Culture War Dispatches

from a Progressive People's Republic

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Markey: SUV's Cause Chikungunya

Letter to Globe:
It is surprising that Rep. Edward Markey continues to repeat the inaccurate statement from An Inconvenient Truth that "before climate change, mosquitoes were not present in Nairobi,”and that the Globe published it without the most elemental fact checking (“Bad microbes on the move, “1/1/08). The claim is easily refuted; a CDC report by Snow et. al. (1999), for instance, documents numerous malaria epidemics in Nairobi in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

Markey apparently repeats this fabrication indiscriminately as justification for global warming legislation. He is quoted again in your more balanced article, “Scientists tussle over link between global warming, disease.” (Globe, 12/5/07)

Your editorial reports that the disease chikungunya is spread by tiger mosquitoes, which exist “as far north as Germany in Europe.” It is unclear how global warming can be responsible for an outbreak in coastal Ravenna, Italy, 500 miles south of Germany.