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Here is the narrative: if we reduce manmade greenhouse gases and their companion aerosols, like PM2.5, we will reduce global warming and improve our health. Unfortunately, the climate is a bit more complex. Our best plans come with unintended consequences. A new study shows that reducing those manmade aerosols also increases the “climate forcing” bringing about global warming.
Methamphetamine has made an unprecedented comeback, surpassing even fentanyl in drug overdose deaths in certain parts of the U.S. It hasn't shown up by accident; it's an offshoot of the misinformed anti-opioid movement. But it took two different government screwups to cause this latest mess: one that gave us pure, cheap meth and another that gave addicts the reason to use it. Nice going.
Those with elevated cholesterol frequently have identical risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes. Statins are known to increase the incidence of diabetes. But is this a result of confounding or a separate concern? A new study tries to untie this Gordian knot of confounders.
According to the CDC, the percentage of children who have ever had chickenpox has fallen dramatically since a vaccine was licensed for use in the U.S. in 1995. But because fewer kids have chickenpox, there is less virus circulating among the public. It's thought that exposure to the virus helps keep shingles in check, which is normally associated with older folks.
A mixed success record, abuse, regulatory mismanagement, and unintended consequences. Combined, these make the case that the Endangered Species Act is not working as intended. It must adapt or face extinction.
In an op-ed in the NYTimes, a cardiologist bemoans the unintended consequences of state-mandated report cards designed to evaluate care by individual practitioners. He shows how these reports, created to enhance transparency, do the opposite and harm patients and doctors.