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How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change

Stashed in: Ecology!, Science!, Ethics, Singularity!, Meat!

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"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."


"...livestock farming accounts for as much as 51% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions..."

Wait, meat accounts for half of global warming?!

 That's what the man said.  "More recently it's been suggested."

That sounds skeptical the number isn't real.

The 1996 number is 18%.   This man, he stretches my credulity.

Heh. Mine too.

Isn't it ethically problematic to allow parents to make these kinds of irreversible choices for their children?

Liao: "That's a really good question. First, I think it's useful to distinguish between selection and modification. With selection you don't really have the issue of irreversible choices because the embryo selected can't complain that she could have been otherwise---if the parents had selected a different embryo, she wouldn't have existed at all. In the case of modification, that issue could certainly arise, but even then I think it's important to step back and ask why we are looking at these solutions in the first place. The reason we are even considering these solutions is to prevent climate change, which is a really serious problem, and which might affect the well being of millions of people including the child. And so in that context, if on balance human engineering is going to promote the well being of that particular child, then you might be able to justify the solution to the child."

Thank you, Dr. Mengele, er Liao.

I was thinking "human engineering" sounds more like Brave New World.

It's likely to have frightening ramifications for homogeneity of our species.

Which could hurt our adaptability and threaten our long-term survival.

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