Monday, September 04, 2006

Jellyfish, Stingray, Malaria and Steve Irwin

A friend, returning from the South of France, complains he was unable to swim in the sea because of the enormous number of jellyfish. There is, indeed, a plague of these things - see here - and the most common explanation seems to be warmer seas due to climate change, though it may also be caused by overfishing destroying their natural predators. Meanwhile, here, climate change is threatening Europe with a new wave of infectious diseases, including malaria. Some pathogens, normally found in much warmer waters, have, it seems, also been attacking holiday swimmers.
In which context, I can't help finding the killing of Steve Irwin, the crazed Australian who toyed with wild animals, by a stingray as somehow symbolic. Nature will not be mocked.

1 comment:

  1. Any chance Stephen Hawking could fill the void and become the new Steve Irwin? And in turn, perhaps Blair could replace Hawking as the popular scientist of the people. What brings this to mind is the line in the leaked Blair memo: "Time is not an unlimited commodity". Sounds a sure fire winner title. All Tony has to do is use his well-honed skills in making decidedly iffy evidence fit a hypothesis.

    I really should bow my head in shame after this.