Year 4, Month 5, Day 19: Clippety-Clop, Clippety-Clop

And heeeeeere’s Plague, right on time. WaPo:

FRESNO, Calif. — California and federal public health officials say that valley fever, a potentially lethal but often misdiagnosed disease infecting more and more people across the nation, has been on the rise as a warming climate and drought have kicked up the dust that spreads it.

The fever has hit California’s agricultural heartland particularly hard in recent years, with the incidence dramatically increasing in 2010 and 2011. The disease — which is prevalent in arid regions of the United States, Mexico, Central and South America — can be contracted by breathing in fungus-laced spores from dust disturbed by the wind as well as human or animal activity.

The fungus is sensitive to environmental changes, experts say, and a hotter, drier climate has increased the dust carrying the spores.

I’ve used this analogy once or twice before and gotten results. May 6:

The problem of illegal immigration is far worse than even the most xenophobic demagogue could imagine. Incomprehensible numbers of unauthorized visitors still barely register on the radar of our governing class.

As climate change intensifies, we’re going to meet disease-carrying insects, fungi, and micro-organisms that have never before appeared in the continental United States. Propelled by the same essential needs that motivate humans — somewhere to live, eat, thrive and reproduce — they’ll move to American soil as environmental conditions transform in response to the accelerating greenhouse effect. The spread of Valley Fever in California is just one example.

Right-wing lawmakers and media figures rail against border-crossers who “parasitically” exploit our economic resources. But these conservative grandstanders cannot acknowledge that the plethora of genuinely dangerous parasites arriving in the wake of the climate crisis will be undeterred by grand border fences, punitive laws, or moats filled with alligators.

Warren Senders