Tick Talk: Climate Driven Invasion of the Contagious Insects

Ticks and Other Nasties Are Spreading New Lethal Diseases As They Move North With The Climate

Invasion of the Killer Ticks
Most humans didn’t really respect the lowly tick, but they are learning to.

A variation occasionally deployed by paid climate de-stablization “skeptics”* is that they won’t mind global warming because winters will be milder. This point of view willfully ignores the downside of the climate extremes we’ve been noticing lately, ie. unprecedented storms, floods, droughts and stuff like that, but we won’t worry about that today.Today will be worry about the migration of ticks, along with hundreds of other species that are migrating with the warming of the globe. All of these migrations have consequences, but the tick is getting special attention because the nasty little bastards are causing death and disease in the suburbs of America. Beyond the spread of Lyme Disease – which has long been associated with deer ticks and now affects upward of 300,000 people a year – scientific consensus now believes that ticks are spreading at least five other diseases. The uptick in new pathogens spread by these tiny arachnids is a sleeping plaque accompanied by mysterious new afflictions such as the Heartland virus and Powassan disease, which is 10% lethal and often leaves permanent neurological damage in its wake.The most bizarre of these outbreaks began in 2007 with a strange “meat allergy” carried by the lone star tick. The bite of the tick causes a range of symptoms following meat consumption, including seriously impaired breathing, vomiting and hives.

One of the areas showing dramatic increases in tick borne disease is the Northeastern U.S.A. as it grows increasingly warmer. Because tick populations are no longer dormant in the winter, the numbers of larvae and nymphs that survive into spring are growing rapidly. Some ticks now live three years instead of only one.

The tick invasion is similar in many ways to the onslaught of pine bark beetles that are decimating forests in the West. Both contagions are ranked among the many enjoyable benefits of climate change. Lyme with your gin and tonic, Mr. Perry?

*Skeptics is really the wrong word, but it’s become the standard. Properly speaking, a skeptic is someone who has analyzed a given topic and chosen not to go along with a consensus. Climate skeptics on the other hand, are either paid to make their claims on behalf of the fossil fuel interested, or are guided by Old Testament science, or are simply engaged in wishful thinking because they live in a fucked up part of the country.

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