In perhaps their most chilling move yet, Greens are plotting to biologically modifying human beings to minimise our impact on the environment and climate.
A prominent American bioethicist Matthew Liao is pushing for the physical modification of human beings to save the planet:
In this paper, we consider a new kind of solution to climate change, what we call human engineering, which involves biomedical modifications of humans so that they can mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. We argue that human engineering is potentially less risky than geoengineering and that it could help behavioural and market solutions succeed in mitigating climate change.
This bloke Matthew Liao is no fringe-dweller either, he’s a well-funded, respectable young fellow, well-supported by the very best of US universities, currently serving as:
Associate Professor in the Center for Bioethics with affiliation in the Department of Philosophy at New York University.
■ Biologically reduce our size and make us shorter “parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, less resource-intensive children”;
■ Be chemically modified to ensure we cannot eat meat through “a pill that would trigger mild nausea upon the ingestion of meat, which would then lead to a lasting aversion to meat-eating”;
■ “Lowering birth-rates through cognitive enhancement” – while he doesn’t explain this, perhaps it’s just as innocent as making horny teens change nappies for a week or two.
■ Taking drugs to ensure we are more empathetic, compassionate to others and worried about the future of the planet; and
■ Biological changes including eye modifications so that we would have “cat eyes” that would mean we’d use much less energy with lights etc.
The bioethicist Liao is keen to emphasise that his suggestions are voluntary but that’s so often where it all starts with environmentalists: they float their ideas as thought-bubbles and then push for them to become mandatory. That’s what’s happened with carbon emissions. What started as a consumer campaign, became a campaign against producers then a legal requirement. It’s a well-established modus operandi for environmentalists.
Liao is sceptical that we can successfully reduce the demand for energy, by much anyway. He sees the demand for it is “inelastic” (doesn’t respond much to price increases). Someone in the federal government which had pledged not to have a carbon tax under the government they led didn’t get that memo. Although we note that their carbon price, in today Nielsen’s poll, is less unpopular than the ALP is for introducing it.
One of Lao’s disturbing demands is that humans could be “pharmacologically induced” into meat intolerance, causing a long-lasting aversion to meat eating.
He argues between 18% and 51% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock.
It’s not just a pill that could be used:
We have also toyed around with the idea of a patch that might stimulate the immune system to reject common bovine proteins, which could lead to a similar kind of lasting aversion to meat products.
LITTLE GREEN MEN
In a move that could prove popular with the height-challenged such as Alan Howe and the beloved publisher of this publication, Liao pushes for a reduction in average height of 15 centimetres to reduce our body mass by as much as a quarter, therefore requiring much less food and energy to fuel us.
It’s a push that fits neatly with the latest wave of Greens-panic around “food security” that ignores the exponential growth in agricultural technology and capacity and argues – with disregard for the evidence – that we confront “peak food.”
Getting to this point requires some unpleasantness of a Frankenstein-esque grotesqueness that says much about mean Greens and their misguided sense of priority.
Liao proposes the pre-selection of embryos based on height:
What are the various ways humans could be engineered to be smaller?
Liao: There are a couple of ways, actually. You might try to do it through a technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, which is already used in IVF settings in fertility clinics today. In this scenario you’d be looking to select which embryos to implant based on height.
And even after birth, he helpfully suggests you could load kids up with growth-suppressing hormones that would stunt their growth and reduce their future size:
Another way to affect height is to use a hormone treatment to trigger the closing of the epiphyseal plate earlier than normal—this sometimes happens by accident in vitamin overdose cases. In fact hormone treatments are already used for height reduction in overly tall children. A final way you could do this is by way of gene imprinting, by influencing the competition between maternal and paternal genes, where there is a height disparity between the mother and father. You could have drugs that reduce or increase the expression of paternal or maternal genes in order to affect birth height.
Essentially he argues that the modified kid will be grateful for the modification because it’s contributing to save the planet. We suspect it would make a generation of angry little people ready stand behind Clive Palmer with little pitch-forks.
So, perhaps to manage this potential backlash, this bioethicist who has clearly plenty of time to think of everything has also considered the exciting potential opportunities of drugging up humans for a “pharmacological enhancement of empathy and altruism, because empathy and altruism tend to be highly correlated with positive attitudes to the environment.”
Liao argues drugs like this are nothing new, citing anti-depressants which he says “induce new beliefs about self worth, or about the personalities of other people.”
TWEAKING THE HUMAN RACE: CAT EYES ON YOU
Liao also thinks human engineering could afford parents more choice about the kinds of kids they want. He argues there ought be “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.
Why stop there. The environmentalist doesn’t: “If everyone had cat eyes, you wouldn’t need so much lighting.” Miaow.
Although unfortunately the science is not there yet—we looked into cat eyes, the technique of giving humans cat eyes or of making their eyes more catlike. The reason is, cat eyes see nearly as well as human eyes during the day, but much better at night. We figured that if everyone had cat eyes, you wouldn’t need so much lighting, and so you could reduce global energy usage considerably. Maybe even by a shocking percentage.
But, again, this isn’t something we know how to do yet, although it’s possible there might be some way to do it with genetics—there are some primates with eyes that are very similar to cat eyes, and so possibly we could study those primates and figure out which genes are responsible for that trait, and then hopefully activate those genes in humans. But that’s very speculative and requires a lot of research.
Where there’s an academic with some crazy ideas, there’s a grant application and someone trying to figure out how to make a quid of it. In America, the country whose Big Pharma industry makes big money out of solving or minimising our biggest problems, some of the billion-dollar molecule folk are already taking notice of the bioethicist’s prescription:
Many of the solutions we propose might actually be quite desirable to people, particularly the meat patch. I recently gave a talk about this paper at Yale and there was a man in the audience who worked for a pharmaceuticals company; he seemed to think there might be a huge market for modifications like this.
Of course he did.
An environmentalist pushed, government-enforced programme to genetically modify kids to make us less resource intensive could be a new frontier of a trillion-dollar kind for big pharma. It’s the logical extrapolation of Greens party policies and pre-occupations too.
This chilling scheme comes on top of the supposedly respectable face of the Australian Greens party, Senator Bob Brown, urging a one world government and speculating that the reason alien life-forms have failed to make contact with us is that they were probably victims of climate change on their own planet, we can see that under the surface of the brand is a deeply anti-humanity doctrine that very much earns them the epithet ‘mean Greens.’