Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Biotech Earth Science

Solving Climate Change By Bioengineering Humans? 363

derekmead writes "Forget CFLs, hybrid cars, and organic jeans. Buying our way out of climate change — even if it's green consumption — won't get us far. A new paper (PDF), published in Ethics, Policy, and the Environment by NYU bioethics professor S. Matthew Liao, poses an answer: engineer humans to use less. The general plan laid out by Liao is straightforward, ranging from using pharmacological behavior modification to create an aversion to meat in people, to using gene therapy to create smaller, less resource-intensive children. The philosophical and ethical questions, on the other hand, are absurdly complicated. The Atlantic also has a great interview with Liao, in which he talks about gene therapy and making humans hate the taste of meat."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Solving Climate Change By Bioengineering Humans?

Comments Filter:
  • Oh hey look (Score:5, Funny)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:16PM (#39331655)

    ranging from using pharmacological behavior modification to create an aversion to meat in people, to using gene therapy to create smaller, less resource-intensive children.

    Pretty sure I've read this book before. Now, if I could only remember what it was called. Hmmm...

    Well, no time to waste, lets go create our bold refreshed earth, now with vegetarian midgets!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:25PM (#39331825)

    There was a sci-fi short that posited mankind colonizing other planets, but just as they had started spreading out, all the newborns were coming out "devolved" to Australopithicus. Evolution had driven the growth of intelligence and the brain to get mankind off the single vulnerable planet, but now that it had spread and was safe from a single-point disaster, evolution pointed to the efficiency of not maintaining that large energy intensive brain. Monkeybrains were quite good enough.

    So that's actually the solution I propose. Monkeyboys and monkeygirls may fling feces but they don't burn petrochemicals or cause global warming.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:26PM (#39331843)
    We'll all be genetically engineered humans, probably patented by Monsanto, and will then have to pay a licensing fee to reproduce. :-)
  • by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:29PM (#39331883)
    No, no, you need to read between the lines: he's suggesting that we eat the Irish.
  • by JazzHarper ( 745403 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:31PM (#39331911) Journal

    A bioethicist advocating eugenics.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:49PM (#39332155) Homepage
    similar to the one mentioned, namely the project to dissuade humans from the taste of meat. My team works in shifts to identify common foods and cravings people may have. we have assembled around 30 meals we've identified as generally enjoyed
    in the US, and after nearly a decade of extensive testing and development im proud to say we've made significant progress. Of the commonly consumed edibles we've engineered, many test subjects eat only some of the food. often times they refuse to eat certain items entirely. By changing the color and texture of the food we've ensured that even the most visibly palletable foodstuffs remain of limited interest to numerous test groups.

    the project ive overseen has the potential for proven commercial success. should any reader need more information on patent licensing, design or independent consulting/partnering please feel free to contact me.

    Mike Archer, President
    AppleBees Restaraunts.
  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @06:03PM (#39332315)

    Oh, but if you knew who the conspirators were, you'd know they have no problem controlling mother nature. And this time, they've gone too far—tipped their "hand", as it were. Herbivores with dwarfism? Could it be any plainer? Next they'll want to put hair all over our bodies to "reduce our climate-control and clothing needs" and give us four legs "to encourage walking instead of driving".

    Yes, that's right—I'm on to you, Pony Illuminati! I know your secrets! While I'm sure I'll "disappear" soon, no doubt turned to stone by your advanced science and freakish magic, know that ten more will take my place... And your plans for friendship and harmony will never succeed as long as there is but one selfish asshole to keep up my fight!

    (ed. note: I would like to apologize for the above post. A valiant attempt was made to formulate a serious response to this article; in the end, however, it proved utterly impossible.)

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @06:53PM (#39332897)

    You have said everything correctly. I just hope more ears will listen...
    What you wrote reminds me why we have freedom of speech " I might not like what you said, but I will defend your right to say it"
    I would hope that others see why I link your words to it...

    I think the actual quote is:

    "I might not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to die in a fire of suspicious origin."

    -- Terry

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.