The Climate Scaremongers: UK Health Chief’s Nonsensical Claims Of Doom
We are used to silly, irresponsible climate scare stories from the BBC and the papers, but when they come from the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency it is quite another matter.
According to the Guardian last week: ‘The climate crisis poses a “significant and growing threat” to health in the UK, the country’s most senior public health expert has warned. [bold, links added]
‘Professor Dame Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said there was a common misconception that a warmer climate would bring net health benefits due to milder winters. But the climate emergency would bring far wider-reaching health impacts, she said, with food security, flooding, and mosquito-borne diseases posing threats.
‘Referring to the recent floods in Pakistan, Harries said the UK needed to build resilience to protect the population from the health impacts of extreme weather events. “Colleagues from Pakistan . . . are suffering from the impacts of flooding. They are dealing with stagnant water, higher risks of sewage overflowing into publicly accessible water spaces,” she said. “We are seeing some of the things that could be happening in the UK”.’
And she warned us that we would have to stay indoors in the middle of the day in summer and have longer summer holidays for schools. She even ridiculously claimed that we would soon have outbreaks of dengue fever.
The comparison with Pakistan is utterly absurd, and there’s no evidence that summers in England are getting wetter, or for that matter drier.
Indeed, even her claim that we would soon be having Mediterranean summers is just as ridiculous. The simple fact is that even this summer was not as hot as in 1976.
The average summer temperature may have increased, as cold summers become less frequent, but even with the wall-to-wall sunshine we had this year, summers show no sign of breaking through that 16C barrier:
By contrast, average summer temperatures in the south of France are typically six or seven degrees higher.
Harries’s comments about dengue are particularly misleading. The spread of dengue globally has not been because of climate change, as one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases, Professor Duane Gubler has explained.
According to him, the principal drivers are urbanization, globalization, and lack of effective mosquito control.
The mosquitoes that carry the virus thrive in urban habitats, where dengue quickly spreads, while air travel provides the ideal mechanism for the transport of viruses to new cities, regions, and continents. The result, he says, is epidemic dengue.
The World Health Organisation also notes that the mosquito that has brought the dengue virus to Europe is actually adapted to cold weather:
‘Aedes albopictus, a secondary dengue vector in Asia, has spread to North America and more than 25 countries in the European Region, largely due to the international trade in used tyres (a breeding habitat) and other goods (e.g. lucky bamboo). Aedes albopictus is highly adaptive and, therefore, can survive in cooler temperate regions of Europe.’
Britain is no stranger to mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. Large epidemics of dengue have been recorded here and elsewhere in Europe since the 18th century.
One massive epidemic, estimated at one million cases with at least 1,000 deaths, occurred in Greece in 1927-28. Climate change has nothing to do with the spread of dengue.
And what about this ‘food security’ Harries is waffling on about? Agricultural output has been steadily rising since the BSE scare of the 1990s:
If the professor is worried about Britain’s food security, maybe she should be objecting to the government’s plans to rewild large swathes of our countryside to attack the dairy and meat industry and build solar farms on prime agricultural land.
Read rest at Conservative Woman