Question: 1 the longterm environmental consequences of co2 emissions cannot be...
1. The long-term environmental consequences of CO2 emissions cannot be known for sure. Earth's atmosphere is an extremely complex system that is driven by a great multitude of variables. Predictions of climate trends are, and probably always will be, based on data that are not completely adequate. Are we justified in enacting laws to enforce significant reductions in the use of fossil fuels on the basis of imperfect scientific information? At what point can we decide that the assessment of risk is exact enough to warrant taking firm actions?
2. In the text, a distinction was drawn between conservation and curtailment. Are the energy-saving measures taken in the past 15 years primarily examples of conservation or curtailment? Will future energy-saving strategies be based on the former or the latter?
3. As noted in this chapter, about one-quarter of Medicare and Medicaid expenditures are incurred during the last year of life. Given the increasing financial burdens of both programs, should anything be done about this situation? If so, what?
4. When the demand for a new medical technology exceeds the supply, what should be used to determine who gets it? A lottery? The ability to pay? The "merit" of the recipient? Might it be better to limit the development of new technologies in order to forestall the need to make these choices?
5. Attempts at developing devices to completely replace human hearts have not been successful, but many technologies require a long development period before they are successfully employed. Should R&D for artificial heart technologies continue? If so, how should it be financed? Are there some ongoing medical programs that are less deserving of financial support than the development of an artificial heart?