Superbug threat relegated by focus on climate

LETTER

With the revelation by the UK’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, that antibiotic-resistant superbugs could wipe out humanity before climate change does, how will green, left-wing, progressive, liberal, revisionist academics react to this (old) devastating news?

More windmills and solar panels? They won’t protect us. Electric vehicles and lithium batteries are as much use as a chocolate teapot.

The Amazon in flames? Forget it. Nuclear holocaust? You can forget that too. Misogyny? Racism? White supremacy? Colonialism? Hate speech? Ugh! Isms don’t cut it either.

Medical science stands a chance, one of the few sciences that humanity can rely on.

Is the world listening to this branch of science? Seems the climate change branch is sucking the oxygen and cash out of this crucial debate.

I’m old, this revelation doesn’t concern me. What will young folk do to defeat this existential threat to humanity?

JOHN FRICKER

With the revelation by the UK’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, that antibiotic-resistant superbugs could wipe out humanity before climate change does, how will green, left-wing, progressive, liberal, revisionist academics react to this (old) devastating news?

More windmills and solar panels? They won’t protect us. Electric vehicles and lithium batteries are as much use as a chocolate teapot.

The Amazon in flames? Forget it. Nuclear holocaust? You can forget that too. Misogyny? Racism? White supremacy? Colonialism? Hate speech? Ugh! Isms don’t cut it either.

Medical science stands a chance, one of the few sciences that humanity can rely on.

Is the world listening to this branch of science? Seems the climate change branch is sucking the oxygen and cash out of this crucial debate.

I’m old, this revelation doesn’t concern me. What will young folk do to defeat this existential threat to humanity?

JOHN FRICKER

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Bob Hughes - 13 days ago
John has alerted us to yet another threat to our species' extinction, antibiotic-resistance superbugs. Well done.
Mr Fricker spoils it all with his: "I'm old, this revelation doesn't concern me."
I'm old too, but whether this is bigger than climate change or not? The threat of a global superbug threat concerns me greatly.
Let's hope and pray humanity's response here will not be as low-key as the many decades of inaction to the other global threats mentioned.
So let's simply add superbugs to the other most urgent of issues: Nuclear war/meltdown/radiation leaks; water shortages/degradation (thirst and disease); world poverty/hunger; decline in natural resources (mineral and animal); economic and civilisation collapse; climate change, sea-level rise and feedback loops.
Thanks, John, for alerting us to this additional huge threat to a habitable planet.

Martin Hanson, Nelson - 11 days ago
A moment's thought will show that antibiotic resistance, though potentially extremely serious, does not have the potential to "wipe out humanity" and is thus not on the same scale of seriousness as global heating.
Before the discovery of antibiotics, bacterial infections killed many people, but the human population still grew, albeit more slowly than it would have had antibiotics been available then.
If Dame Sally Davies was correct, the human population would never have grown to over a billion before the discovery of antibiotics. She should have known better than to distract attention from a threat to the entire biosphere.
This has nothing to do with "green, left-wing, progressive, liberal, revisionist academics" or indeed with any kind of politics. It is hard scientific reality.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Are you pleased that New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura from 2022?