Bizarre Idea: Turning us into dwarves with night vision will save us from climate change

Image from gizmodo.com

Image from gizmodo.com

Back in 2012, WUWT reported on professor Liao’s bizarre human genetic engineering proposals to combat climate change – ideas so crazy even Bill McKibben thought they were stupid. Unsurprisingly, the idea is still circulating, even gaining traction among some radical greens. The latest manifestation is a positive review of Liao’s plans in Australia’s mainstream news.

Humans of the future: Short, allergic to meat and with night vision

HAVE we been looking at the climate change issue all wrong?

Scientists are becoming increasingly interested in whether changing ourselves instead of the environment could be the unexpected solution to the world’s biggest problem.

The controversial idea of “human engineering” to lower our impact on the planet was suggested by New York University bioethics professor S Matthew Liao in 2012, who said the concept was “potentially less risky than geoengineering” and “could help behavioural and market solutions succeed in mitigating climate change”.

But the idea hasn’t gone away. Gizmodo’s Meanwhile in the Future podcast this week examined some of the specific ideas to see how altering our bodies might fix our planet. And this is just a starting point: the possibilities are endless.

NIGHT VISION

The first proposal we cover is night vision — the idea that we could genetically engineer humans to have more rods so we could better see at night, and thus reduce our dependence on electric lights.

SHORTNESS

Smaller people, quite logically, tend to use up fewer energy resources. We were much shorter 100 years ago, and Prof Liao says we could go back.

COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT

Mental alterations are even more divisive than physical “improvements”. Could making us smarter guarantee better choices? Prof Liao suggests administering drugs including Ritalin and Modafinil to improve our intelligence, pointing out the link between cognitive ability and having fewer children.

But it’s complicated. There are other factors at work, including education, healthcare and economic and social conditions. And it’s not always the cleverest people who make the best decisions. …

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/humans-of-the-future-short-allergic-to-meat-and-with-night-vision/story-fnjwvztl-1227552908783

From Gizmodo:


 

Liao is very clear that he has no plans to force anybody to be shorter or to take Modafinil. But eugenics actually didn’t start out as something that was forced on people — many of the early eugenics proponents were all about choice. Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, saw the idea of selective breeding as something that would become a “civil religion.” As Allen Buchanan, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels, and Daniel Wikler write in the book From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice:

If there was a core belief common to all eugenicists, it would have to be expressed in the most general terms: concern for human betterment through selection—that is, by taking measures to ensure that the humans who do come into existence will be capable of enjoying better lives and of contributing to the betterment of lives for others.

I’m not saying we’re one step away from Nazi-style eugenics here. But this is a road we’ve been down before, and it didn’t end well for us. So we should think carefully about this possible future. Climate change is a really tough problem. It’s going to require a whole lot of different (and even weird) solutions to make the future livable and just. But we can’t forget history as we forge into the future.


In some ways I find Professor Liao’s ideas on mass administration of drugs even more disturbing than his genetic ideas. Ritalin is a powerful stimulant which is sometimes prescribed to children with attention deficit disorder. In small doses, in very controlled circumstances, it can help people with brain chemistry imbalances focus on tasks, and lead a more normal life. But Ritalin is hideously addictive and has dangerous side effects. It is one of the most widely abused street drugs. Its street name is Ice, or Meth – Ritalin is Methamphetamine.

Correction (From Wikipedia)

Ritalin Methylphenidate (trade names Concerta, Methylin, Medikinet, Ritalin, Equasym XL, Quillivant XR, Metadate) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the phenethylamine[3] and piperidine classes that is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Methylphenidate can worsen psychosis in psychotic patients, and in very rare cases it has been associated with the emergence of new psychotic symptoms.[63] It should be used with extreme caution in patients with bipolar disorder due to the potential induction of mania or hypomania. There have been very rare reports of suicidal ideation, but evidence does not support a link. Logorrhea is occasionally reported. Libido disorders, disorientation, and hallucinations are very rarely reported. Priapism is a very rare adverse event that can be potentially serious.

USFDA-commissioned studies from 2011 indicate that in children, young adults, and adults there is no association between serious adverse cardiovascular events (sudden death, heart attack, and stroke) and the medical use of methylphenidate or other ADHD stimulants.

Because some adverse effects may only emerge during chronic use of methylphenidate, a constant watch for adverse effects is recommended.

Modafinil in my opinion may not be much better. Modafinal is rapidly becoming a favourite of executives striving to hit tight deadlines, because its side effects seem to be less severe than Ritalin, which can lead users to develop paranoia and violent psychosis. Modafinal is a popular student drug – it is a memory enhancer, and it lets users continue to function for several days without sleep, with very little loss of mental acuity. But long term use of Modafinal may be just as damaging in some ways, as other widely abused stimulant drugs.

According to The Guardian;

… Sahakian’s research also suggests that prolific use over a prolonged period of time could have a potentially damaging effect on sleep architecture.

“Some professionals tend to use it on specific occasions – when they’re jetlagged or when they’ve had a particularly bad night’s sleep,” she says. “They don’t use it every day and they don’t use it in multiple doses. Whereas, if you talk to students, they’ve often taken a dose and then, when they feel it’s wearing off, they’ve taken another dose.

“And of course that does affect their sleep pattern, because when they should be going to bed, they’ve still got the drug in their system, still exerting its wake-promoting effects. This is of course counter-productive, as we consolidate our memories during sleep.”

I spoke to students who used modafinil during exam periods. They revealed that after several weeks, they had the sensation of permanently being trapped in a twilight zone, neither asleep nor awake. …

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/may/31/is-modafinil-safe-in-long-term

A genetic modification for cat like night vision, or to change someone’s height? I could imagine some people actually embracing that. There are times I would certainly like better vision, and parents already in some cases tinker with the height of their children through medical interventions. But advocating mass genetic engineering, or mass administration of powerful, dangerous drugs, in the name of saving the environment, is surely nothing short of sheer lunacy.

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180 thoughts on “Bizarre Idea: Turning us into dwarves with night vision will save us from climate change

  1. The eugenicists are alive and well and every bit as deranged as their kind have been in the history of the human race. The danger is when folks say “well they’ve got a point” when confronted with a eugenicist wearing a lab coat and speaking technicalize.

    • Well I haven’t seen dwarves or even wharves in print in eons.

      I’ve gotten used to dwarfs and wharfs.

      I think the rule says (for plurification) ” Change the f to a v and add es “

      • The word “dwarves” was invented by JRR Tolkien and refers exclusively to a species of vertically challenged miners who hate orcs and dragons. “Dwarfs” refers to small humans.

        Given the nature of the piece, referring to genetic engineering to make us smaller and give us night vision (something dwarves have in both D&D and Tolkien), either one is actually a valid choice of words.

      • WelI, I wasn’t kidding. it is a rule from English as spoken in British and colonial places.
        For example roof pluralizes to rooves, and leaf to leaves, and half to halves, and so on.
        Was probably discussed in just about the last English grammar lesson, I ever had, around 8-10 years old.
        g

        PS No way am I going to read Tolkien. Still have not a clue what the heck Lord of the Rings, or The Hobbit are about. Saw all of the flicks. No idea what it was all about; besides massive violence.
        Ain’t gonna read Dune either. I guess I just don’t read fiction; well besides what is in Maths books, which is all pure fiction.

      • The books focus far less on conflict and far more on journey and introspection. To compare, the short journey of Frodo and Sam across Mordor which the movies spent 15 minutes on was a full sixth of the Lord of the Rings, most of it spent in Sam’s mind trying to get through the day. A great many people who loved the books didn’t care for the movies for that reason.

    • The eugenicists changed their practices from genocide to menticide and said so if we trace back what has really been called for in K-12 education globally back through the decades. Evolution at the genetic level takes to long so after the Second World war and particularly through the UN and UNESCO, the intention to change people through education and thus Mindshifts at a neurological level have been quite overt.

      http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/menticide-deliberate-targeting-of-our-frame-of-orientation-for-examination-and-then-assault-via-education/ is just the latest tracking of very real declarations of intent. I did not create the word menticide. I am quoting from a 1957 MIT conference on Creative Altruism on how the desired transformations should occur. There is a link in comments to a 1968 UNESCO report commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the attendant plannned ed vision to implement it. It fits the current facts of global ed perfectly and is part of the Post-2015 Road to Dignity for All by 2030 the UN and world leaders pledged to last week.

    • Strong well nourished farm lads dug the WW 1 trenches. U.K. city lads who grew up undernourished weren’t of much use in the heavy work part of that war.

      Off hand can’t find the citation for this information. Well nourished population in a benefit to any country.

  2. “And this is just a starting point: the possibilities are endless.” We can model anything and everything and soon we will be living in a virtual world.

    • Animals like cats which are adapted to low light vision have other sdaptions, such as an iris capable of closing nearly all the way, and a nictating membrane, so they can get some sleep when they need to.
      It has been shown that illuminating the retina disrupts sleep dramatically.
      Having more light sensitive eyes may be harmful.
      How about we just get some night vision goggles?
      Better yet, how about we just use LED lights with a small battery and a maybe a photocell to recharge them?

  3. FYI: Ritalin is a central nervous stimulant but it is not methamphetamine. Nor is it nearly as dangerous.

      • Adderall is amphetamine. Adderall is prescribed in the same situations as Ritalin prescription and is, more or less, claimed to have the same “benefits”.
        Here in the UK when you look at government funded drugs alarmist info, then you will discover that amphetamine causes loss of concentration and hyperactivity.
        But, when you look at government funded pro-pharmaceutical info. then you will discover that adderall helps to reduce loss of concentration and hyperactivity.
        Even though Aderrall IS amphetamine.
        It’s a topic that is a lot like global warming!!!

  4. Wouldn’t it be quicker and cheaper to just poke everyone’s eyes out as your cutting their legs off ???

  5. Why not breed cows that don’t fart? Save the planet from all that methane! Or humans that don’t exhale since it’s the CO2 that’s so terrible.

  6. Did not the Nazis practice eugenics? I am finding this link of environmentalists, and I emphasize the word “mental” contained therein, with climate alarmism, to be a very deadly mixture.

    • Some Americans and Brits were very fond of the concept in the first three decades of the last century. Look up Margaret Sanger

      • Yeah – Sanger considered Blacks to be “human weeds” and wanted to cull them from society. She gave lectures at KKK meetings about racial eugenics and her means to accomplish it: her “Negro Project”, her plan to keep Blacks from breeding, and aborting their babies if they did.

        Sanger founded Planned Parenthood who are keeping alive her vision: Blacks are ~12% of the population, but ~35% of abortions in America are committed upon Blacks.

        Liberal utopia.

      • Eugenics was popular across the planet, most colleges in europe or amercian offered it as a degree program. At the very least it was taught in 1 or 2 classes that were required for any degree program.

      • Abortion today is simply a solution for someone being irresponsible when there are so many ways to prevent
        unwanted pregnancy. The proof lies in the fact that AIDS / HIV infections / exposures are almost unheard of these
        days because people took it seriously when their health and life depends on being personally responsible. People
        used condoms and took precautions. It is also obvious that people who use protection for their own health and life are
        selfish when it comes to the destruction of an unwanted fetuses life, when they could have, just as easily, prevented their
        unwanted pregnancy as protecting their own life by using protection. And don’t tell me it is too expensive to afford birth control. After 4 or 5 months gestation there are very few excuses for abortions, my personal view, because the fetus is mostly viable and able to carry on life outside the mother.

        Another thing:

        If we were in a similar situation as was common to the French Revolution I am positive that many, many, many heads would be rolling around in big baskets under the Guillotine. The “common man” is getting really pissed off at all this crap with the government, politicians, special interests, media bias, the idiots running the U.S. who infest the White House, etc., etc,…. Maybe it’s time to invent a modern style Guillotine. Just watch out where you stand…Physically and politically.

        Just had to say it.

      • And Eleanor Roosevelt and the rest of the east coast liberal gang.
        This was used as defence by the Nazis in the Nuremburg trials.

      • Y’all, let’s stop the conspiracy theories.

        Let’s just say Eugenics and Social Darwinism were very popular in the early 1900s. The only reason Eugenics fell into disfavor in the first place was that the Nazis took it to such extremes. Even now, the practice has its supporters. Practice of eugenics on a mass scale can only be performed by violating fundamental rights, so this sort of mess is horrifying.

        Let’s leave it at that. Playing politics and accusations of this and that being tools of oppression get us nowhere.

      • I had to have an abortion to save my life. People who want to dictate this sort of very personal thing are trespassing on someone else’s personal lives.

  7. I long for the day when when carbon-based life forms taxing carbon will be considered equally bizarre!

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. Of course they probably secretly plan to inflict this on the masses while keeping their children as the tall ruling class.

      • Shouldn’t tall people pay higher taxes if they are made of more Carbon? Also if height correlates with longevity they exhale CO2 more over their lives. In fact in general, the older should pay more taxes than the younger too, since they’ve been pollluting the atmosphere for longer and so have done more harm.

      • Most scientists also like to be able to get food to eat.

        Starving sans GMOs is not a choice I will make.

        g

      • err another 97% statement?
        most have no idea, some are pro many are agin it.
        curiously, like warming…we sceptics of the monmongrels “science” and data gaps and hidden commercial in confidence claims, as well as restrictions on access to the product to independently test – speak volumes, none of it nice words:-/
        eat enough gm mod foods and we might find gm humans develop anyway
        from the look of the avg…human its already happening:-)
        the obesity n allergy and food intolerance rises.

      • Bulldogs show what’s wrong with GMO since they have a lot of trouble even breathing. horses show the better side of GMO since we bred them to be useful.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I am firmly against turning us into dwarves with night vision.

        PS the Little Ice Age probably made people shorter!

        Abstract – 2004
        Richard H. Steckel
        New Light on the “Dark Ages” The Remarkably Tall Stature of Northern European Men during the Medieval Era
        …..It is plausible to link the decline in average height to climate deterioration; growing inequality; urbanization and the expansion of trade and commerce, which facilitated the spread of diseases; fluctuations in population size that impinged on nutritional status; the global spread of diseases associated with European expansion and colonization; and conflicts or wars…..
        doi: 10.1215/01455532-28-2-211

      • Some Revolutionary Military War records do have the heights of individual soldiers and there were tall men back then in the 6′ + range. Civil War records have height, eye and hair color.

        Lincoln was 6′ + tall.

        This is just another con job being put over on the public.

        Probably the main difference is that infants were not fed the high calorie food that they are fed now.

      • And Washington, b.1732, was 6′ tall and some say 6’2″.

        Tall guys have been around for a lot longer than popular myth has it.

      • Frederick the Great and his Father had a regiment of tall soldiers who were a minimum of 6’2″ about the same time period as Washington. They didn’t seem to have any trouble finding tall people to put in it either, one was 7’2″.

        A lot of this short people in the past myth got started by the sizes of suits of armor on display in various castles. They seem to be for short people. But a couple of years ago some historian figured out that those suits were all two-thirds size model suits built for display not wear. Medieval manikins in a way.

      • Gov. Joseph Jencks, R.I, 1656-1740, was said to be the tallest man in Rhode Island at 7’2″.

        The Colonists had very good nutrition as food was plentiful.

  8. Well administering stimulus drugs sure helped these guys.

    <Adolf Hitler was intoxicated with drugs—nearly all of them. Throughout his reign of terror, he shot up anything from steroids to heroin before sending Nazis 35 million pills of meth—on one occasion alone.

    The fact, long discussed in Nazi lore, has resurfaced with new details in a book out Thursday by German writer Norman Ohler titled Der Totale Rausch (The Total Rush). Ohler, an award-winning novelist and screenplay writer, spent years sifting through German and U.S. records to uncover more details about the Fuhrer’s drug-induced genocide, which led to the death of six million Jews.

    To keep up with Hitler’s fast-paced killing machine, Nazis relied on what was essentially a pill form of crystal meth, called Pervitin. Synthesized by a chemist in Berlin and marketed for alertness, the drug was initially sold over the counter in pharmacies across Europe. Just one pill, says Ohler, gave the Nazis the alertness they needed to remain awake for hours. Thanks, in part, to the ease with which they could obtain it, the Nazis believed it to be just “like coffee.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/10/uncovered-records-show-nazis-were-high-on-meth.html

    • Not only Meth but the Reich also came up with Hydrocodone (Vicodin), which is a pain killer, synthetic opiate, which also has a stimulating effect in many. On the battle lines it would have been a very beneficial drug, but not for long as it is very addictive.

      • I believe they did so out of necessity, as Turkey was the only source of morphine and had gone over to the allies. They needed a substitute.

      • May still be in the kit. At least a couple of decades back US pilots had some kind of speed in the med kit for use if needed. You were discouraged from “needing” too often…. Frankly, when fractional seconds mean live vs die, I’d take the go pill for combat.

    • Pervitin was the chemically the same as Dexedrine which was regularly issued to pilots until not too long ago by the US military. It was also made available to other troops at least during WWII if not later. So that big revelation just quacked and fell dead….heh. Dexedrine is still in medical use today, tho it’s now a controlled substance.

      • In Viet Nam soldiers were issued timed release dexedrine pills when they had to be awake for 48 hours or more. They came in green bags of 100, and there didn’t seem to be much accounting. And at least until recently, USAF pilots were supplied with them too. Maybe they still are.

  9. “Sméagol likes the dark, don’t we, my precious. So nice and cool. But Sméagol likes meat too — tasty fish, so juicy sweet! Poor Sméagol. Sméagol hates nasty hippie granola.”

  10. In the interest of accuracy: Ritalin is methylphenidate. Adderall is “Amphetamine salts” including dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Dexedrine is basically straight dextroamphetamine. Methamphetamine is sold under the brand Desoxyn.

  11. I’m not saying we’re one step away from Nazi-style eugenics here. But this is a road we’ve been down before, and it didn’t end well for us.

    Eugenics: Takes laboratory results of heredity and extrapolates to the complex, real world.
    AGW: Takes laboratory results of spectroscopy and extrapolates to the complex, real world.

    Eugenics: Believes one factor (genetics) will dominate all others eventually – simple.
    AGW: Believes one factor (warming from CO2) will dominate all others eventually – simple.

    Eugenics: Assumes the theory is certain and thus real harm is justified to prevent the “certainty” of the theoretical harm that may happen.
    AGW: Assumes the theory is certain and thus real harm is justified to prevent the “certainty” of the theoretical harm that may happen.

    Faith in falsehood leads to Actions that harm, again.

  12. Why don’t we just put as much collective effort as we can into reaching Kurzweil’s Singularity, then we’ll all be waveforms with no carbon footprint at all? The additional advantage will be that we will be immortal.

  13. Let me get this straight, though:

    Genetically modified food: bad

    Genetically modified humans: good.

    I will never understand the mindset that can think this way.

    • Isn’t all sexually produced life a GMO anyway? You take half of the genes from one organism and splice them with the other half from another organism. I have seem some pictures of the procedure that does not make it look like a natural act.

    • “But advocating mass genetic engineering, or mass administration of powerful, dangerous drugs, in the name of saving the environment, is surely nothing short of sheer lunacy.”
      =============================================================
      Follow the money Did they receive a grant to study this, or propose this to seek a grant. If so it is not lunacy but a payday.

  14. Or they could just dictate that all lights be out and then have everyone turn in like the cave men (sorry, persons) did at dark. Would not only increase energy savings but reduce industrial consumption. Not sure about having fewer children because as Europe is finding out, a less tolerant more prolific culture may start to dominate. But then less tolerant cultures also use less energy by sometimes destroying it faster than it’s used so that could be a plus also.
    I also wonder if ADD, autism and possibly other disorders may have a lot of intentional mislabeling to enhance monetary gain for doctors, like when being “gay” was a psychological disorder.

    • Just to point out being gay IS a psychological disorder. The question is should it be treated, if so how and with who’s money.

      In the US we have a Constitution that basically says psychological disorder are perfectly fine and government attempting to cure people is not fine. However have a science perspective being gay is undoubtedly a psychological disorder.

      • I don’t think its necessarily that clearcut. A billion years of evolution has produced some pretty optimised survivors. I don’t think anyone has a comprehensive list of all the adaptions we have accumulated which promote survival. A proportion of individuals being gay might serve an undiscovered yet important social purpose which promotes survival of the species.

      • And evidently caused by a self extincticating gene; that is not too successful at replication.

      • temp, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, and harkens back to the era that gave rise to the word “hysterectomy”, leaving women removed of their organs simply because, in reality, men and their stupid ideas made us want to just SLAP you! There are many examples of same gender pairing in the natural world across the animal kingdom, making your contention baseless and making you look extremely lacking in scientific knowledge.

      • To Pamela Gray

        While worrall response is mostly a poor attempt at moralizing the issue… your comment is just straight out bigoted and sexist.

        “There are many examples of same gender pairing in the natural world across the animal kingdom”

        Your endorsements of both pedophile and incest are also lacking in scientific rigor I suppose neither of them or a host or others actions taken by animals would be classed as psychological disorders by the “scientific standard” that you hold to.

  15. New York University bioethics professor S Matthew Liao

    Bioethics? Bioethics?
    I remember when bioethics was concerned with the morality and ethics of medical treatment or non-treatment.
    Times change, I guess.

    • But its bioethics at NYU, which is easily translated to “situational morality with regard to any living substance,” I’m very sure that somewhere in the curriculum there’s a discussion of the right to gender-self-determination of spores.

  16. Don’t forget the Morloks, who were short and could see in the dark. Apparently smart too. And Eloi who were tall and stupid. The Eloi were the vegans tho and the Morloks seem to find the Eloi tasty. But that was probably the result of the law of unintended consequences.

  17. Eugenics is a fundamental pillar of socialism. As long as socialism exists in some form, eugenics will exist to support it. Global warming is nothing more then re-take of socialism. Where ages ago eugenics would bring about utopia and save us from all that is bad in the world…. we now have global warming which is going to kill us all and the only fix is socialism/eugenics. Same thing different starting and ending point.

    • Wouldn’t that be fascism instead of socialism? American Eugenics’ long history is from the right wing fascists, as were the Nazi Eugenics experiments.

      • Lot of problem with this statement.

        First eugenics could be argued to be first started in plato’s time. However the “scientific” codifying of the term happened in colleges starting in the early 1910s or so long before hitler was around. Hitler learned of eugenics from colleges not just in germany but across europe and the US(harvard, princeton and pretty much every ivy league school in the US was pro eugenics almost all still remain that way today) . The reason hitler added eugenics to his thinking is because it was wildly popular around the world(though it did help him look more sciency as well). Eugenics in fact was as a movement much larger in the US then in germany per say.

        As to “right-wing fascists” no such thing exists in science. Fascism is a very light form of socialism and from a science perspective is considered central left to leftwing. Like all forms of socialism it is “branded” with its creators “name” much like stalinism is a brand of communism/socialism.

        Eugenics is the socialist study of the methods to alter the means of production. Is the best definition for people to understand it.

      • Socialism is Fascism is Socialism they are one and the same. The Nazi’s official name is the National Socialist Democratic Workers Party

      • The only real difference between fascism and socialism was the extreme nationalism that comes with fascism.

    • Except that in the animal kingdom, nocturnal smaller animal species survived the events that brought about the extinction of larger non-nocturnal dinosaurs.

  18. This may happen, anyway, as the daily dose of hundreds of tons of radioisotope-laden water pours into the Pacific and daily dose of trillions of Bq of a wide variety of radioisotopes vent into the Jet Stream from the still uncontrolled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan constantly increases the Northern Hemisphere’s load of deadly radiation pouring on all of us…

    • One of my uncles was once involved in a government experiment to see what radiation would do to the environment. Sadly no interesting sci-fi mutants, just trees with floppy trunks which grew along the ground, and other strange and rather sad defects…

    • Larry,I’m kind’a curious about something. How many people have died as a result of radiation from the release of radioactive material from the Fukushima plant? What is the average dose of people exposed to radiation from the Fukushima plant?

    • Northern Hemisphere’s load of deadly radiation
      ==============
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster#Contamination_in_the_eastern_Pacific
      Groups, including Beyond Nuclear and the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, challenged these predictions on the basis of continued isotope releases after 2011, leading to a demand for more recent and comprehensive measurements as the radioactivity made its way east. These measurements were taken by a cooperative group of organizations under the guidance of a marine chemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and it was revealed that total radiation levels, of which only a fraction bore the fingerprint of Fukushima, were not high enough to pose any direct risk to human life and in fact were far less than Environmental Protection Agency guidelines or several other sources of radiation exposure deemed safe.[176]

    • I’m guessing that you actually believe that any radiation, even in teensy weensy doses is bad news?
      Your counter top, if it’s made of granite, is more radioactive than the water being pumped out of Fukushima.

      • By that I am referring to the water that is being released after all the filtering. Sorry for any confusion.

  19. Some where out there, in a far,far away galaxy , aliens are looking at the Earth and saying … ” Wow, good thing we didn’t stop there, what a nut house ” !!!!

    • No Marcus, those aliens are humans from 150M yrs ago that were left earth under duress from the liberals of the time, who were so indignant over their 0.8C solar-induced global warming that they actually did turn the skeptics of the time into skinny dwarves with big heads fed with Ritalin, who got to be so smart they left the planet while the libs almost killed themselves off fighting over CO2-starved food during the subsequent ice age. Looking back at Earth now, they say “see, we knew they would try that again. Good thing we left that nuthouse!”

      /sarc off

  20. I told myself: “There’s no way Eric could find something more idiotic than “Shark fishing causes climate change.” I was wrong. Great job Eric!

  21. I guess all the efforts to create these fellows:

    were all in the wrong direction for climate change?

  22. They are way behind. I had that idea years ago. Forty inches should be the limit and one hundred pounds. Still fully human, just smaller. When everyone is the same size it will be the new normal requiring less resources of all kinds. In addition, legal rights, benefits and protections end at age sixty. Sorry, gotta save the earth.

    • In the 70s it was don’t trust anyone over 30. Whats magic about 60? It all depends upon who draws the lines and that is determined by political correctness today.

  23. I have a better solution for global warming. Let’s actually recognise the truth. There is no global warming. If we accept that the solution is easy. Do nothing.

  24. Fascism is only right-wing from the extreme left position of Communism. Communists and Fascists are extremely similar – with Fascists committing the unforgiveable sin of having private business ownership (with the Government micro-managing how they should do business).

      • Back when the USSR began falling apart and Gorbachev was losing control of everything, he labelled the hard-line doctrinaire communists “right wing.” No one in the U.S. press called him on the absurdity of the statement.

      • ==========
        Abstract:
        Italy’s first Fascist government applied a large-scale privatization policy between 1922 and 1925. The government privatized the state monopoly of match sale, eliminated the State monopoly on life insurances, sold most of the State-owned telephone networks and services to private firms, reprivatized the largest metal machinery producer, and awarded concessions to private firms to build and operate motorways. While ideological considerations may have had a certain influence, privatization was used mainly as a political tool to build confidence among industrialists and to increase support for the government and the Partito Nazionale Fascista. Privatization also contributed to balancing the budget, which was the core objective of Fascist economic policy in its first phase.
        http://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/12319
        ==========

        “Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.”
        https://archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948

        Fascism is indeed “top down” – with unelected corporations at the top espousing right-wing “trickle down” economics.

      • I love it when the communists complain that other people aren’t sufficiently subservient to govt.

        In Khwarizmi’s world, there is nothing worse than something that isn’t owned or controlled by govt.

      • In another article on this site, Khwarizmi has declared that the only problem with health care in this country is that govt doesn’t control it.

  25. If you had your head stuck where climate change alarmists have their heads stuck, developing night vision might be a good idea.

    • Plastic Surgeons have developed a technique, called Plexibody, that allows them to insert a piece of Plexiglas into the abdomen, allowing those with their head stuck in their fourth point of contact to see where they are going. :)

  26. Hasn’t evolution already given Hobbits their evolutionary “kick at the can”? How did that work out? GK

  27. “People used to be shorter…”
    Oh, back when they frequently suffered scurvy and rickets along with other forms of bad malnutrition people didn’t grow to their full potential.

    Genetically modified food is bad, but genetically modified people are OK when it’s for global warming fears?

    Truly absurd.
    What I wonder is why night vision? Are there eugenic plans for burrowing people?
    The trouble is, underground critters evolve with less sight, eventually without eyes entirely.

    If it’s to avoid daylight, might as well include chlorophyll into our skins to take advantage of light and heat.

    What is especially odd is given the recent and likely recurring ice ages is why these bizarre flight of fantasy changes? Where are the changes to survive an ice covered world?

    Sadly, that’s the most absurd yet telling AGW unrealistic failure of all.

  28. He wants to make all humans smarter, more intelligent. But then EVERYONE would know that CAGW is a scam, right? Maybe he should reconsider and make us dumber instead.

  29. They might as well just say, eugenically improve the human race by giving all future babies a fluffy white wooly coat thus reducing the need for heating and as they wont like to stay in a warm home, they should give them hoofs as they’ll be outside, and because they’re outside all day, they should give them the ability to graze. thus further cutting down on energy resources.

  30. Humans of the future: Short, allergic to meat and with night vision
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/01/bizarre-idea-turning-us-into-dwarves-with-night-vision-will-save-us-from-climate-change/

    Why would this remind me of Greg Laden?

    This below explains just how afraid of the truth and closed minded such people Greg Laden are and that also explains why they know nothing about this issue of anthropogenic global warming, or because there has been no warming for close to 19 years now it is climate change. I defended Judith Curry against a barrage of comments about her saying that “Hide”, “Trick” & “Decline” were well defined when Jones made these comments but this group of people could not understand that.

    John Swallow

    United States
    September 2, 2015
    This comment has been deleted because the commenter is an unrepentant ass who has nothing intelligent to say. http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/08/20/how-do-you-explain-judith-curry/#comment-624104

    John Swallow

    Thailand
    September 19, 2015
    This comment has been deleted because the commenter is an unrepentant ass who has nothing intelligent to say.
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/09/16/making-liquid-fuels-from-sun-and-air/#comment-624493

    Greg Laden

    September 30, 2015
    John Swallow, how dare you come on to my blog and say such an insulting thing to me?
    Your comments here are nothing but annoying and have no value whatsoever. You are a bad person. You have no filter, you have no sense, you are as dumb as a broken brick, and you have no redeeming qualities.
    And I will now make you disappear. Don’t come back.
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/09/28/will-eleven-become-joaquin/#comment-625245

    I wrote him an email asking what I had written that he found so insulting but never received an answer because it never happened. I assume these people who have no principles do not know that lying is not acceptable, unless one is an alarmist, then everything is OK, it seems. John Swallow

  31. Clearly we need to continue on the present track wherein the stupidity gene is ascendent.

    i mean if you REALLY want to play genetics its obvious that you should be monkeying around with the mumps or something contagious that makes humans less fertile but not infertile. And if it’s a virus it wont discriminate.

  32. “Scientists are becoming increasingly interested in whether changing ourselves instead of the environment could be the unexpected solution to the world’s biggest problem.”

    It’s becoming ever more clear that the ‘..world’s biggest problem…” is the ignorance of humans who believe they can control the world.

  33. No one has mentioned this, so it’s up to me. One of my favourite Sci-Fi novels, right up there with “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, is “Dark Universe”, by Daniel F. Galouye, from 1960. Anyone who loved “Canticle” will love this one, which in fact is rather better constructed so it unfolds beautifully. I’ve tried to write a decent precis, but I simply can’t do the book justice. Comparing it with “Canticle” says a great deal, and will have to do.

  34. Instead of bothering with all the genetic hocus pocus and drugs, why not simply take away the tax advantages of having a zillion kids? Convert to an economic model of sustainability not geometric growth. Encourage a world population of perhaps a billion or two as the long term goal. Or not.
    tom

    • Here in the socialist UK, we actually pay people the equivalent of a reasonable salary to have kids.
      A friend of mine with five kids, recently kicked out her husband.
      But immediately discovered that she would be richer than before on the back of state payments for her and her large family.
      In fact their total income would be double my crappy salary.
      That’s modern Britain for you.
      It’s worse than communism. In a theoretically “ideal” communist state everybody is equal.
      In the new British socialist state, people who irresponsibly have no job, loads of kids and no permanent partner are better off than people who work five or six days a week and have no time or energy for sex!!
      Hence, we are clearly intending to populate the country with the offspring of the feckless.

      • I have a theory that Britain is desperate to raise taxpayer headcount, to convince public debt creditors they might someday get their money back. The UK public debt, officially £1.6 trillion, is in reality more like £4 trillion, according to “The Trillion Pound Horror Story” – over £50,000 public debt for every man, woman and child in Britain. Its inconceivable IMO that the British government will ever pay this debt back as matters currently stand.

        However there is a strategy by which Britain might be able to get on top of the debt. If the number of taxpayers were to double, the debt would drop to £25,000 / head – a more credible proposition.

        Just a theory – but it rather neatly explains soft policies on mass immigration and generous support for large families.

      • Britain is allowing somewhere upwards of ~250,000 refugees every year (From all over former Soviet countries like Romania etc). And what jobs will these people be filling? A big fat none as there are none. No jobs, no taxes paid. Italy/Greece here we come!

  35. It would seem the good professor has been reading too
    much Science Fiction. It’s mostly not an original idea;
    see “Manalone” by Colin Kapp (1977)
    ISBN-10:0586042342

    • Fukitol does seem to exist.
      But, it is sold under the name etizolam. Currently available on the internet legally as a “research chemical”.
      20 grams costs about $1000 at online vendors.
      BUT – 0.5mg is an effective dose. So 20 grams is 40,000 such doses.
      Were a person to consume it, that is.
      Which obviously they wouldn’t since they have ostensibly purchased it for research purposes.
      Having said that – it is licensed as a medicine in Japan, Italy and India.
      It’s a funny old world.

  36. Smaller people, quite logically, tend to use up fewer energy resources. We were much shorter 100 years ago, and Prof Liao says we could go back.

    Shut up and take my money.

      • Depends on where you are talking about.
        Most Asian countries were much shorter 100 years ago, as was much of Eastern Europe.
        Any place that has gone from 3rd world to 1st world in the last 100 years has also seen the height of it’s people increase.

  37. Another gem to add to my ever increasing list of things I can tell people who are undecided about AGW, deaf fish, aliens invading us etc This has to be the best, making humans allergic to meat, improve our night vision and turn us into drug-addicted dwarfs? Who’s our next PM going to be? Snow White! These people really haven’t got a clue. One question I would like to ask and this certainly is not to give credence to any of these idiotic ideas. What about non-humans and natural processes that produce more CO2 than we do?

    • Oh, stop asking awkward questions.
      Next thing you’ll be asking; “If humans are the primary driver of all currently observed temperature trends then what caused the planet to enter and then leave the ice age”.
      And all that you will receive in reply is stuttering and then later… the accusation that you are using “denialist talking points” and therefore must be a fossil fuel funded shill.
      But, I really do want to know. What caused the earth to enter and leave ice ages repeatedly?
      It wasn’t me.

      • “indefatigablefrog

        October 2, 2015 at 1:57 am

        “If humans are the primary driver of all currently observed temperature trends then what caused the planet to enter and then leave the ice age”.”

        And he’ll be right. The planet does not have any understanding of the concept of temperature. That’s a human construct. The planet does what the planet does, we’re just along for the ride (While it lasts).

  38. Didn’t we just pass the 18 year mark with no global warming? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    This news must be such a relief to all those people who were afraid of Global Warming. What’s that you say? They’re angry about this? How could this be bad news? This is like getting negative results on a cancer screening. You’re going to live!

  39. They want to make humans short, nocturnal, vegetarian hermaphrodites with large heads? Isn’t that a perfect description of the aliens in the movie “Close Encounters”?

  40. “All men are created equal.”

    NO! Short, allergic to meat and with night vision people are better!

    Eugenics requires the belief that some people are better than others, so much so that action must be taken.

  41. I would rather they work towards developing humans that are smarter rather than short and nocturnal. Obviously the people coming up with these “brilliant” ideas have a long way to go.

  42. LOL.
    What a very complex way to eradicate humans in favor of some other, more eco-friendly, specie.
    Would be much simpler to simply breed cats, while forbidding human reproduction (or better yet, for a quicker result, kill us all outright…)

    • Every leftwing/Green policy is anti human: anti-DDT, anti-GMO rice, anti-pharmaceutical corp, anti-agriculture corp, anti-Capitalism, pro-abortion, pro-eugenics, pro-euthanasia, pro-sterile marriages…

      And while they hate GMO foods, they’re willing to turn us into “GMO humans”!

  43. what about mole-men. live underground, leave the trees and little critters alone. paradise for the eco-prog.

  44. Wow, I guess the Warmist psychopaths are looking for a “final solution” to a fabricated problem, based on a Big Lie. Reminds of another place and time some 75 years ago.

  45. Be afraid. Evil people, white coat or not, want to limit your capability to make decisions. Mistakes and stupid decisions are part of learning. Attempts to short-circuit the process of human experience are the basis of evil in the world. Be very afraid.

  46. I see a war breaking out between the “Mods” and the “Trads” as the Mods try to eradicate the Trads for the benefit of the planet.

    The Trads, with their superior metabolism and more aggressive nature due to meat consumption, will win.

    You read it here first.

    • Yeah but the mods have a insurmountable obstacle, the Trads have all the guns and the Mods are afraid to even touch the evil weapons. Just the thought of touching one throws them into hippie hysteria. Also the Trads have all the military training.

      • The Mods will also be hindered by dysentery and cholera because none of them can work a pipe wrench.

  47. If we’re going to genetically modify humans, we should at least go for the ability to stop speeding bullets, be more powerful than a locomotive, and fly faster than an airplane. Oh, and x-ray vision. You know… useful stuff.

      • Heck, TonyK. I just like to wear tights and a cape, but you don’t need to evolve to do that. It does help to have super powers if you’re a tights’n cape guy. They didn’t laugh at Superman and maybe they’d stop laughing at me.

        I’ve already got the fur, which is why I don’t go shirtless at the zoo; kinda spooks the bears and those @#%! zoo-keepers keep trying to shoot me with a tranquilizer darts. Also, I think the prehensile tail would interfere with getting at my wallet, though I suppose I could stop carrying that in my back hip pocket.

        Genetic modification: the good, the bad, the ugly, and I’d probably get all the ugly.
        ;o)

      • Hey H.R.
        you could always carry the wallet in your pouch like a kangaroo and use your prehensile tail to lift other people’s wallets!

  48. This thread is quite toxic.

    The anti-gay remarks should be censored. Ditto, any racism remarks. Being against women’s rights, ditto, looks really bad here.

  49. The article also says:
    And this brings us to the last modification that Liao talks about: empathy. You might remember that just a few weeks ago we talked about empathy on this very podcast! And you might remember that empathy is actually a really hard thing to define. Liao’s idea is to give hormones like oxytocin and seratonin to people, and to perhaps decrease someone’s testosterone.

    In short, they want to turn conservative men into liberal ‘men’ by lowering our T levels. Doesn’t this excerpt imply that liberal ‘men’ have lower testosterone levels than conservative men? Given the fact that liberal ‘men’ want a big-mommy government to take care of them, I think it’s fair to conclude that liberal ‘men’ are in general, more feminine than conservative men.

    We may already be part of a testosterone lowering experiment, either by design or by accident. Google gender change chemicals fish reptiles bird and you’ll find that the vast majority of news articles that come up are on species changing gender are from males to females.

    • Is this an example of testosterone envy?
      There is already too much oestrogen in the environment from industrial etc processes, maybe we need more testosterone? Or maybe testosterone just isn’t the cause of fear and greed and envy.
      Of course! That’s caused by CO2!

  50. MikeW In Khwarizmi’s world, there is nothing worse than something that isn’t owned or controlled by govt.
    ===========

    Only in your deluded and defamatory little black & white mind is that true.

    In your corrupt vision for how everyone else should live, there is nothing worse than something that isn’t owned or controlled by a predatory corporation. Right?

  51. MarkW
    October 2, 2015 at 10:07 am
    In another article on this site, Khwarizmi has declared that the only problem with health care in this country is that govt doesn’t control it.
    ====================

    So says a shameless weasel on a malevolent mission.
    But it didn’t quote my alleged declaration because it doesn’t exist..

  52. GMO-ing humans is perfectly fine, if it’s in the service of Gaia. But in any way servicing human beings, it isn’t? What can explain the left’s hatred of itself (of each and every human organism)? I can’t think of a reason, but they most have one. Can one of you leftists please enlighten me?

  53. “Allergic to meat…” Say WHAT? Wouldn’t that produce some sort of weird self-rejecting tissues, given that we are MADE of meat? :/

    • In addition we would have to have bigger mouth cavities to hold all the grinding teeth needed to be herbivores. In order to make that happen, we would have to have smaller brains. Or bigger necks to hold our very large heads up. Think elephant size.

    • That’s called original sin. Born bad. AGW sounds so much like self-hating Chrictianity. They drop the religion but keep the mentality! Man is inherently evil (all that carbon you know) and has to be saved or has to redeem him/herself.

  54. With all that Ice Melt to come I`d opt for flippers, dustbin sized lungs, loads o`blubber and, oh yes, a nice smooth bodeeeeeeeeeeee!

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