Save the red­heads!

The red-haired ones, or gin­gas, as they are col­lo­qui­ally known, are a species worth pre­serv­ing for as long as pos­si­ble, says a red-haired man.

Element - - Wellbeing - TE RADAR RADAR’S RANT

I am in dan­ger of be­com­ing ex­tinct. Nat­u­rally this is of con­cern to me. Some say that even­tu­ally all of hu­man­ity will per­ish, and this may well be true, but it is sug­gested that the ginger-haired will dis­ap­pear long be­fore the rest of you thanks to cli­mate change.

To be hon­est this is not one of the reper­cus­sions I was ex­pect­ing from a chang­ing cli­mate.

I was pre­pared to ac­cept sci­en­tists’ as­ser­tions that moun­tains might get taller with­out the im­mense weight of glaciers press­ing them into the man­tle.

I was okay with the Amer­i­can Uro­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion warn­ing that we would see an in­crease in the in­ci­dence of kid­ney stones due to ris­ing tem­per­a­tures caus­ing more de­hy­dra­tion.

I even grimly ac­cepted a po­ten­tial rise in the cost of beer due to more drought in ar­eas bar­ley is grown, more shark at­tacks due to warm­ing oceans in­creas­ing their ter­ri­tory, and an in­crease in tur­bu­lence for those still able to fly. I was not pre­pared for the erad­i­ca­tion of the redhead.

There have been alarmist scares in the past. Some feared that the mu­ta­tion that pro­duced red­heads would be bred out by mi­gra­tion and in­ter­mar­riage. This does not seem to be the case. Our genes are as strong as our open­ing con­ver­sa­tional gam­bits. I do not fore­see my­self be­ing forced to un­dergo cap­tive breed­ing pro­grammes like panda, more’s the pity. For a re­ces­sive gene, we seem in­cred­i­bly dom­i­nant.

How­ever a new warn­ing has been is­sued. Ap­par­ently the for­merly benev­o­lent ge­netic adap­ta­tion of the redhead that al­lows us to ab­sorb ex­tra vi­ta­min D from the sun dur­ing long pe­ri­ods of in­clement weather will be our down­fall.

With a de­crease in gloomy days, even in tra­di­tional safe havens like Scot­land, Scan­di­navia and In­ver­cargill, we gin­gers will see a rise in the in­ci­dence of skin can­cer.

I am con­fi­dent we can over­come this cri­sis. How? Long sleeves. And col­lars, and hats, and light cot­ton pants. That should ward off the worst of it, although it will mean more laun­dry.

Of course we may be thwarted by the pre­dicted de­crease in arable land avail­able to grow cot­ton, but then we can sim­ply re­sort to the time-tested man­ner of avoid­ing sun­burn by loung­ing in the shade dur­ing the heat of the day and drink­ing a re­fresh­ing bev­er­age.

“With a de­crease in gloomy days, even in tra­di­tional safe havens like Scot­land, Scan­di­navia and In­ver­cargill, we gin­gers will see a rise in the in­ci­dence of skin can­cer.”

How­ever this may mean that we are out­side at other times that could be even more per­ilous: dawn and dusk, when mos­qui­toes are most ac­tive.

With cli­mate con­di­tions shift­ing we are al­ready see­ing an ex­panded area of habi­ta­tion for those types of mos­qui­toes that are vec­tors for viruses such as West Nile Virus, or Ross River Virus or malaria or dengue fever or Ja­panese En­cephali­tis. Any one of those will make the now sci­en­tif­i­cally ver­i­fied man-flu seem like a wel­come relief.

If those ill­nesses don’t get us we will prob­a­bly die of neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems caused by too much in­sect re­pel­lant, or as­phyx­i­a­tion from burn­ing too many mos­quito coils. I don’t know if ei­ther of those prod­ucts can be fa­tal but there is ev­ery chance some­one will sug­gest they are, and then the stress caused by the wor­ry­ing will see us off.

In the mean­time the thing most likely to do us harm is the brain dam­age as­so­ci­ated with re­peat­edly slap­ping our fore­heads in de­spair as we ar­gue with peo­ple who con­tinue to mock­ingly use the phrase “global warm­ing” while point­ing out that some places have had their cold­est winters on record.

Re­gard­less of whether you blame sunspots, vol­ca­noes, hu­man ac­tiv­ity or nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring cli­matic shifts, ac­cept­ing that things are not as they used to be, and in­vest­ing in long sleeve shirts and in­sect re­pel­lant seems a very good idea. I’m go­ing to.

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