Year 3, Month 10, Day 13: Fever!

Charlie Pierce normally writes about politics for Esquire, but he noticed that Hantavirus was showing up in a place it wasn’t expected. You should read the whole piece:

Just to get your weekend off to a happy start, there seems to be an outbreak of the hantavirus in Yosemite, and folks aren’t entirely sure that it will stay there, or that it will be the only little biological horror to visit these shores.

Sent October 6:

The news that climate change has triggered outbreaks of Hantavirus in Yosemite National Park should surprise no one; it is common epidemiological knowledge that a major illness brings minor ones in its wake. The metastasizing greenhouse effect is such an illness, crippling the planetary “immune system” that has allowed both an effulgent biodiversity and a richly complex human civilization to flourish over the past few tens of thousands of years.

Look around carefully and you’ll find similar “sicknesses” at different levels of scale throughout Earth’s interdependent ecologies. Whether it’s acidified oceans, beetle-infested forests, tropical diseases in New England, droughts in Iowa, floods in Pakistan, or methane bubbling from the surface of the Arctic ocean, these manifestations of a grave underlying condition can no longer be denied or ignored.

The widespread rejection of scientific reality in American society is a symptom of another sort, for major illness is often accompanied by cognitive impairment and disorientation. Is not the climate-change denial pervading our media and politics just such a systemic delirium?

Warren Senders