In addition to changing our behaviour to help stop climate change, philosophers from Oxford and New York universities are proposing something a bit more radical: why not also change people?
In the academic journal Ethics, Policy & Environment, the authors point out that a person’s size is directly related to their green footprint: the bigger the person, the more fuel, materials and food they require. The message is clear: smaller people = smaller ecological impact.
- Suppress child growth? There’s a hormone for that.
More than half of the world’s carbon emissions are a result of the livestock farming industry
- Reduce red meat consumption? There’s a patch for that.
Studies show that better educated women have fewer children, therefore helping with population control.
- “Improving cognition could reduce fertility as '’a positive side effect from the point of view of tackling climate change’,” the Sydney Morning Herald excerpted from the paper.
Though the suggestions have a degree of merit – certainly, adapting to a meatless society within smaller family units would make the world a much different place – the authors have become the subject of ridicule and resentment.
“[This is] the worst climate-change solutions of all time,” environmentalist Bill Kibben tweeted. Others, according to the newspaper, have lashed out with deeper insults.
'At least the human engineering solutions we have described rely on tried and tested technology, whose risks, at least at the individual level, are comparatively low and well known,” defended NYU’s Dr Matthew Liao, who wrote the paper with Oxford’s Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache.
“[It’ll be] adopted as ''yet another piece of evidence of the Big Conspiracy,” said Dr Sandberg.