The Newest Climate Criminals: Oncologists?

We may have reached peak climatista absurdity with this article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology:

Prescriptions for Mitigating Climate Change–Related Externalities in Cancer Care: A Surgeon’s Perspective


In April 2021, President Biden pledged to drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% relative to 2005 levels by 2030. This ambitious agenda will inevitably require significant changes across the breadth of the United States economy, including the health care sector. According to previous studies, the health care industry accounts for roughly 8.5% of total GHG emissions in the United States (the most in the world in per-capita and absolute terms), and in recent years, the provision of cancer care has increasingly been included in discussions about decarbonization. We believe that surgical oncologists are a crucial stakeholder community in the implementation of associated priorities for two reasons. First, owing to the prevalence of consumables, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, volatile anesthetic gases, and sterilization processes, operating rooms (ORs) partially account for 70% of a hospital’s waste and are three to six times more carbon-intensive than the hospital as a whole, according to a 2017 life cycle analysis. In 2014, the release of hydrofluorocarbon and chlorofluorocarbon anesthetic gases stood at the equivalent of 3 million tons of carbon dioxide, with 80% of emissions from desflurane alone. Second, carbon-intensive minimally invasive surgical approaches, that is, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted, have become mainstays in the management of several cancers, for example, uterine, oropharyngeal, colorectal, and prostate. For example, the robotic hysterectomy has been associated with a carbon footprint of 814 KgCO2e, commensurate with a 2,273 mile journey in a gasoline car. This is salient because the adoption of robotic-assisted procedures increased eight-fold from 2012 to 2018 and overall minimally invasive surgical activity in the United States is associated with total CO2 emissions of 355,924 tons per year, synonymous with a country-level ranking of 198th among UN member states.

If you read the complete article you can almost feel yourself getting dumber with every sentence.

The press release touting this article contains one useful clue as to its provenance:

Victor Agbafe was watching [President Biden’s climate] address on TV. The University of Michigan Medical School student, who is also studying law at Yale, immediately texted a few mentors, including Michigan Medicine integrated plastic surgery resident Nicholas Berlin, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Why do so many absurdities of our present time have a connection to Yale Law School?

Hat tip: Anthony Watts, WattsUpWithThat.

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