Told ya

Da-boss went on record before  with a claim that climate change may be less of a threat to humanity than a number of other, little publicised scenarios like superbugs.

I am not buying into the argument that because some analyses indicate potential for catastrophic warming by 2100 we as a humanity should automatically commit all available resources to combat this particular (perceived) threat. There is any number of possible scenarios which might spell doom to mankind and we have to prioritise based on the credibility of individual threats. Other serious contenders are for example (…) Super-bugs

What I did not know is how much more deadly microbes resistant to antibiotics are likely to be than global warming but a recently published piece of research is a good starting point for this comparison. The article on the BBC website summarises the findings of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance which started in 2014:

The review says the situation will get only worse with 10 million people predicted to die every year from resistant infections by 2050. And the financial cost to economies of drug resistance will add up to $100 trillion (£70 trillion) by the mid-point of the century. (…) Lord Jim O’Neill, the economist who led the global review, told the BBC: (…) “If we don’t solve the problem we are heading to the dark ages, we will have a lot of people dying.”

This is a very sobering prospect which we cannot afford to ignore. The problem is a lot of contingency funding in the national budgets has already been committed to fighting another threat to humanity – global warming. So how do the two scenarios compare in terms of their lethality? How deadly climate change is likely to be by mid-century? WHO has a factsheet which quantifies it:

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030

So there we have it. The pet cause of the environmentalists climbing oil rigs and vandalising gas stations is likely to kill 250 000 a year while drug resistance in bugs which few people worry about can cause up to 40 times more deaths. Another quote from my previous post sums it up:

All of this does not mean that the AGW is a fantasy but, being only one of many possible global threats, it should compete for the contingency funding with other nasty scenarios like accidental release of smallpox virus, emergence of drug-resistant E.coli etc. Instead, AGW has become the only thing activists obsess about, which is dangerously narrow-minded.

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