Archive for West Nile virus

Rogue Resistance

Posted in Ecological resilience, Influenza, Revolution, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2017 by rgwallace

Alt_CDCOne can’t help but cheer the online resistance Fed scientists are waging against the anti-science Trump administration. Among them, Rogue NASA, NOAA Uncensored, and everybody’s favorite Alt US Forest Service: only you can prevent fascism.

But some of us were @Alt_CDC long before it was hip or took a Twitter handle.

Didn’t swine flu H1N1, Ebola Makona, H5N2 (and other H5Nx), Zika, cholera in Haiti, the vaccine gap for yellow fever, H7N9, Ebola Reston, MERS in industrialized camel, the opioid epidemic, and a surge in antibiotic resistance emerge under President Obama’s watch?

Wasn’t it the Obama NSF and NIH that failed to fund scientific efforts to explore the roles agribusiness, deforestation, structural adjustment, and global circuits of capital played in these outbreaks? Continue reading

The Alan Greenspan Strain

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by rgwallace

First, a question with which few biogeographers bother. If a goodly chunk of their discipline is dedicated to veiling the impact capitalism imposes on the natural world (discussed here and here), how can researchers interested in paying their bills study the crises that threaten the posh gamblers for whom, however distally, they ultimately work?

For those who study pathogens, the answer is a short one. Focus on viruses and bacteria as biomedical objects alone. The spread and evolution of these lil’ nasties can be tracked underneath the microscope or, at the public health level, across computer maps, but rarely over their rough-and-tumble geographies.

Otherwise, the problem of a pathogen, already treacherous, becomes in such a political context nigh impossible. God forbid, researchers might be forced to study the social relationships that bind together and separate out populations across  capitalist landscapes near and far. The corrupt omission, a constant headache, is eased with a trail of career pellets, however routinely the solutions that result may fail.

As recent work on one virus illustrates, however, there is another way.

Continue reading