If we measure blog posts by the importance of the issue they address and the cogency of the argument, Megan McArdle's post yesterday on the waning reservoir of antibiotics was her best ever. Rather than repeat her argument, I recommend that you read it.
It's similar to the case she made at the bloggers' conference in Kansas City in April. See my post on that here. She ends her post by pointing out that her own title for the post, "How Superbugs Will Affect Our Health Care Costs," doesn't mention the main problem:
Of course, the most worrying thing is not the effect on the budget. It's the effect on the people. A world without antibiotics is a world of vast suffering and early death.
Her update on tuberculosis is even scarier.
1. Megan links to a book on the issue, Brad Spellberg's Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them. Take a look at the critical review from Richard Reese. Reese makes a case for population control, but that's not what I want to highlight. According to Reese, Spellberg has only two sentences about antibiotic use in animals. Could this be contributing to the problem even more than antibiotic use in humans contributes? I don't know. But I'd like to know.
2. I don't get why Megan, a self-described libertarian, "beltwayed" it, that is, stopped short of calling for eliminating or even modifying the regulations on testing that are contributing to the problem. She laid out a problem beautifully, just as in her Kansas City talk, but then pulled her punches when it came to calling for deregulation, just as in her Kansas City talk.