— T. F. Charlton at Religion Dispatches. Why Jason Collins’ Faith is Ignored… And Tebow’s Isn’t
— Ethan Zuckerman at My Heart’s in Accra. Harper High School, and finding solutions to complex problems
— Rick Prelinger at Contents Magazine. On the Virtues of Preexisting Material
Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic. When Newspapers Were New, or, How Londoners Got Word of the Plague
Daniel Defoe’s novel about London’s 1665 plague can help us understand new media. No, really.
— Stowe Boyd. Media CEOs Are Panicked
— Ethan Zuckerman in My Heart’s in Accra. Hey VICE: Your documentary is bad, and you should feel bad
At AlterNet is an article about how global climate change may increase the human disease burden, 5 Diseases on the Move in North America, Thanks to Climate Change. It’s an important subject and the article is fairly well-written, but there’s a mistake, noted by several people in the comments. Katherine Butler quotes Maria Neira, director of The World Health Organization as saying:
In Asia, there are more people at risk of dengue fever [malaria] due to global warming. In Mount Kenya, mosquitoes are being found at higher and higher elevations.
I knew that dengue fever is a viral infection and that malaria is a parasite, so while both spread by mosquitoes, they are quite different diseases.
Butler posted a link to Maria Neira’s quote. Visiting the link it’s clear the mistake is Bulter’s not Neira’s.
It’s probably a quibble really, but I’ve got about 14 tabs in my browser open about malaria, in particular the accusation made that Rachel Carson, and environmentalists in general, are responsible for more deaths than Hitler. It’s a meme that will not die.
I’m not an expert about malaria, nor rhetoric for that matter, so I won’t pile on. I’ll simply note a sense of despair about the bickering. William Souder does a pretty good job defending the late Rachel Carson in his piece in Slate, Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans. And Ed Darrell deserves some sort of prize for his persistence in rebutting arguments for DDT as a magic bullet. No, I’m not linking to “the other side” they’re plenty easy to find. So easy, my despair stems from our apparent inability to discuss public health issues reasonably in public.
I’ve stopped back to the Alternet piece by Kathrine Butler several times today to see if the parenthetical [malaria] was removed. It’s Sunday, so I suppose it’s a bit much to expect a quick response. I do hope the mistake is eventually corrected.
It is quite troublesome to think that we might only care about disease when it strikes here in North America. Malaria and dengue fever are both diseases that matter. Global climate change matters too. Writing about these subjects is hard and with so much disinformation about, science writers have an extra responsibility to be accurate.
Max Blumenthal in The Guardian. Inside the strange Hollywood scam that spread chaos across the Middle East
A group of rightwing extremists aimed to destabilize post-Mubarak Egypt and roil US politicians. They got their wish
— Subashini Navaratnam guest post at Zunguzungu in The New Inquiry. Nice Book Reviews
— Jill Fitzsimmons reports in Media Matters. Media Turn A Blind Eye To Record Greenland Ice Melt
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