Murmansk in the 1920s. Just in case you don't know, that's on the north coast of Russia, and it can get quite chilly there.

Pointman

Aug 24, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

But you do have to give them some sort of credit for trying!
Or do I mean "being trying"?

Aug 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Last time I was in Kiev at -27 degrees C that warming was a bit difficult to perceive. The relatively new (to Europe) Tiger mosquito that feeds in daytime and doesn't need wetlands is a big modern problem though and this is the one they are talking about, since it is less tolerant to cold.

The Asian tiger mosquito was responsible for the Chikungunya epidemic on La Réunion in 2005–2006 and in Ravenna later and it's a beggar to eliminate. We'd better start taking it seriously, warming or not.

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

A quick scoping of their web site = I think not unreasonably indicates a diagnosis that yet another supra national human organisation has been infected with the Green Plague caused by vermibus viridis. - a non specific parasite which has undergone something of a population explosion in the late 20th / early 21st century - due to a parallel outbreak / epidemic of unquestioning credulity.

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:13 PM | Registered Commentertomo

~ sings ~ pardon me, bank, is that the chikungunya poo poo

I'll get my coat

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:16 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

Clearly, watchers of this blog seem to know a hell of a lot more than the World Bankers about malaria, & yes the ague is mentioned over a dozen times in the works of Shakespeare!

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

This touches the untold scandal of scientists providing regional ( ie non global) climate projections to governments and institutions, despite knowing there's zero skill in them, iow they're as good as random guesses.

I have a feeling the MetO is involved in the same mutual deceptive attitude.

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:35 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Dear World Bank,

Repeat after me.

Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY
Malaria is a disease of POVERTY


OK?

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Also, Holland (I think) was only pronounced Malaria free in 1970! Of course, with the RSPB going hell for leather for the production of wetland areas, we could be storing up future problems as they are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos!

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

So, the World Bank has joined the crusade to save us all from ourselves. End of credibility for the World Bank as far as I am concerned (I realise they will not be trembling over their Martinis tonight as a result).

What a sorry spectacle it is to see so many people hoodwinked into what they may see as a glorious crusade when the evidence for the motivating crisis, and indeed the arguments for it, are so feeble.

The predictive skill of these crusaders is not high. They do not give good guidance to us. I have compiled a list of 21 links to many examples of their incompetence.

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:46 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

It is weird that the World Bank is so keen to find problems that do not exist.

Luckily for the World Bank, they are not subject to speculative scaremongering in the same way. What genuine problems might be found with very little effort?

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Right now, the World Bank might be better off concentrating on how to minimise their loss of wealth.

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered Commentertoorightmate

Malaria was rampant in eastern and central Canada all through the 19th century

http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/canada/malaria_in_canada/

Aug 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Tomlin

I think Eastern Europe has bigger worries on the horizon. Mainly Russia.

Aug 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Is there a climate conference coming up or something?

Indeed there is , and many more of these types of scare stories are to come in the big push to get something out of Paris other than peoples Christmas list shopping, at the public's expense, done.

While we can review what happened to the IPCC's malaria expert when they give their views on the subject , well they where no longer the IPCC's expert becasue they put good science ahead of political need in a manner the world bank certainly has not.

Aug 24, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

How strange that they cannot bring themselves to mention so much as ONE positive benefit of a warmer world. Longer growing seasons delivering greater crop yields feeding more people for less money, just for example. But good news doesn't sell the hysteria, so it's stays off message.

Aug 24, 2015 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I see they are also warning of the catastrophe of methane coming from melting permafrost. Didn't I read recently that the methane would be absorbed very rapidly by soil bacteria?

Aug 24, 2015 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constable

John shade writes -
"So, the World Bank has joined the crusade to save us all from ourselves. End of credibility for the World Bank as far as I am concerned (I realise they will not be trembling over their Martinis tonight as a result).

What a sorry spectacle it is to see so many people hoodwinked into what they may see as a glorious crusade"

John, they haven't been hoodwinked, nor are they joining as late comers, they no what they are doing. They lend money. At damn good interest rates, I suspect. They can smell a good deal for them, and if there are billions of what ever unit of money you chose to be made off of misdirected deeds, don't think for a second that they have the moral fiber to NOT help push that cart over the cliff. They don't lose, no matter what happens. They WILL make money, and that is all that matters, even if it costs 2 pints of blood for every unit of money made, they will join any venture that fattens the bottom line.

Aug 24, 2015 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom O

We need Heracles (Hercules) badly. The Augean Stables (Westminster) need clearing of filth again and the many headed Hydra (UN) needs slaying again.

(Hesiod named the Hydra as a daughter of Typhon and Echidna, two children of Gaia. It possessed many heads...and, each time one was lost, it was replaced by two more. It had poisonous breath and blood so virulent that even its scent was deadly. The Hydra was killed by Heracles as the second of his Twelve Labors.) (Wiki)

The World Bank, IMF, WHO, UNEP, UNDP, UNICEF and several more are all heads of the UN Hydra, and naturally all are fully signed up to the UN's Millennium Development Goals, which include the UN's climate policies and ambitions. They will of course salivate at the prospect of regulating, administrating and distributing the pot of climate gold they covet.

They even advertise job vacancies on a common platform!

http://unjoblist.org/lists/organisation/world%20bank/1/

Aug 24, 2015 at 8:25 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

In the pre-industrial era, malaria was endemic in the Fens of eastern England. Oliver Cromwell died of it.

Aug 24, 2015 at 9:45 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Mosquito-borne malaria was still endemic in England and Wales up until the Mid-1800's. Mainly in the Fenlands and Somerset levels, but also occurred in the Welsh Marches until the drainage of marshland, such as the Hyssington and Corndon marshes in the 1830's.

Aug 24, 2015 at 9:51 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Perhaps the World Bank needs to look at what is happening in China at the moment?

Aug 24, 2015 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

What next, macroeconomic advice from the WHO?

Aug 24, 2015 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Hanley

chikungunya I thought it was a new dance from Brasil?
but worldbank is an old acquaintance: thoroughly corrupt and very very anxious to have the "right" lefties at the top..if they do not have the proper lefty sociopath at the top , the onesbelow start to morph into lefty meejahists and spawn propaganda..

its one of thos institutes noone knows what it is doing

Aug 24, 2015 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotWarmerDueToCo2

Does anyone know where the World Bank invests its money? It would be a safe bet to assume that such investments would not be a safe bet.

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It is impolite to disparage prosperous and well functioning hellholes by comparing to Boston and Philadelphia.

Aug 25, 2015 at 5:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

What a load of rubbish - the dengue fever stuff was debunked in the peer-reviewed literature years ago (Russell, Richard C., et al. "Dengue and climate change in Australia: predictions for the future should incorporate knowledge from the past." Medical Journal of Australia 190 (2009): 265-268.)
And the malaria expert Paul Reiter explained to the US Congress why malaria has nothing to do with temperature.
These climate evangelists never let facts interfere with their gospel.

Aug 25, 2015 at 6:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMAGB

What next, macroeconomic advice from the WHO?
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Aug 25, 2015 at 6:26 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Somewhat relevant.

Sexed-up climate conference claims in Copenhagen, 2009: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/gropenhagen-conference-prostitutes-offer-free-climate-summit-sex-a-665182.html

Ht: Climate Science

Who will report on such arrangements for Paris, 2015?

Aug 25, 2015 at 9:14 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Hmm, I wonder how the howling nutjobs are doing?

"worldbank is an old acquaintance: thoroughly corrupt and very very anxious to have the "right" lefties at the top..if they do not have the proper lefty sociopath at the top , the onesbelow start to morph into lefty meejahists"
Aug 24, 2015 at 10:38 PM | VenusNotWarmerDueToCo2

Turns out you're all still completely and utterly insane then.

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Malaria was endemic in may parts of England until the late 19th and early 20th centuries with areas like Romney marsh in Kent and the East Anglian Fens being particularly affected. The last major outbreak was in 1910 as I recall. It was largely eradicated by draining areas of stagnant water. The greens of course consider this environmentally unsound as they do the use of pesticides. The result is a large increase in Mosquito populations in the fens. Its only a matter of time before there is another malarial outbreak in Easten England. Climate has little to do with it since such outbreaks occurred during the Little Ice Age.

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith Willshaw

Strang that nobody - except for Jeremyn Poynton (indirectly) - makes the observation that mosquitos only transfer Malaria between people. With no peoploe that have malaria no malara.

Aug 26, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterGösta Oscarsson

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