Bidding Up Bird Flu
Twenty-one thousand turkeys in Otter Tail County. Forty-five thousand in Meeker County. Fifty-thousand in Kandiyohi. Fifty-six thousand in Redwood. Sixty-seven thousand in Stearns. Do I hear 76,000 in Stearns?
I’d say there are two key take-homes. First, by dint of its industrial model, rather than a bit of bad luck, the poultry sector is well placed for selecting for and sustaining outbreaks of virulent influenza.
Second, externalizing the costs of such outbreaks–and other sources of health, ecological and economic damage–lards the sector with moral hazards of perhaps one day apocalyptic proportions.
Like an outbreak that kills a billion people.