- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Here's the dirt...

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on December 22, 1999 at 12:46:11:

In Reply to: Farinata, do tell. posted by MDG on December 21, 1999 at 00:02:53:

: : Did you see the news about Nile fever in New York?

My mistake; it wasn't Nile Fever (as was first thought); it was St. Louis encephalitis; 63 cases were reported in late August and early September 1999, leading to 3 deaths. The entire city of New York was sprayed with pesticides to try and kill the mosquitoes off.

Source: BBC News.

: : Did you know that the incidence of antibiotic-resistant TB has tripled in this decade alone?

This is mainly due to the rise of shanty towns in places like Texas; places where TB is rife, especially MDR-TB (multi-drug-resistant TB). Basically, poverty is the biggest single aid to the spread of TB, since the DOTS treatment requires a country to spend money on public healthcare and programmes to stop TB. The greater the gap between rich and poor, the higher the incidence of TB.

It's instructive to look at Haiti as a good example; since the US invasion, the infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, number of doctors and population have increased, but the GDP has fallen by 33%, the literacy rate has fallen, the public health expenditure has fallen and the average life expectancy has fallen by 1 year.

This corresponds to the US's actions post-invasion; Haiti has been made into a cheap labour farm for the US; providing things like baseballs, clothing and coffee solely for the US market.

See also an article from the WHO website about TB.

And another one

: : Did you know that New Orleans has seen a five-hundredfold population explosion in Formosan termites; which are highly likely to destroy much of the old town?

Sources: various.

There's an oldish article on it here on CNN.

And a slightly newer article on it here.

And a US Government page here.

Basically, climate change in the Deep South is affecting the behaviour patterns of Formosan termites; where they used to swarm at dawn and dusk they are now swarming all day; leading to a population explosion and increased spreading of termite populations.

: : Did you know that fish stocks in the Atlantic have dropped to 33% of what they were twenty years ago, due to climate change and overfishing?

Source, BBC, EU, Reuters.

In 1980, over 300,000 tonnes of fish were caught.
In 1998, around 133,000 tonnes of fish were caught.

see here.

: : Did you know that one of the areas likely to be hardest-hit by climate change is the American Midwest? - try imagining a Dustbowl; only five times worse.

There's a good article on the subject in the Vancouver Sun, dated 30/12/98, titled 'Wild Weather: Our Changing Climate' written by Stephen Hume.

Here's a CNN report on the 1999 US drought.

: : Did you know the US is heading for a record trade deficit this year?

Source: BBC news.

Predicted US trade deficit for 1999 = $25.9 billion.

: : Did you know that the Surgeon-General is making provisions for an estimated 3 million cases of malaria in the southern US over the next 20 years?

Source; the CIESIN archives; they hold articles on related topics printed in The Lancet. I'm afraid I don't have the exact source; I read it a good 8 months ago on paper.

: : Even if you do believe the (somewhat debatable) idea that revolution comes from the comfortable, we're likely to see an unprecedented amount of unrest in the US over the next 25 years or so.

: What's your primary news source for the above information? I'd like to subscribe to it. Thanks.

I don't really have a single source of information; I work part-time as an environmental activist; so I get a lot of news 'down the wires'. However, the stories are sometimes covered by the major media; I've gone through the statements above and put in links to the stories and similar stories.

Good places to look are the UN Development Programme, the UN Environment Programme, the BBC, the World Health Organisation and similar bodies.

Hope that helps!


Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup