June 5th, 2017 .

Tick Tock: What about those creepy-crawlies Mr. President?

Pat Morden

Almost every day we walk our dogs through a wooded area near our house. It’s peaceful and cool among the trees, and at this time of year the ground is covered with wildflowers. The dogs love it, and so do we.

But there’s a fly in the ointment. No, make that a tick. When we first came here 12 years ago, we occasionally found a tick on our dog – maybe three or four times a summer. Now we’re finding several a day, on them and often on us. We’re a touch nervous, given all the public health warnings about Lyme disease.

There are more ticks now than there used to be in southern Ontario because the climate is getting warmer. Mild winters help tick populations thrive. We started finding ticks on the dogs in March of this year.

I found a tick on my belly button the day after the U.S. Presidential election in November. Because it had been there overnight, I was advised to have it examined by a doctor. My tick was sent off to public health to be identified, and several months later my doctor ordered blood tests to ensure that I hadn’t been exposed to Lyme. I was lucky.

Now the man elected on that fateful night is pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Apparently, he’s hoping this will create more jobs in the coal and oil industries (nonsense, of course) and build support for his failing administration.

What it will actually do is help spread a wide variety of diseases once limited by climatic conditions. Nasty diseases like West Nile, malaria, dengue fever, and Zika.

I wish the President no ill will. But I can’t help wondering – if he pulled an engorged black-legged tick off his handsome young son after a walk in the Rose Garden, would he feel differently about this issue?

The thing is, Mr. President, the clock is running down on  climate change. We don’t have time for politicking or grandstanding. We must act now. Tick-tock, Mr. President, tick-tock.

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