For Salvo 14 I wrote an article about population control as the new solution to climate change, titled ‘Baby Freeze Is Population Control the New Solution to Global Warming?‘ I just read an article today which suggests that population control may not, in fact, be the final frontier for climate change. Some academics are now suggesting that the key to battling climate change is not to reduce the human population so much as to change it, to modify human beings to be the sort of people who cooperate with climate change plans.
“If it is so hard to change the climate to suit humans, why not alter humans to suit the changing climate, philosophers from Oxford and New York universities are asking.”
Thus opens a revealing article published by the Sidney Morning Herald, titled, ‘Final frontier of climate policy – remake humans.’
Those who have watched the video I posted on Transhumanism will know that plans to genetically modify human beings are already afloat, which is why these new climate change proposals should strike us as really spooky. In the article Catherine Armitage summarizes the content of a forthcoming paper published by Matthew Liao of New York University and Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache of Oxford University. Here’s what Armitage writes about the paper, which is set to be published in the academic journal Ethics, Policy & Environment.
They suggest humans could be modified to be smaller, dislike eating meat, have fewer children and be more willing to co-operate with social goals.
Behavioural changes might not be enough to prevent climate change even if they were widely adopted, and international agreements for measures such as emissions trading are proving elusive, say Matthew Liao of New York University and Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache of Oxford University.
So human engineering deserves serious consideration in the debate about how to solve climate change, they write in a coming paper for the academic journal Ethics, Policy & Environment.
A person’s ecological footprint is directly correlated to size, because larger people eat more than lighter people, their cars need more fuel to carry them and they wear out shoes, carpets and furniture sooner than lighter people, the authors write. They suggest hormone treatments could be used to suppress child growth, or embryos could be selected for smaller size.
Reducing consumption of red meat could have significant environmental benefits, the paper says, citing estimates that as much as 51 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock farming. They say people who lack the motivation or willpower to give up eating meat could be helped by ”meat patches” on their skin to deliver hormones to stimulate their immune system against common bovine proteins.
”Eating ‘eco-unfriendly’ food would induce unpleasant experiences,” the authors say.
Better educated women have fewer children, so human engineering to improve cognition could reduce fertility as ”a positive side effect from the point of view of tackling climate change”, the paper argues.
Pharmacological treatments such as the ”love drug” oxytocin could encourage people to act as a group and boost their appreciation of other life forms and nature, the authors say.