Whack-Jobs: How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change

“From drugs to help you avoid eating meat to genetically engineered cat-like eyes to reduce the need for lighting, a wild interview about changes humans could make to themselves to battle climate change.”

The Atlantic reports:

The threat of global climate change has prompted us to redesign many of our technologies to be more energy-efficient. From lightweight hybrid cars to long-lasting LED’s, engineers have made well-known products smaller and less wasteful. But tinkering with our tools will only get us so far, because however smart our technologies become, the human body has its own ecological footprint, and there are more of them than ever before. So, some scholars are asking, what if we could engineer human beings to be more energy efficient? A new paper to be published in Ethics, Policy & Environment proposes a series of biomedical modifications that could help humans, themselves, consume less.

Some of the proposed modifications are simple and noninvasive. For instance, many people wish to give up meat for ecological reasons, but lack the willpower to do so on their own. The paper suggests that such individuals could take a pill that would trigger mild nausea upon the ingestion of meat, which would then lead to a lasting aversion to meat-eating. Other techniques are bound to be more controversial. For instance, the paper suggests that parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, less resource-intensive children.

The lead author of the paper, S. Matthew Liao, is a professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University. Liao is keen to point out that the paper is not meant to advocate for any particular human modifications, or even human engineering generally; rather, it is only meant to introduce human engineering as one possible, partial solution to climate change. He also emphasized the voluntary nature of the proposed modifications. Neither Liao or his co-authors, Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache of Oxford, approve of any coercive human engineering; they favor modifications borne of individual choices, not technocratic mandates. What follows is my conversation with Liao about why he thinks human engineering could be the most ethical and effective solution to global climate change…

Read the entire report.

[h/t Tom Nelson]

20 thoughts on “Whack-Jobs: How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change”

  1. “It’s not sterilization, it just changes your mood.”
    Just thinking about liberals … Janet Reno, Rachel Maddow, Hillary, Cindy Sheehan et al … certainly changes MY mood :^)

  2. Don’t go off the deep end, Cat, even though the govt. is trying to introduce a new “fee-line” of carbon tax this,–carbon tax that. You also don’t want to channel Jim Jones, a USA-reprobate who DID have his followers take pills and die. Wouldn’t the dingos eat the rabbits? The Globalists WANT you and millions like you, to go to Jesus, taking yourselves out , because they think there’re too many people on Earth. Let’s prove them wrong, shall we, and keep on living, because its a wonderful world,–inside and out. I want to live to see them defeated, and then decades beyond.

  3. …how about a pill that would make us all say “yes”!? How I understand this article is humans are just a big problem. Next is let’s all take a pill and die…….good clean earth left with no global warming, just sweet bunnies running around eating grass.

  4. The lefties HAVE taken the science out of science. If you’ve been degree’d and advanced, –especially if you did nothing, really, for it, then you’d defend, even incorrect work, vigorously, but eventually for that defense, you’d be discarded by the firm that hired you, usually before you were ready to leave. So in fear of being fired, the warmists will give a spirited, if futile German-type house-house defense, knowing you’ve been whipped by the Truth, but unable to SAY SO, yet, so that’s what we have, NOW, with the warmist scientists like Mann et al, imo. If you knew about the scientific method, if they handed you an agenda, you’d puzzle it out, refusing that agenda, if it was un-repeatible, and the Consensus Commies can’t have you disagreeing with the Party-line. The Left have their Lysenkos, the West, their asians who can figure out what’s-what. Thanks again to the Von Braun group, without whom we’d never have reached the moon, much less beat the Ruskies to it. And great respect for those who developed Germany’s flying saucers, and fought us to a standstill over Neue Schwabenland in ’46 or ’47, during the Byrd expedition. I truly wonder about science. My Father was very capable, working on Erythromiacin, and it’s still used today, but his PhD “fame” was sharing a patent with Gilbert, who needed NO ONE to “share” his work. My Father was a 32nd-degree Mason on the face of things, but he HAD to be higher, as he could travel from one chapter to another, and they’d treat him like the King of England. In retirement, he turned to God, and fell out of favor with the Masons, becoming nearly a “saint,” as if to atone for his past.. I had known Something “had-him” in the ’70s when one day he was for the Viet-war. And the next day, he had turned 180-degrees. I didn’t trust him for years after, even though he was a good Pop. I didn’t care about how WE did,–I figured if we really wanted to win, we would have nuked Hanoi & Haiphong, but I knew life would stink for the Southern Viets if we left, and a million were “lost” during “Re-education” after we left.

  5. Also, do they not know that we need meat…because it’s essential? These pills they are suggesting could lead to a rise in anemia and other disorders…all from a lack of protein. What were they smoking? Such a thing will never come to pass.

  6. We should just commit suicide, then. Because obviously we are walking pollutants.

    The study is so backwards. First they say it’ll be great, then they say it won’t happen because of “ethics”.

    When will they learn that climate changes regardless of what we do?

  7. It is very unfortunate the scientific method is no longer being practiced in the US or the UK. All we get is dimwit scaremongering wannabe celebrity scientists spewing out poor quality science fiction. We need to look to the East for any hope of the scientific method being held.

    Peak Intelligence has been reached in the West, we have left low IQ group think rise to the top and drown out individual genius in science and education.

  8. Jason:

    Have you been living in a remote ashram someplace? Everyone who is semi-conscious knows that the Greenies, PETA, the bioethicists, the abortionists, the euthanaziasts, and the homosexuals are close political allies. What I still can’t get is how Cindy Sheehan can “think” solidarity with slaves wearing Liberation Bags is liberating for women. Maybe for men, although I just read that Osama bin Laden was longing for death – to take him away from his three wives. Seems like at least one of them was thinking along the same lines. If you really have been living in a remote ashram, kindly share the address – I want to go there, since I don’t own a Yellow Submarine.

  9. The line between “voluntary” and mandatory becomes awfully fine when you start advocating for insanity such as this. Just ask the Chinese who were supposed to “voluntarily” restrict themselves to “one child”. Then abortion and infanticide became mandatory. When you’re “saving the world” you can make any restriction imposed from above seem like a good idea.

  10. Classic! How come he missed the true purpose of the Green movement, a drug that makes adults want less children (not smaller ones, that’s what poodles are for). They should make a drug that all the liberals can take that makes them not want to have children. It’s not sterilization, it just changes your mood.

  11. HI, I’m Coach and I’m a meataholic. I’m totally drug dependent, but I’ve been meat free for 7 months.

    While you’re at it, could you genetically modify us to not be an obsessive compulsive, no grip on reality control freak?

  12. HI, I’m Coach and I’m a meataholic. I’m totally drug dependent, but I’ve been meat free for 7 months.

    While you’re at it, could you genetically modify us to not be an obsessive compulsive, no grip on realiy control freak?

  13. You’re correct, Brad, I think we were intended to eat at some meat,–to not be strictly Vegan, but I’ll pass on pink slime.

  14. No doubt some of this stuff, would be good, just “because”, –NOT for climate reasons. I’d like to be a couple of inches taller, with more teeth that I grew myself. In my maturity, I wish I easily grew hair on my head, and if I were married, things could be bigger/longer, “South of the border”, though not too big–that’d be too kinky. I’d LIKE at least one low-light eye, so I don’t trip, trudging to the johnny in the middle of the night (–but, ah, that’d be the one I probably have closed, so I’d trip, anyway). I also wish my arms could be lengthened, maybe as much at 4″. I know that’d look “Simian”, but I’d be unbeatable at Epee, and pass the bananas,OK? Finally, wouldn’t it be awesome to eat all you wish and never gain it in the “wrong-places”, to where it looks like our chests have fallen? Seeing as how I think we’re headed for Cooling, –but NOT because of humans,–what adaptations would be “helpful” to survive lots of cold & ice? You’re right, Mauri, about that smoke, but did you know eating the stuff you’d smoke, is supposed to last longer, and not plug-up the lungs?

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