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Author Topic: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America  (Read 96787 times)

RSL

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #320 on: September 29, 2015, 12:18:39 pm »

The whole discussion is pointless.
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jeremyrh

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #321 on: September 29, 2015, 12:23:54 pm »

Now that comment from the New Scientist is revealing. If one accepts that predicting the world's overall changes in food production in response to elevated CO2 levels is virtually impossible, despite the obvious fact that plant growth can be observed in real time under varying levels of CO2 in greenhouses and out in the open with CO2 wafted over the plants, then one must logically accept that predicting the effect of CO2 on global climate change, using flawed computer models and without the benefit of real-time testing, is not just virtually impossible but actually impossible. One can't have it both ways. One can't have one's cake and eat it.

You seem to be a bit muddled up. In order to predict the effed of increased co2 level on global food production you have to know the effect of co2 alone on the growth of all the plants which contribute, you have to predict the change in temperature, and you have to then predict the effect of that temperature change on all of the other factors which affect plant growth, such as quantity and seasonality of rainfall, erosion of soil etc etc The problem is harder than climate prediction alone. Predicting world food supply would also rely on the computer models you ignorantly dismiss as "flaky" but would add several more layers of complexity on top.
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jeremyrh

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #322 on: September 29, 2015, 12:25:42 pm »

The whole discussion is pointless.
Thank you for your contribution.
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RSL

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #323 on: September 29, 2015, 03:39:22 pm »

You're welcome.
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amolitor

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #324 on: September 29, 2015, 04:08:31 pm »

Oddly enough, your best bet for predicting these things may be to explain the details to a bunch of domain experts, ask them to make their best guess, and average the results. There are some pretty deep reasons why this works unreasonably well.

Here's a story from the cold war: A US submarine went down someplace in the Atlantic. Information was sketchy, but there was a little data. Some clever bugger shared the data with a bunch of submarine guys, and asked them where they thought the wreck was. The answers clustered around two locations, let's call them A and B.

So this clever bugger looked, roughly, halfway between A and B, where exactly zero of the experts had guessed, and by god the wreck was right there. Within some idiotically tiny margin, 100s of yards or something.

Economies, climatological systems, ecologies, agricultural systems, all these things, are insanely hard to model. The smallest accurate model of these damned things is generally the thing itself. Chaos, dynamical systems, blah blah blah. There are reasons. You can make fairly accurate short term predictions, and you can make some broad-strokes guesses in the longer term. Those tend to be, really, "well, my best guess is X, but really? Anything is possible."

Note, however, that "well, we can't reliably predict the result of <massive change> will be" isn't a justification for performing that massive change. Normal people think that it's actually a worse scenario that being able to predict the result. But the climate change debate isn't based on rational argument or reasoning of any kind. It's entirely political, and anything that looks like an argument is just an attempt to rationalize a position held for purely social and emotional reasons.
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Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #325 on: September 29, 2015, 05:53:50 pm »


As to the larger question, it is perfectly correct to say that we cannot reliably predict the total consequences increased CO2. Nobody is saying we can.

I would elaborate, but it seems pointless.

You're quite right Andrew. It certainly would be pointless to elaborate on a point that no-one is making, ie. that we cannot reliably predict the total consequences of increased CO2 levels.

At least we agree on something.  ;)
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Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #326 on: September 29, 2015, 06:52:40 pm »

You seem to be a bit muddled up. In order to predict the effed of increased co2 level on global food production you have to know the effect of co2 alone on the growth of all the plants which contribute,

Exactly, and that's largely been done with countless studies of thousands of varieties of plants under controlled conditions of different levels of CO2. I'm certainly not muddled on this point.

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..and you have to then predict the effect of that temperature change on all of the other factors which affect plant growth, such as quantity and seasonality of rainfall, erosion of soil etc etc The problem is harder than climate prediction alone. Predicting world food supply would also rely on the computer models you ignorantly dismiss as "flaky" but would add several more layers of complexity on top.

This is the point where you seem to be muddled. Changes of temperature affect all plants regardless of CO2 levels. Temperature and water supplies during the time periods that concern farmers and agriculturists, vary far more as a result of changing weather patterns than as a result of changing climate, and as we all know, weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, especially for periods of more than a few days into the future.

Intelligent creatures survive through their ability to adapt. In Australia the records show that we've had alternating periods of droughts and floods for thousands of years, yet we continue to build houses in flood plains then express surprise when the next flood occurs, then blame the flood on climate change in order to protect ourselves from the thought that we might be just plain stupid.
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amolitor

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #327 on: September 29, 2015, 07:08:53 pm »

I dunno if the gun is fake, or if real whether it is loaded or not. If loaded, I don't know if a round is chambered. Nor do I know it's cocked. Tons of unknowns here.

You're saying that a reasonable course of action is to stick the muzzle in your mouth and pull the trigger.

Because not knowing for certain that it's dangerous is exactly the same as knowing it's safe.

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Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #328 on: September 29, 2015, 08:36:26 pm »

What on earth are you talking about Andrew? Could you try to be more specific with regard to what your analogy relates to?  ;)
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amolitor

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #329 on: September 29, 2015, 09:27:11 pm »

No, I cannot.
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jeremyrh

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #330 on: September 30, 2015, 01:36:27 am »


This is the point where you seem to be muddled. Changes of temperature affect all plants regardless of CO2 levels. Temperature and water supplies during the time periods that concern farmers and agriculturists, vary far more as a result of changing weather patterns than as a result of changing climate, and as we all know, weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, especially for periods of more than a few days into the future.

This seems not to be the case, but, as Andy says, there is little point arguing the point since your mind has apparently been made up on the basis of non-scientific factors. There is obviously a huge body of work that points the way the climate is going. If you want to criticise that work, that's fine, but to be taken seriously that criticism has to amount to a bit more than recounting a few anecdotes you picked up on your travels.
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Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #331 on: September 30, 2015, 06:53:07 am »

This seems not to be the case, but, as Andy says, there is little point arguing the point since your mind has apparently been made up on the basis of non-scientific factors. There is obviously a huge body of work that points the way the climate is going. If you want to criticise that work, that's fine, but to be taken seriously that criticism has to amount to a bit more than recounting a few anecdotes you picked up on your travels.

Fair enough! I thought I'd provided more than a few anecdotes that I'd picked up on my travels. Didn't I provide some links to a couple science-oriented sites dealing with a number of facts and estimates in some detail?

I'm quite willing to look at both sides of any argument and discuss the merits, weakness, pros and cons etc, through the application of a bit of logic and rationality. However, if you think the discussion is pointless, no problem! I understand.  ;)
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #332 on: September 30, 2015, 07:14:40 am »

Man-made CO2 would have had no bearing on this disaster, but Shhhh! Don't spread it around, otherwise the development of sustainable energy might slow down.  ;)
After some useful information, you come out with this bit of very poor logic. Not to mention sustainable energy is a good thing regardless of climate change.
Climate certainly changes and at times can do so catastrophically. The fact we had nothing to do with previous occasions does not therefore mean we will have nothing to do with the next big change. Humans never had the capacity to alter it before, but thanks to technology and the vast numbers of us, now we do.
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #333 on: September 30, 2015, 07:19:55 am »

This thread has gone way off topic. It was about, "The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America". As a casual observer from Australia, it once again seems a product of wedge politics.

The Republicans seem to be saying, "We are working and can afford our health care. Why should we support those who can't afford it!".

The Democrats seem to have no answer.
I'd put it quite differently.
The Republicans seem to be saying, "We are working and can afford our health care. Why should we support those who can't afford it!".
The Democrats keep trying to alter this, but get blocked by Republicans who think helping others is un American or some such crazy notion.


The thread is not entirely off topic. Obama is no doubt doing his best to rectify the great inequality of access to medical resources among American citizens, but he's also very much in favour of reducing CO2 emissions.

Both plans require money and both are in conflict unless only the rich pay for both causes. That is, increased taxes on the rich to pay for increased medical services for the poor, and increased taxes on the rich to pay for increased energy costs that result, at least initially, from tackling CO2 emissions.
Well seeing as universal free healthcare in the UK costs our government considerably less that the broken American system does, introducing it could actually reduce the tax bill.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 07:23:54 am by jjj »
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tom b

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #334 on: September 30, 2015, 08:01:21 pm »

"The Democrats seem to have no answer."

Obamacare is step in the right direction. However the fact that it is called Obamacare is a product of wedge politics.

The Democrats have had many opportunities when they have had the balance of power in both houses to make changes. Somehow they haven't had the political will to make healthcare more equitable.

Cheers,
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Tom Brown

Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #335 on: September 30, 2015, 08:10:18 pm »

After some useful information, you come out with this bit of very poor logic. Not to mention sustainable energy is a good thing regardless of climate change.

Man-made CO2 would have had no bearing on this disaster, but Shhhh! Don't spread it around, otherwise the development of sustainable energy might slow down.  ;)


Didn't you not notice the wink at the end, Jeremy? That was intended to be a statement of irony and humour. Having made the point that the scare about human-induced warming might have good consequences, even if it turns out to be the case that there never was any justification for the alarm regarding climate change, to then advertise the possibility that the real purpose of the scare is to clean up the environment and to free us from our current dependence on limited energy supplies, sort of undermines to some degree the effectiveness of the scare tactics. Don't you see? I was having a little dig at myself.

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Climate certainly changes and at times can do so catastrophically. The fact we had nothing to do with previous occasions does not therefore mean we will have nothing to do with the next big change. Humans never had the capacity to alter it before, but thanks to technology and the vast numbers of us, now we do.

That we can change climate by reducing our CO2 emissions is a statement of belief on your part, not a scientific fact. It is not certain that human-induced CO2 emissions are a significant contributor to the current warming phase. The entire system of climate processes is far too complex and chaotic for any certainty to exist, but once the idea has been promoted by the media that the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, hurricanes and cyclones, might be the result of rising CO2 emissions, then every extreme weather event and every record-breaking temperature tends to be blamed on CO2 levels, and the ridiculous notion arises that CO2 levels are like some sort of control knob that can be turned to bring the climate back to a natural, peaceful state.

Anyway, I'd better not continue in case I further undermine these processes of scare tactics. I am of course in favour of a cleaner environment. I would much prefer to drive an electric car that I could recharge from the solar panels on the roof of my house.

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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #336 on: October 01, 2015, 08:53:00 am »

That we can change climate by reducing our CO2 emissions is a statement of belief on your part, not a scientific fact. It is not certain that human-induced CO2 emissions are a significant contributor to the current warming phase. The entire system of climate processes is far too complex and chaotic for any certainty to exist, but once the idea has been promoted by the media that the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, hurricanes and cyclones, might be the result of rising CO2 emissions, then every extreme weather event and every record-breaking temperature tends to be blamed on CO2 levels, and the ridiculous notion arises that CO2 levels are like some sort of control knob that can be turned to bring the climate back to a natural, peaceful state.
My 'belief' is re climate change and man's involvement is similar to my 'beliefs' regarding gravity or plate tectonics. It comes from a science consensus as to how things work. Most scientists think we are having an impact, hence I tend to also think that may be the case. My background is geology as it happens, so I'm well aware of paleoclimatology and that climate has changed numerous times in the past without our help. But we humans are so numerous now, our activities most certainly could be the tipping point for another change.
Unfortunately this is not an issue that can be tested by having several earths, some with humans some without and then let them run with variables to see what is the definite outcomes for each scenario.
However I do not understand the extreme vehemence by some people against taking preventative measures, just in case. The worst that can happen is we make the world nicer. Whereas doing nothing could be disastrous for mankind.
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Isaac

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #337 on: October 01, 2015, 12:00:48 pm »

However I do not understand the extreme vehemence by some people against taking preventative measures, just in case. The worst that can happen is we make the world nicer. Whereas doing nothing could be disastrous for mankind.

We may get less benefit for the cost than we would if we had used our resources in some other way; and that may also turn out to be "disastrous for mankind".
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #338 on: October 01, 2015, 12:06:28 pm »

We may get less benefit for the cost than we would if we had used our resources in some other way; and that may also turn out to be "disastrous for mankind".
But they won't be spent elsewhere, that's the point you seem to ignore. Of course there may be a multitude of ways of improving our lot, but heaven forbid we try and change the status quo.
See my signature for what I think of continuing to do things the old way for it's own sake.
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Isaac

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #339 on: October 01, 2015, 12:21:30 pm »

But they won't be spent elsewhere, that's the point you seem to ignore.

Are the resources you wish to see re-allocated, not currently being spent on "improving our lot"?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 12:26:43 pm by Isaac »
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