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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5472

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The obvious is sometimes lost on those who are defensive about their role in the carbon industries. No one has said that energy development, and cheap energy development, has not benefited mankind. Instead, some of us have consistently said that the price of energy sources should include the price of the externalities associated with that energy source. Consistent conservatives would recognize the sense that makes it a market system. Transfering the costs of CO2 and particulates to the general public, or the commons, is patently antagonistic to honest market economics.

Honesty. What a concept.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2034

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
coboardhead wrote:
This goes back to fossil fuels too. Is it O.K. for us to utilize cheaper energy when it causes significant health problems for some?

As it relates to oil and gas, absolutely...........because the benefits hugely outweigh the detriments. The quality of life for billions across the planet has improved beyond measure because of cheap oil and gas based energy and it's by-products. Heating, cooling, transportation, plastics, asphalt, lubrication, fertilizers and on and on.....not to mention large scale employment and huge taxes. Give me a viable alternative, with similar benefits and less negative impact, and I may be more impressed by this myopic view of carbon based energy spouted by so many on this forum as they plan their next windsurfing outing in a gas guzzling SUV filled with petroleum based windsurfing products.


Mrgybe...my myopic vision aside...my issue is, primarily, with coal burning power plants. I have written a number of times about the hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs that can be directly attributed to dirty coal. Yet, we all enjoy electricity rates that do not include these staggering costs.

Should 13000 people die in the US each year because we are not willing to make a committment to clean up coal? Since natural gas is far safer, and available, shouldn't it be the responsibility of the government to force these costs on coal or require more stringent emissions?
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1518

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My issue boils down to individual rights and freedoms. Yes, government has a roll in determining what laws should be imposed on the public to protect the welfare of the masses, but sometimes, the laws just go too far, in my opinion (big gulp). Since there appears to be a trend toward more and more regulations, I get concerned.

If government really wanted to jump in and save lives, they could mandate that all cars have roll cages, 5 point seat belts and all passengers must wear helmets. Think of all the lives this would save! Why not do it? Simply because the public and the auto lobby would not tolerate it. Why would the public and auto lobby not tolerate it? Imposition on individual freedoms (and cost).

It's a balancing act between what is and isn't reasonable, and there is no way to define reasonable. Every politician & individual will look at it differently.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1518

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and my issue with "studies" is that more often than not, we don't get the WHOLE story. The politicians (on both sides) as well as the media hype and cherry pick the points that support their agendas.

The studies on medical costs for smokers - maybe the numbers are accurate and do encompass the projected costs for those that do live a longer and healthier life, long enough for hip and knee replacements, cataracts; falls; auto accidents; stroke; prescriptions; Alzheimer's; and the list goes on. But I doubt it.

Much like the unemployment rates that are hyped (the new jobs each month and the fictional drop in the percentage of the unemployed). The government stats are there, (% of the working age population actually working hasn't made a noticeable change in the last three years), but the real story isn't presented by the politicians and the media. How can one not be a skeptic?
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2034

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Danish study found higher costs for smokers:

http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/14/1/95.full.pdf

An older CDC report - same conclusion

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5114a2.htm
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2740

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
Oh, and my issue with "studies" is that more often than not, we don't get the WHOLE story.

Ah, but you DO get the whole story when it validates a preconceived conclusion.
.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5472

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno--citizenship conveys both rights and responsibilities. You have all impressed us with how eager you are to believe the worst of Obama and indeed all "liberals", without bothering to show any rigor in investigating the facts. So Bush gets a pass on the multiple attacks on embassies during his tenure, and the two disastrous wars--but Obama is flayed in conservative "media" for things that most people see as far less serious. It shows that you are not willing to embrace that part of citizenship that entails the responsibility to be reasonably sure of the facts.

Your latest reveals the mind set behind it. Presented with facts, and the best estimates by people working in public health and their costs, you stubbornly cling to statements that show you just won't believe analysis. (we don't get the full story.) You make no attempt to actually determine the impact of smoking--that would involve responsiblity. Their is no reasoning with someone who will not, or perhaps cannot, reason. Add in the normal paranoia of the conservative mind, and I am not surprised that you don't live in California, and can find no fault with subsidizing those who grow the real "killer weed."
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1518

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac and others, please don't put words in my mouth. My issues in this thread would be the same if Bush was still president. I have not said one negative thing about Obama here, but the left's paranoia is clearly showing.

Trying to interpret smoking studies like these is a challenge, but in the conclusion of the first study, they state:

Quote:
To compare the present results with the Dutch results, we have re-examined our data with an RR of 1.0 for Ďall other diseasesí other than respiratory, cardiovascular, and neoplasm, and used undiscounted costs as in the Dutch study. Then it was found that ever-smokersí direct lifetime health costs exceeded never-smokersí only slightly; undiscounted ratios for direct lifetime health costs for ever-smokers to never-smokers were 1.02 in men and 1.07 in women, respectively compared to these present results, where the ratios were 1.66 in men and 1.74 in women, respectively. By limiting the smoking-related diseases to those five groups and assuming the costs for all other diagnoses to be independent of smoking status, Barendregt et al. omitted substantial direct lifetime health costs of smoking and thus underestimated direct lifetime health costs for smokers and overestimated direct lifetime health costs for non-smokers. How- ever, the Dutch study does find that smokersí direct lifetime health costs exceed non-smokersí when discounting by 4.5% in men and 5.5% in women. If Barendregt et al. had included more smoking-related diseases and omitted the assumption that the
costs for all other diagnoses were independent of smoking status, then we expect the direct lifetime health costs for Dutch smokers would exceed non-smokersí even without discounting.
CONCLUSIONS Smoking imposes costs on society even when taking life expectancy into consideration, both in excess health care utilization and in terms of reduced labour supply.


OK, I can buy this, but there are conflicting studies. I have never been for smoking, but it is legal, so those that choose to shorten their lives can do so if they want.

Mac said:
Quote:
Presented with facts, and the best estimates by people working in public health and their costs, you stubbornly cling to statements that show you just won't believe analysis. (we don't get the full story.)


I would be a much happier camper if those that quoted the "cost of smoking" would also include the cost of not smoking, then provide us with the difference. Those numbers would be the REAL numbers. "best estimates" are not facts and until the other half of the equation is presented, I will not buy into the hype? Even assuming the above study is 100% correct, the difference in lifetime cost between the smokers and never smokers doesn't appear to be that significant.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1518

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just checked the other study by the CDC. No question that the price of smoking in medical and productivity costs is significant. However, they have an agenda and by presenting only half the equation to get BIG numbers, they do a better job of selling their point. I get what they are doing and I don't necessarily disagree with their agenda, but I believe that FULL disclosure is the right thing to do.

Essentially, the numbers in this study lead one to believe that if everyone stopped smoking, all these costs would go away. NOT! That's the other half of the story, people will still get sick and have accidents and there will be medical and productivity costs, but just over a longer life span. Maybe even less overall cost if no one smoked, but not the numbers presented in these studies.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2827

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT........I gather that you have suffered through 3 successive bitterly cold winters with abundant snow, and it seems that you will have snow at Easter to cap the coldest March in 50 years. Don't despair!! I just saw an article that should give you and your countrymen cause for hope!! I've attached the headline and a couple of extracts.

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past (The Independent Newspaper)
According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually "feel" virtual cold.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

You must be hugging yourself at the prognostications of these leading climate experts! Think of all that warm winter windsurfing!

The date of the article..........March 20, 2000.
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