Kaiser Permanente Health Consortium Commits an Unspecified Budget to Combat CO2 Emissions

Kaiser Sunset Hospital complex in Los Angeles, California
Kaiser Sunset Hospital complex in Los Angeles, California, By Ucla90024Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5611544

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Good news for the 9.6 million clients of Kaiser Permanente Health Consortium; They have just committed to spending an unknown amount of your health premiums, to reduce Kaiser CO2 emissions to zero by 2025.

Kaiser to end its global warming emissions by 2025

Kaiser Permanente on Tuesday unveiled an aggressive environmental plan that, by 2025, will slash the hospital system’s water use, recycle or compost all of its non-hazardous waste and eliminate or offset its greenhouse gas emissions.

Kaiser, based in Oakland, also will buy its food from local sources or farms that follow sustainable practices, most notably avoiding the overuse of antibiotics.

Kaiser has a history of setting environmental targets for its operations. But the new goals represent its most ambitious to date. The health organization will develop annual plans and milestones to reach its targets.

“The degradation of the environment has a powerful effect on health,” said Raymond Baxter, Kaiser’s senior vice president of community benefit, research and health policy. “It is a major health issue that we can not ignore. … We did this because we think the problem is so severe, and we are at a tipping point, that we cannot take incremental approaches.”

Kaiser does not have an estimate for how much the sweeping changes to its operations will cost. But Baxter noted that Kaiser’s past efforts to lighten its environmental impact — by using more sustainable products or buying renewable power — have cost less than the organization would have spent under its previous business practices.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Kaiser-to-end-its-global-warming-emissions-by-2025-7515870.php

Next time the cost of your Kaiser health plan premiums go up, remember not to be selfish about it, because Kaiser plans to spend some of that extra cash on your behalf, to help save the world from CO2.

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May 17, 2016 7:24 pm

Having worked for Kaiser I can say with some confidence that they will be benefitting from huge government subsidies by introducing this. So it will be a hit on all California tax payers and therefore a double whammy on KP customers in California.

Tom Halla
May 17, 2016 7:31 pm

Politically correct bullpuckey.

May 17, 2016 7:45 pm

Zero emissions is a pretty aggressive target. If they plan to “eliminate or offset” all greenhouse gas emissions, which will it be for their hospital patients, eliminate their CO2 output or offset it?

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Louis
May 17, 2016 8:04 pm

probably they will just buy 100% “green energy” at four times the cost. Same wires will provide the same electricity but it will be tagged as coming from “green” sources. Haha.
Hospitals have back up generators. I understand those generators will be replaced by windmill that they will unleash if power fails.
Eugene WR Gallun

michael hart
Reply to  Eugene WR Gallun
May 18, 2016 2:25 am

Sainsbury’s the UK supermarket has also previously made some similarly foolish commitments about CO2.
Then they recently announced they were installing (fossil fuelled) generating systems as backup against the increased likelihood of power cuts. One of their senior managers finally looked into the “green” abyss and didn’t like what he saw.

Reply to  Louis
May 19, 2016 1:14 am

Canberra is going zero emissions too. If a whole city can do it*, then one health fund should be able to do it.
* no, they can’t. These are the same bozos that tried to have zero waste by 2010 (? not sure about the exact date) and completely failed.

May 17, 2016 8:05 pm

Nothing turns me off a product quicker than advertising it as ‘green’.

James Bull
Reply to  Alex
May 18, 2016 2:04 am

Here Here!
Have turned down several offers like that the best was for “Green Electricity” when asked if the person making the offer could guarantee the electricity would only come from windmills and solar panels they said it didn’t work like that, I was then able to give them a lesson in “green” scamming and government subsidies.
James Bull

Reply to  Alex
May 18, 2016 9:09 am

I agree, also “organic”.

François GM
May 17, 2016 8:33 pm

With the exception of offsetting GHG emissions, the plan sounds good to me. The problem with environmentalists today is that they have dropped the important simple stuff (recycling, water preservation, avoiding overuse of ATB etc) for the benefit of the ideologically motivated CAGW. I will proudly identify as an environmentalist when the folly of CAGW has been exposed for the baloney that it is. As for Kaiser clients, if they don’t like the policy they can vote with their feet. That’s what I would be tempted to do.

John Cherry
Reply to  François GM
May 18, 2016 4:44 am

Well said, Francois GM. Most of what they are doing is reasonable and sound. There are reasons other than putative CAGW to reduce the use of exhaustible fossil fuels.

Reply to  François GM
May 18, 2016 5:14 am

Dead right. LIke many I am interested in keep our air/water/food free of pollution. But that word does not mean CO2.
The whole enviro movement has been flipped in its back but has not even realised yet, they are so blinded by this alarmist crap.
The problem is down here , not up there. The constitution is being trashed, democracy is being usurped but they say : look up there , there is some colorless, odourless, tasteless , non toxic, gas ! We must act NOW !
The only tipping point we are at risk of seeing is an avalanche of bullshit !

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 9:12 am

I’ve read a lot of reports that show that the majority of the stuff that gets “recycled” ends up in the same landfill as the un-recycled stuff.

Reply to  François GM
May 18, 2016 9:10 am

Recycling rarely makes sense.
The vast majority of it costs way more than the economic benefit.

Reply to  François GM
May 19, 2016 1:16 am

“I will proudly identify as an environmentalist”
Call yourself a conservationist. A conservationist is somebody that spends their time doing useful stuff like recycling or replanting trees. An environmentalist is just another word for a protester.

John Robertson
May 17, 2016 8:33 pm

I would not want to be a patient.I need to exhale.
I assume all the staff will be silicon lifeforms or androids.
Seems likely somebody is working the subsidy market.
Fits right in with the Emperors new clothes, only the truly blessed people of great wisdom can see the benefit of killing off all plant life.

Jeff L
May 17, 2016 9:03 pm

Nothing more than a feel good scam to fleece money out of their client base. Sick !
This is a prime example why CAGW must be defeated – the unscrupulous will use it to take advantage of the general populous.

May 17, 2016 9:19 pm

Zero emmisions? I challenge anyone to look around you and find a product in your visible range that has zero emmisions as part of the product. Grown, built, or marketed, it used fossil fuels in some way just to exist.
Zero emmissions eh? Where did that drain pipe, paint, AC, or smartphone come from?
Oh the pain!

Reply to  ossqss
May 17, 2016 9:28 pm

And their communication systems ( computers/ Iphones/tablets/ record holding facilities etc?). And how are they going to run MRI’s, Cat scans, X-ray’s? On wind power?

Reply to  asybot
May 17, 2016 11:49 pm

I think the emergency generators are bicycle-powered.

May 17, 2016 9:22 pm

How do they plan to stop their patients breathing and exhaling CO2?

Reply to  Tony
May 17, 2016 10:22 pm

I hear fluffy pillows work really well.

May 17, 2016 9:27 pm

Prediction: When the bills start adding up sort of like a small snow ball running down hill it becomes an unstoppable avalnck of wasted money. The top brass will lose there cushy jobs and never work in the insurance business again. They will end up with a bunch of scrap metal, warped solar panels and useless GREEN dreams.

May 17, 2016 9:52 pm

What’s unsustainable about antibiotic use?

John Cherry
Reply to  rogerthesurf
May 18, 2016 4:50 am

You are right to criticise the use of the word “sustainable” in this context, but, leaving aside the semantic point, I still like the concept. Having been a surgeon, the last thing I want to see is increasing antibiotic resistance, and the use of excessive antibiotics as routine treatment for farm animals inevitably contributes to this. I applaud Kaiser for their stance on this issue, and hope that proposals in the European Union to ban these practices take effect and become general.

Reply to  John Cherry
May 18, 2016 6:23 pm

True everything should be used sensibly, however this “sustainability thing has nothing to do with CO2 but everything to do with UN Agenda 21 which I believe is even a greater danger than the IPCC and all its nonsense.
This is what my Blog is about. Please visit

May 17, 2016 10:02 pm

Their new, all-in motto: “All our patients are going green”.

Reply to  Ballbounces
May 17, 2016 10:08 pm

– going gangrene?

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
May 18, 2016 8:25 am

We know Gang-Green is responsible. I’ve called them that for awhile now – and for that reason!

Reply to  Ballbounces
May 18, 2016 9:13 am

All your patients belong to us?

May 17, 2016 10:06 pm

Carbon dioxide is commonly used as an insufflation gas for minimal invasive surgery (laparoscopy, endoscopy, and arthroscopy) to enlarge and stabilize body cavities to provide better visibility of the surgical area.
Carbon Dioxide can also be used for :
– Cryotherapy, where temperatures of -76° C, can be achieved. Using this technique body cells are destroyed by the process of crystallization. This may include the removal of wart, moles and skin tags.
– respiratory stimulation during and after anesthesia .
So KP will have to suspend procedures that directly use CO2?

Thomas Homer
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
May 18, 2016 5:36 am

Excellent points … and I assume carbonated beverages will be off limits as well.
Also, I’m curious if they will continue to use activated charcoal (carbon) filters to remove impurities from the hospital’s air and drinking water.

May 17, 2016 11:40 pm

Wow. “Kaiser Permanente Health Consortium Commits…….” Suicide

May 18, 2016 12:26 am

I am all for reducing waste, but “slashing” a hospital’s water usage makes my skin crawl. There had better not be “encouragement” to spend less time soaping up before performing surgery…

Reply to  AllyKat
May 18, 2016 1:57 am

No problem. They wear sterile gloves and masks. It also helps to hide their identity.

May 18, 2016 1:07 am

Doomsday Bingo:
“If the models and the projections and the data are correct, there will be no society in the UK in 2025.”
– Dr. Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources & Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona.

Worst Apocalypse. Ever.

Reply to  Mark M
May 18, 2016 9:15 am

That’s OK, according to Erhlic, the UK ceased to exist some 20 years ago.

Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2016 3:03 am

…Kaiser Permanente Health Consortium Commits an Unspecified Budget to Combat CO2 Emissions…
That’s nothing!
I too have committed an unspecified budget to combat CO2 emissions.
I also have an unspecified budget to solve the engineering problems of nuclear fusion, cheap space travel, peace in the Middle East and the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything….

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2016 3:24 am

Busy lad

Phil R
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2016 6:45 am

The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything….
has already been solved:42.
Now, to figure out the question!

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2016 9:16 am

I’ve replaced most of my light bulbs with LED ones. But I did that because I like saving money. (I haven’t replaced bulbs such as closet and refrigerator, ones that only burn a few minutes a week.)

James at 48
Reply to  Griff
May 18, 2016 9:06 am

Da Joisey boyz and galz.

NW sage
Reply to  Griff
May 18, 2016 5:34 pm

They will do it without any of MY money. I QUIT their health ‘care’ plan. I’m done with them.

Sun Spot
May 18, 2016 4:27 am

To reach Zero emissions immediately I suggest Kaiser management begin at the point where they stop breathing.

Andrew D Burnette
May 18, 2016 4:33 am

“The degradation of the environment has a powerful effect on health,”…
Are they not talking about moderately higher CO2 levels and warmer temperatures? Colder temperatures kill more people than warmer, so the effect of inaction is a health improvement, right? This new policy sends them in the wrong direction. They should increase their CO2 emissions!

Tom Judd
May 18, 2016 6:25 am

“Kaiser does not have an estimate for how much the sweeping changes to its operations will cost.”
Wow! That is amazingly irresponsible management. Breathlessly irresponsible. Nothing, anywhere, is so important that the costs are not to be considered.
Now, I can hear somebody ask, “Well, what about a human life? Can we put a cost on that?” Yes, if it will cost four lives to save one.
And, this man has just elevated the environment to an exalted position above even the example in the preceding paragraph. If the costs are irrelevant, then even the patients are irrelevant. Wow, has environmentalism become a religion.

May 18, 2016 6:51 am

The only way Kaiser can achieve zero emissions is to go out of business which is inevitable if they try to reduce their emissions to zero.

Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2016 8:27 am

Zero-emissions nonsense aside, most of what they propose is feel-good greenwashery; good for PR, and not much else, and for sure, it will impact their bottom line negatively.

James at 48
May 18, 2016 9:00 am

But the heck if you want to get frequent recommended screenings. They want you to eat farm-to-table organic but as for actually finding cancers or other problems early, well ….. I reckon they will also be investing more in their hospice function.

Reply to  James at 48
May 18, 2016 9:18 am

With the rapidly approaching collapse of Social Security, encouraging the elderly to die more quickly may soon become standard procedure.

Reply to  MarkW
May 18, 2016 11:14 am

Not Social Security, which has a fixed cost commensurate to cost of living, but rather medical costs that have exhibited a positive progressive distribution, and welfare costs without economic revitalization, with excessive immigration (e.g. refugee crises), and inside high density population centers.

Reply to  MarkW
May 18, 2016 12:06 pm

Sorry Social Security is scheduled to go bankrupt in 10 to 15 years, it’s because the number of people who are still working has been dropping relative to the number of people drawing funds.

May 18, 2016 9:24 am

Great, as if healthcare isn’ t expensive and inefficient enough, now we can tack on a climate tax. Drs will no longer be spending time with patients, they will be filing papers on their carbon footprints.

May 18, 2016 9:24 am

Venezuela is leading the way on this – cutting down on electricity, calories & again letting nature settle who comes
out if the hospital alive.

Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2016 1:09 pm

This is a good model for the pea brains/dim-acrats at the soon to be defunct Kaiser, if the green madness doesn’t kill them the the Un-affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare will, take your choice/poison both are terminal to any organization!

May 18, 2016 10:52 am

Dr. Baxter isn’t just a hospital administrator; he is a Democrat insider. One of the people behind the curtain.
His wife is Aída Álvarez, head of the SBA under Bill Clinton. She serves on the Walmart BoD, with none other than Hillary Clinton. Alvarez will surely get a position in a Hillary admin, Dr. Baxter might.

May 18, 2016 11:10 am

A quid pro quo a la revenue reform a.k.a. “Obamacare”.

James Moran
May 18, 2016 7:56 pm

Does this mean as a Kaiser member I need to ride a horse into the emergency entrance if I need attention?

Richard G
May 18, 2016 10:38 pm

So now instead of saving lives, they want to extinguish lives by depriving them of the essential ingredient for carbon based life forms.

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