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The Two for One Solution

Al Gore popped up from the ashes of disgrace last week to criticize President Obama’s poor climate change record. In an article in Rolling Stone, he blistered Obama’s Bush-like non-handling of the global warming problem. In a less publicized appearance a couple of days earlier at the eighth annual Games For Change Festival, Gore discussed his latest doomsday fear, overpopulation. According to Al, there are so many of us living today that our sheer numbers threaten Mother Earth.

Although he’s less than clear about his overpopulation foreboding, Gore apparently isn’t claiming all that body heat is contributing to global warming. Rather, he thinks we need to reduce our numbers in order to reduce the pollution humans churn out. His answer is for women to be less reproductive.

Al cutting loose on population control theory is a freaky thing to watch and, fortunately, totally unnecessary. He can safely sink back under his pile of ashes because, if there really is an overpopulation problem, Obamacare will take care of it. At least in our little corner of the globe.

The real predicament of health care today is that it makes people live too long. Get a little help from your MD, your body does better and you end up prolonging your stay on the topside of the planet. This unfortunate situation only gets worse as treatments improve, because, when people live longer, the demand for medical services increases. It’s a vicious cycle that ends up pushing costs through the roof. It also keeps too many of us hanging around gobbling up other resources, too.

While this ugly little bit of reality is dawning very slowly on most of us, the government figured it out a while ago. And now we have Uncle Sam’s two for one solution, Obamacare. One of its major missions is to drive down the rising costs of health care. The advertised ways are controlling things like insurance premiums and payments to health care providers, but those approaches are quickly becoming casualties of reality. Obamacare’s real cost savers will be limiting treatment options and rationing health care, which lower the quality of care. Those with life threatening illness who land on the short side of these bureaucratic decision-making processes can look forward to abbreviated futures. As people start dropping so do costs. And so does the overpopulation meter. A health care/climate change win-win.

It’s shades of Soylent Green, of course, but is it a bad thing? Either way, we can’t live forever. Besides, the planet certainly breathes easier when there are fewer of us breathing at all. 

If your survival instinct is kicking in about now and you’re resisting the idea of a shorter lifetime, think about this. If we don’t start dying a lot sooner, we’re going to create way too much garbage, which is a major pollution issue itself. Then there’s the food problem. The have nations will eat it all up, leaving the have-nots to starve. And we know how masses of rotting corpses pump up the global warming thermometer. Not a pretty picture.

On the other hand, is there anything to the overpopulation fear besides a chance to bash Obamacare? Demographic experts fervently deny it. According to one, populations are about to peak. He chastises greenies, like Gore, who even mention overpopulation because the climate change issue is all about overconsumption.

Al isn’t getting any help on this one from his usual ally, the United Nations, either. According to its forecasters, the world’s population is continuing to increase. It is projected to hit 7 billion this year and to exceed ten billion by the end of the century. But, the growth will occur in poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America while populations in the rich nations are declining. It’s the latter, not the former, that create the pollution.

Which brings us full circle. What is Al really trying to say in his overpopulation discourse? If we’re lucky, we’ll never find out.

See you in the mirror.

About Sidney and Riley

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Sidney and Riley –

    When the government denies health care (which is NOT proven to be the case) you call it “rationing”. So…what do you call it when private health insurance companies deny coverage?

    Claim denial rates vary significantly by insurer, according to the GAO report. In California, for example, the denial rate for six managed care insurers ranged from 6 percent to 40 percent in 2009. Whether you’re insured by a plan that kicks out many claims or only a few, it may pay to appeal. The study found that consumers were successful in appeals filed with insurers in 39 percent to 59 percent of cases. When they appealed to an independent reviewer, consumers prevailed roughly 40 percent of the time.

    And while you’re trying to answer that one, you can also tell us why it is that America – which has the very best health care in the world (but only for those who have access to it) – is something like thirty-sixth on the list of nations ordered by national life expectancy…and nearly every one of the nations that have longer national life expectancies have the socialized health care that YOU are SO sure will “solve the overpopulation problem”.

    In other words, they’re all doing what you think is the wrong way…but they’re getting better results for their populations at HALF the price!

    So don’t give me your empty rhetoric when the PROVEN RESULTS show that your rhetoric is false.

  • Clavos

    why it is that America – which has the very best health care in the world (but only for those who have access to it) – is something like thirty-sixth on the list of nations ordered by national life expectancy

    That’s the 3,739th time you’ve brought up that same canard on these threads. A major reason for that lesser life expectancy is the number of people we kill on the highways, another is the large number of ignorant, uneducated single mothers who contribute to our exceptionally high infant mortality rate (out of ignorance of such things as basic hygiene and prenatal care, but also because many are drug addicts).

    My new wife is a graduate-degreed peds nurse who now teaches nursing, but who spent nearly 20 years working in a NICU, keeping preemies alive. She tells me the vast majority of them were children of unwed mothers with little or no education, and a substantial proportion of them were drug addicts; their babies, of course were afflicted with fetal drug syndrome. I had read this stuff before I met her, but it’s very different hearing it from someone with a couple of decades of hands-on experience right in the trenches.

    As usual, you take raw data, interpolate it to suit your own biases and preconceptions, and come up as always, with erroneous conclusions.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    WRONG. The number of people we kill on the freeways is nowhere near high enough to have an appreciable effect – even if you added in the number who are killed by firearms or who drown in pools, etc. In fact, the number of deaths caused by misdiagnosis and lack of care in our hospitals (it was 92K a few years back) is more than all three of those put together!

    And are you going to say, then, that the people in socialist Cuba have a better prenatal care system than America since they have a lower infant mortality rate? If socialist medicine were that bad, it would stand to reason that the infant mortality in a third-world country like Cuba would be far worse than our own!

    But they have a BETTER infant mortality rate.

    And when it comes to preemies, my youngest son was born seven weeks early at 3 lbs, 14 ounces…and he did just fine in the socialist NICU where he lived his first three weeks of life: Tripler Army Hospital on O’ahu. And YES, strictly speaking our military health care system DOES function on socialist principles (it’s a single-payer system).

    Congratulations on your new wife, but bear in mind that she’s not the only woman who’s a nurse. My own is a nurse who has spent time in L&D…and remember, we’ve spent over a decade taking in medically-fragile kids – mostly from broken homes. The one we’ve had the longest has fetal drug syndrome – trach, g-tube, scoliosis, cleft palate, seizure disorder, rods in his back, and unable to communicate.

    Okay? It’s not as if you’re trying to educate someone with no knowledge of what one faces “in the trenches”.

  • Clavos

    that the people in socialist Cuba have a better prenatal care system than America…

    Of course they do. The Fidel government has no problem (as we do) with FORCING mothers-to-be to accept and comply with prenatal care practices, or, for that matter, forcing anyone on the island to do anything they want them to do. If you’re willing to pay that price for “better” health care, move there.

    Watch out for the constant flow of traffic in the opposite direction,however.

    I wouldn’t waste my time trying to “teach” you anything.

  • Clavos

    I know she’s not the “only nurse” — what a ridiculous assertion! She does, however have a great deal more education and training than most clinical nurses and is now in fact, a professor of nursing, so I’ll believe what she tells me about the neonates in the NICUs over what you tell me any day.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah. So in Cuba one has to immediately notify the government when one becomes pregnant?

    Come on, Clavos – get real.

    And as I pointed out to you in #3 – your wife’s not the only one with a clue as to what happens “in the trenches”. I live it every day in my house.

  • Clavos

    Ah. So in Cuba one has to immediately notify the government when one becomes pregnant?

    No, “one” doesn’t — the informants take care of that — and much more.

  • Clavos

    your wife’s not the only one with a clue as to what happens “in the trenches”. I live it every day in my house.

    Good for you. But if she and you tell different stories, I’ll still believe hers over yours, if for no other reason than I can verify her training, experience and knowledge.

  • meme mine

    I’m not the only one contacting authorities and law makers and the justice departments to have the leading SCIENTISTS and NEWS EDITORS charged for this needless panic of a false war called Climate Change that condemned billions to a DEATH BY CO2 for 25 years. Because remember, climate change wasn’t sustainability, it was a specific CO2 death threat of theory turned into political correctness on steroids and history will curse us all for this modern day omen worship.

  • http://twitter.com/Greenomic MrGreen

    While talking about global warming there are many aspects which we forget or sometimes avoid talking about.
    Even Gore didn’t talk about something that is the most contributing factor towards Global Warming

    Watch the documentary “Meat The Truth”
    it will change the way we think about Global Warming

    You can watch this documentary on Culture Unplugged

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Just what we needed: more utterly counterfactual ‘death panel’ propaganda, written with a gratuitous dose of smartass cynicism. This article is less than useless.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You’re not going to get me to believe on your word alone that in Cuba, jackbooted thugs in trench coats show up on the doorstep to tell a woman “you’re coming with us and we’re going to force you to get prenatal care”.

    I’ve seen enough reports to know that in Cuba, even though their equipment and methods are poor and substandard as compared to ours, anyone can go to the doctor pretty much whenever they want at little or no cost – which is sorta what my family and I can do as retired military here in America.

    Not only that, you did NOT address what I pointed out about claim denial by US insurers – which is in fact the health care rationing that the author is SO sure that the government will do…despite the fact that such rationing is nowhere near as prevalent in the rest of the first-world democracies as our health insurance industry would have you believe! Why, oh why will you not apply your own vaunted cynicism against the propaganda fed to you by your own side????

    Tell you what, Clavos – next time you go overseas to another first-world democracy, go to a hospital and ask for treatment – and see if you are denied low-cost (or free) treatment despite the fact that you’re not a citizen.

  • VCE

    You’re idiots. The concept that Obama was trying to introduce is similar to what we have in the UK (which isn’t rationed, or socialist). It’s a basic level of healthcare for everyone. If you want to pay more for private, go ahead, but if you can’t, or have a pre-existing condition, or develop something rare, you don’t have to worry about your insurance company deciding not to cover you. You’ll get the treatment you need.
    Now, back to the real issue. Unfortunately, Al Gore is just one of the very few people who have the guts to say what is blindingly apparent – there are too many people on the planet. If all the money invested in IVF was spent on improving conditions for those of us already here, that could make a massive difference. Sorry, but spawning isn’t a right, it SHOULD be a privilige and if you can’t, tough. I can’t sing. I don’t demand millions of pounds of investment in medical research to give me new vocal chords. I deal with it and find something else to do. Like post comments in conversations where there is a preponderance of idiots.

  • Clavos

    You’re not going to get me to believe on your word alone that in Cuba, jackbooted thugs in trench coats show up on the doorstep to tell a woman “you’re coming with us and we’re going to force you to get prenatal care”.

    You’re again exaggerating what I say (“jackbooted thugs???”), but don’t take my word for it, talk to some Cuban exiles.

    I’ve seen enough reports to know that in Cuba, even though their equipment and methods are poor and substandard as compared to ours…

    Actually, while their equipment is largely non-existent and/or substandard, their methods, even US physicians agree, are much superior to ours.

    At one point when my first wife was very sick, she had two nurse’s aides who were Cuban and had been physicians in Cuba (they were learning English in order to take the licensing exams here and be able to return to practicing medicine), I had several days’ worth of very interesting conversations with them, in which they pointed out to me both the deficiencies and merits of medicine in Cuba — information I was able to verify with my physician brother-in-law, as well as several of my wife’s American docs.

    And yes, people are made to accept treatment, whether they want to or not.

  • Leroy

    Of course, the rightists are eager to use federal and state budget cuts to deepen young peoples ignorance of all matters including health, and to make early care and other rescue programs more underfunded and unavailable. Some might say that those budget cuts are necessitated by the wars and other extravangances those same rightists so fervently defend.

    In order to prop up our overpriced elitist health system we have to make more and more biases against people. It seems we are motivated by the fear that some undeserving patient will get more out of the system than he has put in with premiums. No mind for the undeserving hangers-on and bonus executives who suck even more money out of the healthcare system.

    It´s an open secret that the insurance companies are monopolies, empowered by the 1945 mccarran-ferguson bill, as any business exec who´s negotiated company insurance policies will attest: the price is the price, as they say.

  • Clavos

    …the rightists are eager to use federal and state budget cuts to deepen young peoples ignorance of all matters including health…

    Damn right! We all want to keep all them young’uns stupid and iggnerrant, so they don’t figger out how dum we are — wanna keep all the girls barefoot and pregnant too so, they knows their place.

    And all them gays should be forced to marry up. Why should they be the only happy people make ‘em live in hell too!

  • zingzing

    i see you clavos, shaking that ass.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    No, the rightists are NOT trying to deepen peoples’ ignorance…but that WILL be the result of the policies the Right is pursuing.

  • Clavos

    Well, hell, Glenn, it’s not unprecedented: even though you lefties aren’t trying to dumb down the American public, our educational system has deteriorated to the extent that that is exactly what is and has been happening for decades now.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I’ll agree that we lefties dropped the ball when it came to new theories of how to raise kids – the “I’m-okay-you’re-okay” bs, and so forth. Personally, I think it would be much better to copy nations that are doing much better – more discipline in school, school uniforms (absolutely!), higher standards for teachers, and especially better pay for teachers. I guess you could say I’m, um, “old school” when it comes to schooling.

    BUT none of this will happen if school budgets are slashed to the bone.

  • Tony N