Latest Alarmist Claim: Global Warming to Unleash Flesh-Eating Fungus!

The CDC is warning of the spread of Apophysomyces,  a fungus found in soil and normally harmless to humans, but which, if it penetrates the skin through punctures and lesions will literally eat the flesh and bones, causing massive necrotizing damage. Predictably, global warming alarmists have leapt on to the study, as puncture wounds caused by flying debris (as you might expect in a tornado, for example) and warm weather are two of the contingent conditions for the fungus to affect humans.

David Engelthaler, the lead author of the study that unravelled the genetic code of the fungus warned it was unlike anything ever seen before, leaving one patient needing a titanium ribcage after it had eaten him away:

The fungus that grows in soil and water usually doesn’t cause harm unless it penetrates the skin. Lesions form that destroy the soft tissue of the body, eating away at flesh and bone. According to the CDC, infection with the spore can cause “rapid and fatal” disease in humans and is often unreported because it’s difficult to identify.

When the fungus enters the body it seals of capillaries that supply blood to the skin, causing it to rot. “It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” said Engelthaler. It’s unreal. It looks like there is no way this person can be alive.”

E-Max Health News: Awareness of Flesh Eating Soil Fungus Highlighted in New Study.

This terrifying fungus is not actually new at all, it’s always been around, but was only identified in 1979. Normally, India and other warm countries with poor medical care see sporadic cases of it affecting humans, but following the tornado which struck Joplin, Missouri, recently, it is being blamed for five deaths there as people whose skin was ruptured or punctured by flying debris succumbed to it.

Of course, whilst this is a case of an ancient and extremely rare problem being identified by modern science and medicine, rather than the emergence of an entirely new threat, it didn’t take long for the global warming alarmists to spot the possibility for linking it with global warming. Requires a warm climate? Check. Recent cases caused by skin punctures after natural weather disaster? Check. Very little real information on spread and incidence? Check.

Treehugger immediately launched a breathless piece on the issue, ludicrously  entitled “How Climate Change Can Spawn Flesh-Eating Fungi”. Of course, climate change can’t “spawn” the fungi at all, and the study says nothing of the kind. But that doesn’t stop the alarmists at Treehugger who simply juxtaposed two entirely unrelated studies next to each other as though that constituted rational analysis:

All together 13 people were infected with Apophysomyces, which occurred when their injuries were contaminated with debris from the storm, including gravel, wood and soil. The five who died did so within two weeks.

“This is one of the most severe fungal infections that anyone’s ever seen,” said David Engelthaler, Director of Programs and Operations for TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division.

Meanwhile, a report from the U.S. Global Change and Research Program, the federal research program overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, found that more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could lead to an increase in extreme weather conditions that make tornadoes possible.

Treehugger: “How Climate Change Can Spawn Flesh-Eating Fungi”

Do you see what they did there? A study which unravelled the genetic code of a newly identified fungus was linked with global warming, thus justifying (if that word can be used here) the headline about climate change “spawning” flesh-eating fungi. In reality, there is no link of course, but by  journalistic sleight of hand, the gap between the two issues is elided, and the unwary reader is led to believe that rather than bare-faced alarmism, this is the result of calm scientific analysis.

And in a way, the headline to Treehugger’s story is the only real point to them publishing the story. It allows them and others to forge a link, however tenuous, between the theory of global warming and the terror of having our flesh and bones eaten away by a mindless fungus or bacteria we can’t even see. Fear short circuits reason, and simply by juxtaposing the two unrelated issues next to each other it now becomes possible to suggest and insinuate a causal link between the two where absolutely none exists. In this way, a panic might be whipped up, a hysteria that demands “Action!” rather than analysis. And so alarmism trumps analysis once again.

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8 responses to “Latest Alarmist Claim: Global Warming to Unleash Flesh-Eating Fungus!

  1. Confusing. You call it a bacterium. The quotes refer to it as a fungus. Which is it?

  2. I can see a direct link with the Mediaeval Warm Period, that which some climate “experts” would have expunged (shades of 1984) from the history books. Welsh archers (the so-called “english” long-bow was developed in Wales, archers at Crécy & Agincourt were Welsh)) stuck their arrows in the ground beside them before taking aim. This was obviously preferable to pulling them from the quiver hung from the belt, and had another not-so-obvious long-term effect; anyone whose flesh was pierced by such an arrow was likely to develop a wound infection.

    Perhaps my forebears (did you guess I’m Welsh?) knew a thing or two about Apophysomyces.. Perhaps they didn’t and just relied on observation and deduction, something that seems to be lacking in many alarmists these days. They might have even known the Anglo-Saxon word gore
    Gore noun/em>: Anglo-Saxon gor dirt, dung
    You listening, Al?

  3. If anyone wishes to ask questions about my paper, or if you believe you have an alternative explanation for the Venus surface temperature, please post your question or response below this post as I wish to keep all discussion on the one thread. There is also discussion there regarding today’s article on PSI which I did not write myself, by the way.

  4. Thinking about it, that item could just as well have been run as a good news story, as the long-term trend in damage-causing tornadoes does not appear to be an upward one, and therefore promises to deprive flesh-eating fungi of their future prey:
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/new-paper-normalized-tornado-damage-in.html

    As well as a great example of alarmism, the Treehugger article also demonstrates something that I think must be some sort of law operating in the media, i.e. that climate change tends to threaten life forms that we like and find cute or useful, and at the same time promotes and encourages life forms that we dislike and consider pests. Thus it menaces polar bears, which are cute (from a distance) and encourages pine bark beetles, which are a pest.

    Fungi are an interesting case. Human-flesh-gobbling fungi are obviously evil, so naturally climate change will help them. However, there are plenty of online articles about warmer conditions aiding all kinds of mushrooms and toadstools, and which are couched in neutral language, so the rule doesn’t work 100% here. But where there are articles about specific mushrooms that are very valuable, rare, delicious, and so on, such as exotic Himalayan mushrooms, black truffles etc., climate change is often (but not always) described as harmful.

    For most apocalyptic ever article about fungi, this one surely has to be a contender (tinyurled due to very long link):
    http://tinyurl.com/dxhzlxu

    “When environmental conditions change quickly, fungi turn into opportunistic parricides, attacking and feasting on their enfeebled animal kin. Deadly fungi are thriving today amid environmental tumult, wiping out nests of bumblebees, colonies of bats, and hundreds of species of frogs.

    And they are coming for us.”

    [Crescendo of suitably ominous music.]

  5. New Climate Change Video

    Click here to see why we need physics experiments only done in the 21st century in order to confirm the new paradigm explaining planetary surface temperatures.

    Doug Cotton

  6. All should read this comment by, Geoff Wood, qualified in astrophysics.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/01/waste-heat-as-a-contributor-to-observed-warming/#comment-68988

    As Doug has said about a dozen times, gravity modifies the mean free path between collisions. That is ‘every’ upward, ‘every’ downward ‘every’ sideways, ‘every’, ‘every’ free molecular path between collisions is modified. Therefore it is impossible for the modified ‘collisions’ that result, not to impart the gravitational ‘information’ into the macroscopic development of the gravitational thermal profile. This is the ‘diffusion’ process.

    At this point, we have a reasonable depiction of the thermal profile of ANY atmosphere. FROM BASIC PHYSICS.

    Given a simple reason why any atmosphere tends towards this isentropic profile as depicted and described by entry level physics, why would anyone look for a more complicated reason to explain what we already know!

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