I’ve been good. I’ve been good and disciplined. I’ve been good and disciplined about keeping this blog purely about U.S. health care. Well, as a Christmas present to myself I’m going to take a slight detour and bring in another passion of mine – environmentalism. More specifically – global warming and energy overconsumption. I believe that our health care system is going to be stressed by new diseases in the coming years – maybe 5 years, maybe 20 years, but it is coming. Some of these diseases are going to be due to the over use of antibiotics in humans and livestock and others due to global warming or other factors beyond my understanding. In regards to global warming – Italy has seen its first introduction to tropical diseases. As the earth warms diseases that thrived in tropical climates are migrating. Check it out here. Could the U.S. see similar diseases in coming years? I have no idea, but it seems entirely plausible if west nile is any indication. If I had my way we would be drastic – cut CO2 emissions unilaterally to pre-1990 levels (or further) and prepare for any possible disease introductions.