The Fault in Ourselves: Modifying Human Biology to Escape Climate Change
By most scientific accounts, the world's governments have been too slow to react to climate change. The idea of slowing economic growth to combat carbon emissions has proven too unpalatable.
What's the Latest?
By most scientific accounts, the world's governments have been too slow to react to climate change. The idea of slowing economic growth to combat carbon emissions has proven too unpalatable. Refraining from eating meat, equally so, even though livestock farming accounts for 18 percent of global carbon emissions. But what if humans could be biologically engineered so the taste of meat became repulsive? Matthew Liao, director of the Bioethics Programme at New York University, says: "We can artificially induce intolerance to red meat by stimulating the immune system against common bovine proteins." Imagine a medical aid similar to a nicotine patch that made you sick if you ate red meat.
What's the Big Idea?
Nearly all of our solutions to combating climate change have focused on alleviating secondary causes, but what about humans' insatiable desire for more consumption, more food, more transportation--more everything? Other physical modifications could limit how much we demand from the planet's natural resources. For example, were humans just six inches shorter, we would have 25 percent less mass to carry around with us, resulting in substantially less energy consumption. Modified eyes could allows us to see better in the dark, meaning less electricity use, and covering our skin in chlorophyll would allow us to take energy directly from the sun. What a brave new world that would be.
Read more at BBC Future
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It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
A study started out trying to see the effect of sexist attacks on women authors, but it found something deeper.
- It's well known that abusive comments online happen to women more than men
- Such comments caused a "significant effect for the abusive comment on author credibility and intention to seek news from the author and outlet in the future"
- Some news organizations already heavily moderate or even ban comments entirely; this should underscore that effort
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