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Global Warming Brings New Infections; Russians to receive an Invoice for Using the Planet’s Resources

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District has been struggling with the breakout of Anthrax for almost a month. It is an acute infectious disease, the germ of which “woke up” in the Arctic region for the first time in the last 75 years, most likely due to climate anomalies. Experts say that global warming could “wake up” not only “the forgotten” diseases of the 18th-19th centuries, but also bring new and unfamiliar to modern people the so-called paleoinfections – as a result of defrosting of microbes in layers of permafrost.

- Currently, several dozen outbreaks of anthrax infections in animals have been recorded all over the world: in France, Australia, Sweden and some other countries in Africa and Asia. But the scale of the outbreak in Russia is unprecedented: concerning both the number of dead animals, and the number of infected people - said the expert. - And any manifestation of the infection must be fought, the following preventive measures should be taken: vaccination of the cattle and the people in contact with deer, killing of the infected deer herds, disposal of dead animals with disinfection of their bodies and places of death, disinfection of the places where they were held and, of course, warning people about the ways of transmission of the infection and precautions.

- 15 years ago there was a case in the Novosibirsk region: a shepherd was tending cattle at the former cattle cemetery, where his cow was infected with anthrax, and then died. The shepherd tried to sell the meat, and the person who participated in the slaughter of a cow was infected with cutaneous anthrax. Fortunately, he was quickly identified and treated. But after this incident all the cattle in the area were vaccinated for the following ten years, and then mapped all the places of burial of the deceased dead cattle. Since that time anthrax hasn’t returned to those regions, - Netyosov said.

Although the disease is rare, it is very dangerous. Therefore, the expert talks about the need for a people “conditioned reflex”: when they see signs of anthrax - this very dangerous disease in their pet, they must immediately call the veterinarian and epidemiologist. They mustn’t attempt to dispose the dead body or seriously ill animals themselves.

- Global warming will definitely bring us new diseases. West Nile virus is one of them. It is approaching us gradually, - Sergey Netyosov said.

Meanwhile, there was the ecological debt day on August 8: people used 100% renewable resources that the planet can restore in a year. The inhabitants of the Earth started to borrow from future generations.


On the ecological debt day, WWF of Russia holds the event “Bill from the Earth” in Moscow for the second time. Visitors of a number of shops and cafes - a network of shops “Dixie” and “Victoria”, pizzerias “Papa John’s”, restaurants “Sushi Planet” and others - will get apart from the usual bills the additional bills “from the Earth”. They will indicate that the planet’s resources are exhausted.


The Ecological Debt Day date is determined every year by the research organization Global Footprint Network (GFN). This day comes when the amount of resources used by the mankind (Ecological Footprint) exceeds the amount that the Earth is able to restore in a year (biocapacity). Overspending occurs because people emit to the atmosphere more carbon dioxide than the oceans and forests can absorb, catch fish and cut down forests faster than they can recover.

According to the GFN, each year the humanity uses the amount of renewable resources that could provide for 1.6 Earth. The rate of consumption of resources increases annually, and the ecological debt day comes earlier. In the early 2000s, this day fell on October. If everything will remain the same, by 2030 the humanity will need two Earths, and the ecological debt day will come at the end of June.

The fastest growing component of the “ecological debt” of the mankind is carbon dioxide (CO2). Today, they account for 60% of total demand of people for renewable biological resources, which are called the ecological footprint.

In Russia, the carbon component accounts for a larger than the average, proportion of the ecological footprint - 68%. This may be due to lack of resource efficiency, in particular in the production of electricity, housing and transport sector. Compare, in Sweden the carbon component is 54% of the footprint, in Great Britain - 63%, and in China - 69%.

As the experience of other countries shows, this trend may be changed. For example, Costa Rica during the first three months of 2016 was producing 97% of electricity from renewable energy sources. Another example – the meat consumption reduction plan developed by the Chinese government by 50%. It is estimated that it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock industry by one billion tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030.

“The situation in Russia is quite ambiguous, - says Pavel Boyev, the coordinator of the program “Green Economy” of WWF Russia. - On the one hand, our country (along with Canada, Brazil and some other countries) is a global donor of natural capital. However, the ecological footprint of the Russians is much more than the world average indices and it is significantly beyond the scope of sustainable values. In order to stay within one planet, it is necessary that every person in the world consumes less than 1.72 global hectares of biocapacity. In Russia in 2014, the figure was 4 gha, and, according to our estimates, it continues to grow”.

On the whole, as a part of the event on August 8, in different sites there will be issued more than 4,000 “bills from the Earth”. Moreover, the information about the ecological debt day, printed on normal receipts, will be received by 2.7 million customers of the Moscow City Telephone Network (MCTN). Beside the already mentioned places, panda-puppets will distribute the bills in 5 business centers of O1 Group (White Square, Lighthouse, White Stone, Ducat Place III and Silver City). “Viands” delivery service of pizza and sushi will apply the bills to orders, Aveda beauty salon and “VetKafe” restaurants will give the bills along with the usual ones.


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