Sigh a simple technical fix to Global Warming has been staring us in the face all these years.
If the problem is using up too much resources then NYU bioethics professor S. Matthew Liao proposes in a new paper to breed a race of humans that consume less resources because they are a lot smaller. He even proposes using this and drugs to make people hate meat. And of course this would be ‘voluntary’.
In an Atlantic Interview
one of the things that we noticed is that human ecological footprints are partly correlated with size. Each kilogram of body mass requires a certain amount of food and nutrients and so, other things being equal, the larger person is the more food and energy they are going to soak up over the course of a lifetime. There are also other, less obvious ways in which larger people consume more energy than smaller people—for example a car uses more fuel per mile to carry a heavier person, more fabric is needed to clothe larger people, and heavier people wear out shoes, carpets and furniture at a quicker rate than lighter people, and so on.
And so size reduction could be one way to reduce a person’s ecological footprint. For instance if you reduce the average U.S. height by just 15cm, you could reduce body mass by 21% for men and 25% for women, with a corresponding reduction in metabolic rates by some 15% to 18%, because less tissue means lower energy and nutrient needs….
what we really care about is some kind of fixed allocation of greenhouse gas emissions per family. If that’s the case, given certain fixed allocations of greenhouse gas emissions, human engineering could give families the choice between two medium sized children, or three small sized children. From our perspective that would be more liberty enhancing than a policy that says “you can only have one or two children.” A family might want a really good basketball player, and so they could use human engineering to have one really large child.
Yippee make us all 15cm shorter, what a great idea, of course we would have to knock down and rebuild all our cities as well otherwise with those stumpy legs we might be tempted to drive everywhere. Why not go the whole hog and make us all borrowers size. Never mind the silly biologists who claim that smaller animals must have higher metabolisms, shorter life spans and large litters to survive as a species.
Of course for choosing this path of genetic engineering for there children there will plenty that dont, So I would pity those children in the playground, perhaps this new race of Morlocks will have to hide underground until the tallists die out from overconsumption.
Of course Liao says he is influenced by Deep Ecology – what a surprise – how for all these years could we have ignored James Lovelocks call to ‘ to put democracy on hold for a while’ to combat global warming, or Professor David Shearman that as democracy isn’t up to the challenge, an authoritarian government must (obviously) be imposed to save us from ourselves. Or best of all Pentti Linkola‘s injunction that “discipline, prohibition, enforcement and oppression” are the only solution.” But of course people will never accept that – well thats what we thought until democracy was suspended in Greece and Italy.
Of course the naysayers will claim what makes us human is the ability to make choices about how we behave as producers and consumers and persuade and protest to influence others. Pah – when engineering a master stunted race and drugs to control our behaviour can short cut all of that! Of course the same wooly radicals will claim that such ecofascism is adding meat to the grist of the Tea Party Sustainable Development deniers who claim that all environmentalists really want to abolish democracy and impose ecofacism. What a silly mistake not all are!