In Climate change is a problem that requires thinking - sometimes unco... Matthew Liao raises the suggestion that genetic manipulation of ourselves would best serve adaptation.

Are people eating too much beef? Make them allergic to beef.

A potentially safe and practical way of inducing such intolerance may be to produce ''meat'' patches - akin to nicotine patches. People can then wear these patches before they eat to curb their enthusiasm for red meat.


Are people unwilling to share money and work with strangers to fight Climate Change? Convince them to "use pharmacological means to increase altruism and empathy."

For example, test subjects given the prosocial hormone oxytocin were more willing to share money with strangers and to behave in a more trustworthy way. Also, a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor increased social engagement and co-operation with a reduction in self-focus. ... interventions affecting the sensitivity in these neural systems could increase the willingness to co-operate with social rules or goals.


So, my take on his perspective is that instead of overthrowing growth economy or political systems controlled by profit-driven fossil fuel industries, instead of even geoengineering, we genetically engineer the 99%. He doesn't actually say "do this to the proles", but to me it's an obvious subtext. Because revolutionary change of the global economic system is unthinkable never mentioned as an option.

"...human engineering is less risky than geoengineering ... we can better manage these risks..."

I actually do see a possibility for human engineering for climate change adaptation in the worst case scenario. If oxygen levels drop, we might be forced to engineer people with improved respiratory systems. If temperatures spike, we might be forced to engineer people with higher heat tolerance. If food is really really scarce, we might have to engineer people with lower metabolic needs, like reptiles (which survive on one tenth as much food as mammals of the same size). If Eaarth is an alien environment, we might be forced to reinvent ourselves as aliens. I see human engineering as our very very last resort, a last response to otherwise hopeless extremes. It's not something whose risks "we can better manage" than overthrowing the economic/political system causing our crisis.

Tags: Climate Change, beef, climate change adaptation, genetic engineering, human engineering, pharmocological intervention

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