Tuesday, October 23, 2012

World Bank Luminary: Breed Smaller People To Increase “Metabolic Efficiency”

Jurriaan Maessen
October 23, 2012
In an article titled The Populations Problem written two days ago byHerman Daly, a former World Bank luminary and current professor at the University of Maryland suggests genetically designing smaller human beings to counter global population growth. Breeding smaller human beings, Daly asserts, “could be the simplest way of increasing metabolic efficiency (measured as number of people maintained by a given resource throughput).”
In his article, Daly rejects the argument that limiting human numbers is an automatic result of technological progress and economic growth, the so called “demographic transition”, and points to the environmental dangers posed by just lowering the birthrates through development and prosperity. Daly:
“Of course reduction in fertility by automatic correlation with rising standard of living is politically easy, while direct fertility reduction is politically difficult. But what is politically easy may be environmentally destructive.”
After prepping his argument with formulas the professor reveals his demonic side by stating that humans have long since bred plants and livestock, re-engineering them to larger size, so why not apply the same sort of engineering to human cattle. Here is the quote in full:
“(…) human organisms might be genetically redesigned to require less food, air, and water. Indeed smaller people would be the simplest way of increasing metabolic efficiency (measured as number of people maintained by a given resource throughput). To my knowledge no one has yet suggested breeding smaller people as a way to avoid limiting births, but that probably just reflects my ignorance. We have, however, been busy breeding and genetically engineering larger and faster-growing plants and livestock. So far, the latter dissipative structures have been complementary with populations of human bodies, but in a finite and full world, the relationship will soon become competitive.”
The professor, by the way, is wrong in asserting that the suggestion is his to claim. Earlier this year professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University S. Matthew Liao wrote a paper in which he proposes a plethora of human engineering possibilities to “help humans consume less”. One of Liao’s proposals states that parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, “less resource-intensive children”.
It seems the “ethicists” and ecological economists of this world have driven out the last shreds of humanity as one draconian measures is piled on the next in the name of reason and scientific dignity. A phrase like “dissipative structures”, used by professor Daly, is a clear example of how these academic acrobats apply scientific language to debase life.
“The population problem should be considered from the point of view of all populations — populations of both humans and their artifacts (cars, houses, livestock, cell phones, etc.) — in short, populations of all “dissipative structures” engendered, bred, or built by humans. In other words, the populations of human bodies and of their extensions. Or in yet other words, the populations of all organs that support human life and the enjoyment thereof, both endosomatic (within the skin) and exosomatic (outside the skin) organs.”
This, of course, is a case of stupid dressed like smart as the professor applies economic standard terminology to the mysterious force that is life and all its inherent beauty and depth, degrading all this to a simple formula- and making suggestions logically flowing from this formula.

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