And I beheld, and lo a black horse!
The UK is to be hit by regular malaria outbreaks, fatal heatwaves and contaminated drinking water within five years because of global warming, the Government has warned the NHS....
A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said: "Our work is based on what is likely to happen if we do nothing to prevent it - and it could well be that we see an increase in diseases such as malaria.
"Malaria has been seen in these islands in the past, and it is not impossible that it will return...Based on scientific advice that UK temperatures are expected to rise by up to three per cent by the end of the century, it includes the warning of a "high" risk by 2012 of a severe heatwave leading to 3,000 immediate deaths, followed by a further 6,350 fatalities from conditions such as heart failure and skin cancer.
Hospital admissions due to breathing problems caused by rising pollution are also likely to rise "significantly", by at least 1,500 a year.
While the authors say the UK has proved able to cope with major heatwaves in the past, with no serious increase in fatalities in years with hot summers, such as 1976, temperatures on the scale of those experienced in France in 2003, which resulted in 14,000 premature deaths, would have an impact.
In 2000 the same report said:
The UK has the highest cold weather excess mortality in Europe,with an estimated 60 000-80 000 cold-related deaths.The determinants of this excess and the contributory role of temperature per se have not yet been fully quantified.
Nevertheless,assuming that temperature plays an important role in mortality,we estimate that by the year 2050 excess cold weather deaths will have declined significantly,perhaps by 20 000 per year.This estimation assumes that other social and material conditions do not change.
The UK has an excellent reputation for providing safe drinking water and good sanitation. This record and the measures upon which it is based are likely to prevent a significant increase in water-borne diseases as the UK climate changes.
In general,levels of air pollution in the UK are falling and will continue to fall for some time. This decline, coupled with climate change, is likely to lead to a decline in air pollution-related deaths and illnesses. It is likely, however,that a small increase in levels of tropospheric ozone will occur and that associated deaths and episodes of illness will increase.
Oh FFS. We survived a sweltering summer in 1976, back in the dark ages, but we won't be able to now, we will lose the ability to drive malaria from our shores like we did in the past and the water companies will forget how to treat the water. Well maybe we will if we have to live in yurts and eat seaweed, the simple answer is technology and scientific progress.