Been taking lessons from Dr. Heinz Kiosk

OK, so maybe it came from a lab then, instead of naturally. But still, lessons can be learned:

In fact, since the evidence is by now overwhelmingly that long-term human activity is accelerating the emergence of novel pathogens and increasing the risk of pandemics, the question investigators should really be asking is: did some recent, one-off event such as a lab accident exacerbate the already high and growing risk of spillover of a virus with pandemic potential caused by a decades-long shift towards industrialised farming and the wildlife trade?

Through their reliance on antibiotics, livestock monocultures and crowding, industrial-scale farms are ratcheting up the virulence of animal pathogens that the wildlife trade – and one of its shop windows, wet markets – is bringing into contact with potential host species they wouldn’t otherwise encounter, including us. This is not news.

So, even if it was a lab leak we should still act as if it wasn’t. There, isn’t that a surprise.

Dr. Heinz Kiosk is alive and well.

One particular joy here is the complaint about monocultures. If you’re a true monoculture then you can;t get interspecies creation of diseases, can you?

11 thoughts on “Been taking lessons from Dr. Heinz Kiosk”

  1. I thought there were pandemics also in the past and that they caused significantly more damage than they do now with the technology we have? I would also like to see the evidence they talk about or at least a logically coherent explanation of it

  2. “In fact, since the evidence is by now overwhelmingly that long-term human activity is accelerating the emergence of novel pathogens and increasing the risk of pandemics, ”

    Oh yeah?

    Should be trivial to rattle off – given the ‘overwhelming’ – a hundred or so solid, with real statistics, papers then.

    So where’s the citations?

  3. There oughta be a law. One of those Godwin or Betteridge’s law of headlines sort of laws. That says whenever someone tells you ‘the question you ought to be asking is..’ it’s a diversion from your interest to his.

  4. “Through their reliance on antibiotics, livestock monocultures and crowding, industrial-scale farms are ratcheting up the virulence of animal pathogens that the wildlife trade – and one of its shop windows, wet markets – is bringing into contact with potential host species they wouldn’t otherwise encounter, including us. This is not news.”

    This process only seems to happen in China though, where livestock monocultures and industrial scale farms are less prevalent than in the West. Funny that……

  5. Evidence to the contrary:
    Plummeting rates of infant mortality
    Monoculture is not decades old, it’s millennia old.
    A tarantula in a bunch of bananas is news, i.e. it happens rarely.
    Food is getting relatively cheaper.
    95% of the population in the West has no connection with farms and their nasty germs.
    The emergence of novel pathogens is a consequence of random mutation; there is no evidence of a human “push factor”.
    Vegetables are routinely transported and transplanted far from their natural environment; no triffids have yet been detected.
    The “Columbian Exchange” has improved diet more than any other agricultural development.
    I could go on.

  6. Yes Jim. I’d argue that rapid and continual change makes it harder for even things that evolve rapidly like diseases to catch up.

    Africa, where co-evolution was common, seems to have produced more diseases that can spend part of their life cycles in different creatures. You’ll have noticed that nothing has yet evolved that eats plastic.

    We’d probably do better to try and rev up change even faster.

  7. Wet markets? Where do they have wet markets? UK’s got hardly any. We have a few here, but Spain’s having trouble getting into the C20th let alone the C21st. In most of the developed world the nearest you see to one is a simulacrum inside a supermarket. Wild life trade? There’s shops in London sell under the counter bush meat. There’s one in Finsbury Park if you really must eat monkey. Otherwise try & find a butchers sells game & good luck with that.
    So there doesn’t seem to be any connection between industrial farming & wet markets. Industrial farming & it’s attached logistic chain displaces wet markets. The only place they’re going to meet is somewhere where the displacement is currently underway.

  8. “You’ll have noticed that nothing has yet evolved that eats plastic.”

    Better hope there doesn’t. You can kiss goodbye to the green energy revolution if something does. The entire thing relies on plastics.

  9. And “wet markets” are a poor country thing. We’ve spent the last century getting rid of them here in favour of nice, clean, indoor, *DRY* retail outlets.

    White westerners telling fuzzy-wuzzys how to run their countries. No, not western colonial imperialism at all, honest.

  10. Just more eco-twaddle.

    Perhaps I am over-optimistic here–not something I’m usually guilty of–but I don’t see the green bullshit getting any traction.

    Eco mugs seem to think they can just extend the rhetoric and all the con-vid believers are going to swallow eco-ruin. But I doubt it.

    1st the con-vid mugs want their old lives back. They have chosen a credulous mugs plan under the visceral fear of death by disease. But given how much disease and plague have featured in human existence that might be understandable. Just as birds re-act instinctively to any shadow from above that might be a predator then disease might well trigger patterns in certain types of mug that are perhaps inherent.

    2-Greenfreakery = living lower than whaleshit. Scummy state is trying to peddle substitution so far eg elec cars instead of petrol. But it is increasingly obvious that eco=poverty and an end of our much improved lives. The plans include insect paste/living forced into urban shitholes in shanty towns built by IKEA cheek by jowl and in the sight sound and stink of your far-too-close “neighbours”. Nobody wants that shite–but the AFCs aren’t yet aware and the evil state hopes to have social credit tyranny in place before folk realise what is really planned.

    They wont succeed.

  11. Ssssst BiS. The carefully engineered critters that can do it are assured to not be able to leave the designated recycling plants, or live out in the wild, or exchange genetic information with their cousins.

    You can probably see where this is heading….

    As for “long-term human activity is accelerating the emergence of novel pathogens and increasing the risk of pandemics”….
    Yeah … with us and our livestock being the dominant species, our target cross-section for pathogens is huge. This …umm.. “As Nature Intended” .
    When Human Activity includes something silly as accellerating adaptation of previously “harmless” pathogens to humans to thousands of times natural rates…. Well… Can I get a Homer D’oh!! ?

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