A must-read study in Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress, “When zombies attack!: Mathematical modelling of an outbreak of climate zombie infection” concludes:
In summary, a zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to attack hard and attack often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.
As has been widely reported in the NZM (non-zombified media), a growing portion of the GOP political class has fallen victim to a zombie apocalypse (see “Attack of the climate zombies!” and “Dawn of the brain-dead Senate” and links below that I repeat in the event that our efforts fail and the distant descendants of the survivors try to reconstruct the course of the epidemic in order to save humanity using time-travel a la 12 Monkeys).
The question all uninfected Americans are asking is, what is the best way to deal with the climate zombies? Thankfully, some Canadian mathematical modelers have analyzed the situation and offered their optimal strategy.
First, some background on zombies. I recommend starting with the new AMC TV documentary series, The Walking Dead. Shrewdly, AMC no longer runs stuff like Casablanca and Shane, but focuses on what really matters to humanity now. Wikipedia explains in its entry on zombie apocalypse:
A zombie apocalypse is a particular hypothetical scenario of apocalyptic theory that customarily has a science fiction/horror rationale. In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization.
Hypothetical no more! See, for instance, Know your zombies: Sensenbrenner, picked to lead House attack on climate science, says, “I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do.” If the climate zombies succeed, human civilization as we know it is likely to be destroyed, according to the recent scientific literature (see “A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice”).
The best evidence suggests the climate zombie outbreak began in the fall of 2009 with a series of stolen British emails containing a virus that turned otherwise rational human-beings into zombies who spout the most inane and unintelligible things. In December 2009, the Canadian Medical Journal released its, “A report on the zombie outbreak of 2009.”
The infection resulted in a new species of human, classified as nonmortuus contagio, but known in the popular press as “zombie”, from the Congolese nzambi, meaning “spirit of a dead person.” As the name implies, the outbreak resulted in a resurgence of the previously deceased. Clinical signs included discoloration around the eyes, open wounds and rotting flesh, with organs and bodily functions operating at minimal levels.
Initial studies reported that the zombies did not feel pain, but these findings could not be verified because of the zombification of the researchers in question. When asked for comment, the lead author of one such study said, “Grrrnn, aaarghhh, huuuuuungry!” When questioned in more detail, he replied, “Braaaaiiiinnnnsss!” No further information is available from the interview.
The cause of the virus remains unknown. Anecdotal evidence suggests that zombies can be defeated by guns, the army, eventual starvation or Dire Straits records.
New diseases are generally investigated using experiments on infected people, clinical trials or medical observation. Unfortunately, because of the rapid zombification of scientists, epidemiologists and doctors, society was left with only one group of technocrats who remained uninfected: mathematicians. Fortunately, during the time at which the outbreak occurred, members of this group had not been invited to parties and thus remained entirely uninfected.
Interestingly, climate science bloggers also appear uninfected — though not their pro-pollution counterparts, who were among the first victims (apparently anti-science syndrome makes one especially predisposed to zombification).
Unfortunately, the mathematical analysis found:
The model showed two equilibria: the disease-free equilibrium (with no zombies) and the doomsday equilibrium (where everyone is a zombie). The application of a linear stability analysis showed that “” in the absence of further interventions “” the disease-free equilibrium was unstable and the doomsday equilibrium was stable. This finding was not promising.
Simulations based on a city of roughly 500,000 people demonstrated that an entire such city would be replaced by zombies [rapidly]. Were this mass replacement of a population to occur in a city such as Washington, DC, it may be unlikely anyone would notice.
Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the basic mathematical model (black arrows). Humans can either die naturally or be converted into zombies “” which is not terribly pleasant, but does come with that nifty jacket and tie. Zombies can reanimate the dead or be killed by humans (although it must be said that the latter doesn’t bother them too much). Possible intervention include quarantine of the zombies (green arrow), a potential cure (blue arrow) or impulsive attacks (red arrow).
I had originally feared that the rest of the world would chose the quarantine option, given that the infection has stayed mostly localized to the United States (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).
But the study suggests that option simply won’t work:
In summary, a zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to blog hard and blog often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.
Interestingly, this is very similar to the strategy recommended by the prestigious journal Nature (see Nature: “Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight with climate zombies.”
- Climate zombies now run House of Representatives
- Dawn of the brain-dead House: Politico reports GOP stuffing Energy and Commerce with ‘Climate Zombies’
- Holdren finds a pony: Obama science advisor says GOP climate hearings will dezombify some members
- What we’re up against: Polluter-funded Tea Party climate zombie astroturfing
Note: I have made remarkably few wording changes to the original studies. Who knew Canadian mathematicians were that funny?