Personally, I think that the white nile pesticide scenario fills the requirement pretty well - I posted to the VARlist to this effect. Here's that post:
I think that the non-disease hypothesis looks to better explain the facts at this point in the investigation. My addition would be to try and peg what it is. Several people have suggested pesticides and coming from the NY-NJ area, I know that West Nile Virus is still all the rage up there. People spray for that left and right. Of course, pesticides are necessarily deadly from the get-go. It takes several years for the trace amounts to build up in the system. The bigger the critter, the longer the build up. So lets go to Wikipedia and see when West Nile first came to the US (and presumably we started spraying for it.)
Oh dear - 1999. Eight years ago. Well, that's not conclusive in itself. Where did it first appear?
Oh dear - New York state.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_nile_virus#History
hey, look - there's even another page showing the number of outbreaks by state (a usable if not exact tracker of West Nile).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_o ... ted_States
So basically, West Nile jumps from NY to the northeast - mid-atlantic, then down to Florida (all those senior citizens vacationing in Miami, probably) and then makes the trek across the country. The graphic is misleading in that it returns only a percentage and not a number. So as the numbers grow across the country, the per-state percentages drop.
I'd like to say two things about the graph. One - the graph shows occurances of the disease, not necessarily spraying. I can't think of a single time I've heard of anyone spraying for West Nile here in Morgantown - but turn on the news in NYC and you'll hear a story about it like once a week in the summer. This leads me to suggest that spraying is directly proportional to regional income. (i.e. we're too poor to spray, but the Hamptons spray every night). So some states are not meeting the minimum threshold for pesticides in their bats - or are lagging far behind. We won't see WNS in those states for awhile. Two - West Virginia in particular is never greater than 1% of the cases, and for several years have 0 cases. Which means we're not getting sick, so we're not spraying. Maybe its the different climate or something.
The previous was simply a possible scenario, but without more information, it's a very plausible scenario. A little further support would be great, though. http://www.meepi.org/wnv/overkillma.htm
This is from the Maine Environmental Policy Institute - and here's an interesting little tidbit from the Executive Summary:
"The toxic pesticides proposed for spraying are harmful to human health, wildlife, and ecosystems. Children and the elderly are most susceptible to the effects of toxic pesticides. In both laboratory studies and occupational settings, the toxic pesticides being used for WNv mosquito control in Massachusetts have been known to cause short- and long-term respiratory problems, immune and nervous system disruption, cancer, and reproductive and learning disorders."
Short and Long term respiratory problems? Like, say pneumonia-like symptoms? Immune-system problems? Like, say 'not being able to fight off a fungus'? Here's more...
"Long-term spraying may actually increase the number of mosquitoes by destroying predators that feed on mosquito larvae and adults."
in other words, the buildup of pesticides in the bats will kill them.
Here's a description of what one of the toxins can do to you in high enough quantities:
"Synthetic pyrethroid compounds vary in their toxicity, as do the natural pyrethrins. Inhaling high levels of pyrethrum may bring about asthmatic breathing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, and burning and itching sensations. "
and here's an account by one person sprayed one time (accidentally) by the stuff: "A report in the New York Daily News (9/9/00) tells of a woman who was sprayed directly on the street in Manhattan with Anvil (sumithrin) and ended up in the emergency room after experiencing blurry vision, nausea, itching, coughing, choking and a swollen tongue. "I threw up three days in a row, I really thought I was going to die," said the unidentified woman."
Anyway, I'll leave you to read the article in its entirety (it is quite long). It could very well be that this argument, while seemingly conclusive now, could fall apart as new evidence is gathered. That's fine. In fact, its better than fine because it will eliminate one possibility. But I've been saying for awhile now that we should be looking for what has changed that is affecting the bats in this localized area, but is not spreading like we would expect a disease to spread. Heavy spraying for West Nile virus is definitely one thing which has changed. I only hope that the powers that be are seriously considering this possibility.
The NSS and WNS: Cooperation, not confrontation.