16 February 2007

Global Warming and Us

Do you believe in global warming?
Millions more South Asians will suffer from diseases like malaria and cholera, or go hungry due to global warming, but governments are not fully aware of the dangers, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

A United Nations climate panel report last month predicted climate change would result in temperatures rising by between 1.8 and 4.0 Celsius (3.2 and 7.8 Fahrenheit) in the 21st century.

"Diseases like malaria, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne diseases, and dengue fever will definitely thrive in warmer climates," he said.

South Asia gets around 20 million cases of malaria every year.

Greater frequency of droughts and heatwaves will not only adversely affect crops but will also punish those who live with a scarcity of water and push up rates of respiratory illness.

At the same time, increased rainfall will trigger damaging floods along rivers.

[Reuters, 15 Feb 2007]

Even after the release of the fourth IPCC report a couple of weeks ago, global warming remains to be a very controversial issue among scientists, politicians, and pundits. Self-interests and preserving the economies of the concerned countries play a major role in the so-called politics of global warming.

But being a southeast Asian citizen, all I can offer you are my experiences and observations --- yes, summer seasons are getting hotter and longer; yes, the typhoons hitting our countries get fiercer and fiercer; yes, the flashfloods and inundations are more frequent, and damage to lives and property seem to be worsening every year.

Malevolent Malaria? Dreadful Dengue? These diseases have been with us for the longest time, and have claimed so many lives already. We long to hear some good news like malaria eradication, or dengue incidence figures going down.

It is already bad as it is. What we fear is it might get worse.

6 reactions:

JT said...

I have been following the great disasters appearing in greater frequency in Asia. The typhoons in particular and the flooding and huge amounts of rainfall. It seems that not enough attention is being focused on the problems that Asian countries are dealing with, that seem to be more likely than not connected to global warming. Keep up the good posting.

rolly said...

Really very scary, doc. I hope we will be spared from all these.

Bugsy said...

So true, Doc Emer. In the past 6 years, my late father's house (which is alongside a river) had been twice hit by water as high as 5 feet at some points. Something like that has never happened while we were growing up in that house. But I also think that aside from global warming, we have to contend with people throwing their garbage anywhere. This certainly contributes to the flooding problems.

ann said...

The very first thing I'm scared of (kids)everytime we go on vacation are those diseases.

bayi said...

Very true indeed. Look at the recent instances of floods in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. They now happen on a scale more devastating than before. Water-borne diseases (typhoid, cholera, etc.) and vector-borne diseases (malaria, dengue, etc) rear their ugly heads soon after and sadly, with many more deaths than just drowning.

Dr. Emer said...

Al Gore says it is a choice between saving the planet and protecting the economy (theirs, of course!). Apparently, while he favors saving the planet, he lost the presidency to Bush, and there lies the problem. Global warming is not a fact, it's a theory. So, everyone wastes their time debating and arguing, while we languish and wait for more super typhoons and category 4 hurricanes.