And Bob Said, Let Us Make Man In Our Image

6 Apr

Behold, the future.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Illustration: Cathy Wilcox | Source: SMH

Final frontier of climate policy – remake humans

A radical proposal to modify physique and behaviour in response to climate change has been greeted with outrage, writes Catherine Armitage.

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.

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.

The paper has sparked a storm in the blogosphere. The environmentalist Bill McKibben tweeted that the authors had proposed ”the worst climate-change solutions of all time”. They have also been denounced as Nazis and ecofascists.

The authors emphasise they are not advocating human engineering be adopted, only that it be considered. They also envisage it as a voluntary activity possibly supported by incentives such as tax breaks or sponsored healthcare, not something coerced or mandatory.

Dr Sandberg, of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, said the paper had inadvertently ”managed to press two hot buttons” – climate change and ”messing with human nature”. He predicted the paper would mutate into a story that scientists were working on re-engineering people to be green and it would be adopted as ”yet another piece of evidence of the Big Conspiracy”.

Nice timing for publication of this story – being Good Friday, and all.

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4 Responses to “And Bob Said, Let Us Make Man In Our Image”

  1. omanuel April 6, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    I have updated the problem: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

    Does anyone object to the proposed solution?

  2. Betty Whiffin April 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Brown doesn’t need changing. He’s a green frog now.

  3. JMD April 7, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I think this might be the author of said proposal – http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-face-authoritarian-environmentalism

    With a mug like that, it’ll be the end of the human race if the proposal gets up.

  4. Kevin Moore April 8, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    And God said – Get the hell out of here,

    King James Version: Genesis Chapter 19
    1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

    2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

    3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

    4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

    5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

    6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

    7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

    8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

    9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

    10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

    11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

    12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:

    13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

    14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

    15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

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