Your Fault: Climate Doom To Lead To More Superbugs

How dare you!

Climate change is contributing to the rise of superbugs, new UN report says

st greta carClimate change and antimicrobial resistance are two of the greatest threats to global health, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme.

The report, titled “Bracing for Superbugs,” highlights the role of climate change and other environmental factors contributing to the rise of antimicrobial resistance. It was announced Tuesday at the Sixth Meeting of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance in Barbados.

Antimicrobial resistance or AMR happens when germs such as bacteria, viruses and fungi develop the ability to defeat the medications designed to kill them. (snip)

The focus so far has largely been on excessive antimicrobial use, but experts say there is growing evidence that environmental factors play a significant role in the development, transmission and spread of antimicrobial resistance.

“Climate change, pollution, changes in our weather patterns, more rainfall, more closely packed, dense cities and urban areas – all of this facilitates the spread of antibiotic resistance. And I am certain that this is only going to go up with time unless we take relatively drastic measures to curb this,” said Dr. Scott Roberts, an infectious diseases specialist at Yale School of Medicine, who was not involved with the new UN report.

The climate crisis worsens antimicrobial resistance in several ways. Research has shown that increased temperatures increase both the rate of bacterial growth and the rate of the spread of antibiotic-resistant genes between microorganisms.

Remember how all those carbon emissions made the Black Plague worse?

“As we get a more extreme climate, especially as it warms, the gradients that drive the evolution of resistance will actually accelerate. So, by curbing temperature rises and reducing the extremity of events, we can actually then fundamentally curb the probability of evolving new resistance,” Dr. David Graham, a professor of ecosystems engineering at Newcastle University and one of the UN report’s authors, said at a news conference ahead of the report’s release.

Nothing but cult doom from these people.

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2 Responses to “Your Fault: Climate Doom To Lead To More Superbugs”

  1. Professor Hale says:

    I’m pretty sure the planet Earth already has places that are more than 2 degrees above the average global temperature, and those places are not generating waves of superbugs.

    Same old playbook. The general public doesn’t take us seriously and is unwilling to pay carbon taxes to prevent a hypothetical 2 degree rise in temperature 50 years from now. So make it a zombie apocalypse right around the corner.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Same old playbook. The CNN headline writer and primary author exaggerate the issue and the right-wing echo chamber takes it from there. We suggest that CNN, Mr Teach and covian commenters read at least summaries of the UN report (the entire report is only 64 pages with several useful illustrations). The report discusses environmental spread of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) – bacteria and fungi resistant to the drugs we use to treat the diseases they cause. Climate change was discussed sparingly in the report.

    This report calls for priority action to address key pollution sources from poor
    sanitation, sewage; community and municipal wastes; healthcare delivery;
    pharmaceutical manufacturing; intensive crop, and terrestrial and aquatic animal
    production sectors. There are many co-benefits of preventing and managing pollution
    in these sources to address biological wastes that contain resistant microorganisms
    that spread AMR, and chemical wastes that select for AMR. To prevent and reduce
    such pollutants it is crucial to:

    1. create robust and coherent national level governance, planning, regulatory
    and legal frameworks, as well as establish coordination and collaboration

    2. increase global efforts to improve integrated water management and promote
    water, sanitation and hygiene to limit the development and spread of AMR in
    the environment as well as to reduce infections and need for antimicrobials

    3. increase integration of environmental considerations into National Action Plans
    on AMR, and AMR into environmental-related plans such as national chemical
    pollution and waste management programmes, national biodiversity and
    climate change planning

    4. establish international standards for what are good microbiological indicators
    of AMR from environmental samples, which can be used to guide risk reduction
    decisions and create effective incentives to follow such guidance

    5. explore options to redirect investments, to establish new and innovative
    financial incentives and schemes, and to make the investment case to
    guarantee sustainable funding, including the allocation of sufficient domestic
    resources for tackling AMR.

    We feed tons of antibiotics to food animals. Doctors treat viral diseases with anti-bacterial treatments. The anti-bacterial triclosan is included in soaps, shampoos, cutting boards, dishwashing liquids… you name it. Bacterial mutations generate resistant bacteria. The resistant microorganisms get into waterways, ground water, crops and spread through wildlife. Antimicrobials are used extensively in aquaculture and in crops as pesticides. Pharmaceutical manufacturers worldwide dump their Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) into wastewater. Resistant organisms are now found worldwide.

    Figure 4 on p7 of the report summarizes the spread of AMR but doesn’t mention global warming.

    Please skim the report.

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