And that’s why the discount rate on climate change is positive

Antibiotic resistance “could kill humanity before climate change does”, warns England’s chief medical officer

Because other things can get us too.

26 thoughts on “And that’s why the discount rate on climate change is positive”

  1. Not having effective antibiotics would be a very big deal there is no doubt about that. But could kill humanity? Penicillin was first discovered in 1928, the first practical application occurred in 1941, how did humanity survive up until then?

  2. Surreptitious Evil

    Old age is going to kill us all long before climate change does.

    However, the political over-reaction to climate change (eg no new power stations etc) possibly has a better chance of an early impact, even over antibiotic resistance.

    how did humanity survive up until then?

    Shagging w/o effective contraception. And being much more resilient as societies in the face of untimely deaths.

  3. One thing is absolutely certain, climate change will not kill humanity. Even when we have another ice age, humanity will survive, though it would likely have severe consequences for house prices in Scotland and Northern England. On the plus side, should be a boom time for us coal miners.

  4. It’s great.

    The climate apocalypse is getting all the headlines at the moment and the media are ramping up the panic to 11. As a result, other doom-mongers are feeling left out and are starting the same process of fact free escalation of “potential” threats.

    In a few weeks, we will get stories about the sky falling.

    This silly season is one of the silliest I can recall

  5. For once she is right. An asteroid strike will do for us first. The death of the sun will do for us too, but by then we’ll probably be elsewhere or died of asteroid strikes or athlete’s foot or something.

    But not CO2 driven anthropogenic climate change.

  6. Give me decent odds and I’ll bet my life this woman is dead wrong.
    It turns out that there are far more (10X?) microbes both by weight and variety than we thought. Mostly in the soil.
    So the options for new antibiotics are huge. We calculate we’re going to run out in the same way as oil explorers or miners. Once you’ve got 30 years proven reserves, it’s pointless to boast more. Doesn’t mean we’ll run out in 30 years.

  7. Isn’t the argument that pathogenic bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to the current range of antibiotics, and that the development of new ones is not happening fast enough? Not least cos the costs of developing new drugs is so huge and the pay back for new antibiotics insufficient to cover the costs, especially as the use of new ones could be restricted.

  8. Dennis, Fish Farmer to the Rich and Famous

    Professor Dame Sally Davies also cautioned the post-Brexit UK against importing meat or fish from countries that “misuse” antibiotics while rearing livestock.

    Question: Why refuse to import fish from countries that “misuse” antibiotics while rearing livestock?

    Here in the USA farmers usually don’t feed their fish the same stuff they feed their cows and piggies and whatnot. In fact, they usually keep their fish in separate pastures to insure they don’t get into the cow food.

    Do wog farmers pasture their fish and livestock together?

  9. Dennis, He of Many Names

    Penicillin was first discovered in 1928, the first practical application occurred in 1941, how did humanity survive up until then?

    Evidently it didn’t.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    Shame we didn’t have the Internet in the late ’60s and early ’70s, then we’d be able to quickly reference all those scientific claims that we’d all be under 100m thick ice sheets by now.

  11. Rob, Andrew C, those ought to be on t-shirts and billboards.

    Not that I ever wear billboards, of course.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    Diogenes,
    Dunno, not heard him on the subject but could believe he’s an ice age denier.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jimmers,

    Isn’t the argument that pathogenic bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to the current range of antibiotics, and that the development of new ones is not happening fast enough? Not least cos the costs of developing new drugs is so huge and the pay back for new antibiotics insufficient to cover the costs, especially as the use of new ones could be restricted.

    The issue is that if a new antibiotic is discovered/manufactured health authorities don’t want it to go in to general usage as that limits the time it will be effective. The idea is that they’ll only use it on super bugs as a last resort so that those super bugs don’t build up resistance too quickly.

    That means the drug companies won’t be able to recoup costs and turn a profit before the IP runs out. One idea is that governments offset the costs and provide some profits, but that would prove difficult to calculate and it removes incentives.

    The other problem is that some of the new drugs may come from natural products and those are difficult to patent.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-03/antibiotics-aren-t-profitable-enough-for-big-pharma-to-make-more

    https://constitutionalhealth.com/drugs-and-medicine/big-pharma-and-government-ignore-superbug-solution.stml

  14. Am i missing something?

    Aren’t anti-biotics quite easy to make?

    Take these superbugs and grow a culture of them, then let them kill each other and figure out what they use to kill each other – hey, presto more anti-biotics!

    Isn’t that what happened did to discover them? Why wouldn’t it work again?
    I get why it wouldn’t be cost-effective for a big company with testing costs etc now, but they keep going on about how we won’t be able to kill the superbugs and we’re all going to die horribly, surely the afore mentioned method means its quite easy? – Not a biologist

  15. BiND
    Agreed 100%. Further problem is that Abs are short duration usage eg 7 day course, but other drugs eg statins are a pill a day for life. Guess which one makes a better return on investment…

  16. Chernyy_Drakon
    Part of the problem is resistance to a whole group of antibiotics or even general resistance to many groups via eg enhanced metabolism or excretion of antibiotics by bacteria.
    It’s an arms race between different bugs in vivo all the time, so even if we do test a huge range of potential antibiotics from nature there’s always the potential for resistance to develop. Plus the cost issue too.

  17. Obvious she’s not competent to be a clinician so she’s a bureaucrat who’ll say anything to extend her quango queen career.

    I don’t know about CO2 but I know an O2 larcenist when I see one – saw the deluded old trout on the telly during a house visit at lunchtime

  18. A nationally known pediatrician told me the problem comes from worldwide distribution of antibiotics. Third world countries skimp on dosage, or curtail before the full course, resulting in germs surviving the treatment.

    Then these people come to see London Eye, the Eiffel Tower, and Time Square, or just move to Los Angeles, transmitting their surviving bugs to us.

    The West’s generosity may be fatal.

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