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Latest environmental mandate: Engineer teeny weeny humans to leave smaller footprints


This story belongs in the Fri Nite Frite file, except it’s real. James Barham tells us of a serious proposal to shrink humans, to better cope with climate change. In “Mad Scientists, Then and Now” (Evolution News & Views, May 18, 2012), he explains,

People are too big. If we want to save the planet, we must shrink ourselves.

That’s the message of a recent Atlantic article entitled “How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change.” The piece reports on a proposal — to be published soon in an environmental ethics journal — to meet the challenge of climate change (if such it be), not by transforming the earth and its climate, as some have suggested, but rather by reengineering human beings themselves.

In a nutshell, the reasoning in this essay goes like this: …

In short, you shall be Tinkerbell or something:

And if you don’t like it, you are a denialist.

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If Gil ever does give a commencement address, I want to be in the audience. StephenB
Materialism is completely irrational on purely scientific grounds. Furthermore, it is destructive of the human soul, purpose, meaning, ethics, and all else that ultimately matters.
Sheesh, Gil. Now you sound like Ben Carson! Rest assured we will never invite you to give a commencement address anywhere. :) Eric Anderson
People are too big. If we want to save the planet... What? If we want to "save the planet" we must re-engineer the human genome? This is not just astronomically stupid; it's pathological insanity. We can't save the planet. Eventually, the sun will turn into a red giant. All life on earth will be incinerated. The seas will boil away. The earth's atmosphere will be stripped away. Eventually, the universe will enter terminal heat death. There will be no record of anything that anyone has ever done or accomplished. In a purely materialistic worldview, all is destined to be ultimately meaningless, including the efforts of those who hope to "save the planet." Believe it or not, I've thought about such things since I was a child. I now attribute these thoughts to the fact that God implanted eternity in my heart. Materialism is completely irrational on purely scientific grounds. Furthermore, it is destructive of the human soul, purpose, meaning, ethics, and all else that ultimately matters. GilDodgen
‘Climate ethics’ prof: Global warming skeptics guilty of ‘crimes against humanity’ http://psu.campusreform.org/group/blog/video-climate-ethics-prof-global-warming-skeptics-guilty-of-crimes-against-humanity udat
"Honey, I shrunk the kids and saved the planet!!!" CannuckianYankee
Also kind of explored here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_Tension_(short_story) and also here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flux_(novel) (Personally I think these ideas are entertaining but only a crackpot would take them seriously.) David W. Gibson
And when Barham says nobody would have taken the mad scientist seriously or respected him, he means that everyone would have seen him as a morally repugnant person. Bilbo I
Gil, Barham was reviewing an article where a scientist proposed reducing the size of humans in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Barham wasn't concerned with the question of whether global warming is true and caused by humans, or whether such a proposal would work. Barham is concerned because such an proposal is taken seriously and published in a well-respected, popular journal. His point is that the mad scientist, that in days gone by, nobody would have taken seriously or respected, is now taken seriously and respected. The fact that you are more concerned with whether the proposal is scientifically valid and less concerned with its moral implications sort of proves Barham's point, wouldn't you say? But speaking on behalf of hobbits everywhere, I think the idea is not half bad. You humans need some cutting down to size, if you follow me. Bilbo I
And this stuff is passed off as science? This makes belief in Tinkerbell sound like the epitome of rationality. Where is the rigorous, scientific, analytical evaluation of this proposal? James Barham reasons as follows: Humans breathe out C02. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gasses are heat-trapping. Therefore, make humans smaller, AND WE CAN SAVE THE PLANET FROM IMPENDING DOOM! (Oh, and I guess that if we were smaller we would drive smaller cars, etc., and therefore burn fewer fossil fuels.) How do such obviously mindless clowns like this guy get any press? This is example 52,547 which demonstrates how secular materialism has corrupted legitimate science. GilDodgen

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