Tony Thomas: Climate science comes up short

Posted: July 28, 2017 by tallbloke in climate, humour, Idiots, Measurement, solar system dynamics

midgetTemperatures refuse to rise, exterminate polar bears, melt the icecaps, engulf coastal cities or make Tim Flannery seem rational. Not that the paleontologist is alone in the upper ranks of ratbaggery. Meet Professor Matthew Liao, who yearns to bio-engineer smaller, drug-ready humans
People unwilling to act on the climate-crisis narrative should be assisted with drugs that improve and promote conformity, according to eminent bio-ethicist Professor Matthew Liao, of New York University, who also wants to see parents dosing their children with hormones and diets to keep them shorter and less of a burden on the planet.

He wants such people to be given  the ‘love drug/cuddle chemical’ oxytocin. This would increase their trust and empathy and make them more ready to change to emission-saving lifestyles.

As his peer-reviewed study puts it, “Pharmacologically induced altruism and empathy could increase the likelihood that we adopt the necessary behavioral and market solutions for curbing climate change.” He emphasises there would be no coercion. The drugs would merely help those who want to be climate-friendly behaviour but lack the willpower

Once sufficiently drugged, parents would be less likely to reject notions of “human engineering” techniques that will be needed to create Humans 2.0. These amended species will be 15cm shorter than now, hence more energy efficient and less resource-demanding. His study,  Human Engineering and Climate Change, is in  Ethics, Policy and the Environment.[1]

Some US reaction to Liao has been adverse. Investor’s  Business Daily used the headline, “Global Warming Fever Drove This Professor Completely Mad”.[2] It said that warmists are “bummed they can’t find enough naive people to buy into their story”. The looniest tune yet played is Liao’s, it said.

Liao’s study theorises that shorter humans could be achieved through embryo selection during IVF, plus drug and nutrient treatments to reduce birth weights. (High birth weight correlates with future height; low weights obviously correlate with risk to the baby).[3]  Anti-growth hormones could be fed to toddlers by climate-caring parents to create earlier closing of their bubs’ epiphyseal (growth) plates. Oh, and he also wants ecocidal meat eaters bio-altered to induce unpleasant reactions if they put pleasure ahead of planet and tuck into a T-bone.[4]

His paper, although now five years old and sometimes mistaken for a sceptic hoax, features today on his personal website. It merited him a gig at a recent Leftist-stacked Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House, where he spoke  in front of  a banner, “Engineering humans to stop climate change”. His compere was the respectful Simon Longstaff, boss of Sydney’s  Ethics Centre , who introduced his guest as a “really great speaker…He is on the up, this guy. He is on the up!”

Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Moral Philosophy, Liao is chair of bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at New York University’s philosophy department — ranked world No 1 for philosophy, Longstaff said. Liao was earlier deputy director in the Program on the Ethics of the New Biosciences in the philosophy faculty at Oxford University. Longstaff said it was ranked world No 2. The mind boggles at what must go on those university philosophy/bioethics units ranked from third to 100?

Liao began his Opera House talk with a visiting speaker’s typical home-town warm-up, in this instance about Sydney being such a beautiful city. After that, warming to his topic, he fretted that the city “might go underwater” because of rising seas.

Many environmental problems, such as climate change, need collective action, he continued, but humans remain stubbornly individualistic, which why drugs that increase empathy and altruism might bestow the benefits of societal cooperation and engagement. Test subjects given oxytocin hormones were more willing to share money with strangers, behave in more trustworthy ways, and better read other people’s emotions, he said.

He continued,  “Making children smaller may be unappealing, but so is the prospect of having our children grow up in a world blighted by the environmental consequences of our choices and lifestyles…

“To combat climate change we can either change the environment or change ourselves.  Given the enormous risks associated  with changing the environment, we should take  seriously that we need to change ourselves.”

Liao insists his human engineering  is all voluntary, but should be incentivised by tax breaks and health-cost discounts. What he failed to explain is how toddlers could volunteer to restrict their adult height to say, 5ft (152cm).

Liao asked, “Is it ethical for parents to make choices that would have  irreversible effects on their children’s lives? Not all human engineering involving children is necessarily controversial. For example, many parents are happy to give their children [anti attention-deficit disorder] drugs, such as Ritalin, to concentrate better in school.

“Making children small is more controversial so proceed with care. But parents  are permitted to give hormones so a daughter likely to be 6ft 6in (198cm) could instead be 6ft (183cm). On what ground should we forbid parents who want to give hormone treatments so that children become 5ft tall rather than 5ft 5in tall? If climate change would  effect millions of children including one’s own children,  then these children may also later appreciate and consent to the parents decisions.”

Liao’s paper says tall people create energy waste by their food intake, extra fuel for their cars, more fabric for clothes, and more wear and tear on shoes, carpets and furniture.[5] “Think of their lifetime carbon footprint, it is quite a lot,” he told interviewers during his Australian sojourn (he must have arrived by row-boat).

To curb planet-hurting population growth, a  UK doctors’ group had recommended that Britons confine themselves to two children. Liao instead suggested each British family be given emissions targets and within that, be incentivised to have either two normal-height children or multiple smaller ones.[6]

“We think we now have optimal height, and that  we should not do anything to mess with our height, but the reality (can be) much more fluid,” he said, noting that everyone was much shorter in the 19th century with no harm done. He said height is seen by many as a social advantage but that was not a reason to scratch the shortness-creating idea.  As his paper says, bungee jumping, tattoos and running marathons are also minority tastes but legitimate activities.

Ever-hopeful, Liao believes that once a few people started shortening their children, others might be similarly inspired, especially if given tax breaks. He conceded that poorer people are already shorter on average, and should not be encouraged to further shrink their offspring.

He told his audience that many people wanted to give up eating meat but enjoyed the taste too much.  To assist, their immune systems could be  primed to react to meat “and induce some sort of unpleasant experience, very mild. (Laughter). Even if the effect was not for a lifetime, the learning effect could persist a long  time.”

A safe way to induce such intolerance could involve a “meat patch”, akin to a  nicotine patch, that people could wear before going out to eat, he said. Liao concedes that the present “tackling” of climate change by changing behaviour (less travel, LED bulbs etc) and by top-down emissions schemes are inadequate. This has led to drastic and risky geoengineering proposals like   mirrors in space and seeding oceans with iron filings. Better and safer to use existing bio-medical techniques to alter humans instead, he says.

Liao dropped political correctness to remark that US women “of lower cognitive ability” bred faster under 18 years. If they could be cognitively enhanced with Ritalin or Modafinil, which some parents already give their children to improve concentration at school, these women might have lower birth rates. He also pre-empted Pauline Hanson by saying various public health measures are similarly taken, despite risks. He said, “People routinely vaccinate  to prevent acquiring diseases even though vaccinations have sometimes side effects and can even lead to deaths.”[7]

He agreed that bio-engineering against obesity would be climate-effective, “but  I focus on height because the issue of obesity is very politically sensitive,  raising a lot of issues and, on top, some discriminatory aspects –  talk about obesity, you know…a tricky situation.”  So Liao put this planet-saving measure aside because of potential backlash from “obesity identity” activists. Anti-height measures, however, are politically safe because tall people are already advantaged.

Liao wants each person to become carbon neutral, otherwise we should spend more money on space exploration – presumably so mankind find a new home on some other planet. “Scientists tell us we are close to the point of no return,” he said, apparently unaware of the hundreds of failed tipping point predictions.

Question time produced one ripper from an elderly lady, Margaret, who seemed a warmist sympathiser: “What percent of the  population would need to adopt any of these measures before they became effective  in altering the rate at which we are going through climate change?”

Liao, hitherto a picture of confidence, fumbled and stalled, saying it was empirical and had no idea in lieu of further and neded research: “So right now I am just sorting out ideas … we would need to figure out these further questions.”

I can tell him now: if the 7.5 billion people on the planet all shrank by 15cm, it wouldn’t lower global temperatures one jot.

The   climate-catastrophe evidence Liao cites for his Humans 2.0 makeover is the notoriously-flawed UK Stern Report (Stern is now calling for US$90 trillion funding for climate change) and the melting-Himalayan-glacier 2007  IPCC report run by then-IPCC chair and Rajendra Pachauri. [8] This report was so howler-laced that the InterAcademy Council ordered a forensic audit. The report found “significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC’s assessment process”.

_____________________________________________

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

[1] Two co-authors are from  Oxford, where Liao did his Ph.D.

[2] September 30, 2015. Broken link but text cited.

[3] The paper says, “Birth weight at the lower edge of the normal distribution tends to result in the adult’s being ≈5 cm shorter. Birth height has an even stronger effect for adult height. If one is born at the lower edge of the normal distribution of height, this tends to produce ≈15 cm shorter adult height.” It continues that certain drugs could potentially regulate birth size and weight.

[4] The paper says “While eating red meat with added emetic (a substance that induces vomiting) could be used as an aversion conditioning, anyone not strongly committed to giving up red meat is unlikely to be attracted to this option. A more realistic option might be to induce mild intolerance (akin, e.g., to milk intolerance) to these kinds of meat.”

[5] The paper says, “Reducing the average US height by 15 cm would mean a mass reduction of 23% for men and 25% for women, with a corresponding reduction of metabolic rate (15%/18%), since less tissue means lower nutrients and energy needs.”

[6] British children were singled out because they each put 160 times more demand on the planet than an Ethiopian child, his paper says.

[7] No Leftist outrage ensued

[8] Pachauri, then 74, in 2015 was charged in New Delhi with sexual harassment and stalking involving a woman staffer less than half his age.  He resigned abruptly from the IPCC, was fired from his own think-tank and   the trial has been delayed via   costly procedural stages.  Strongly asserting his innocence, he is also suing the staffer for defamation.

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    Canadian: ‘I guess every American state has its share of dwarves.’

    Texan: ‘Sure, but our dwarves are bigger.’

  2. Bitter&twisted says:

    Let Liao do his research on himself and his own family.
    Dr. Mengele would be proud of this evil jerk.

  3. oldbrew says:

    “Making children small is more controversial so proceed with care.”

  4. JB says:

    “Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!” –Frederic Bastiat

  5. tom0mason says:

    Professor Matthew Liao has the vile audacity to offer a world run by consensus. Not just any consensus but an arbitrary consensus of how to live within the strictures defined by failed interpretations of UN methods and proposals. Using psycho-chemical applications (oxytocin), and mandates about personal freedom to create a family, UN defined consensus is to be achieved.

    Hateful ideas.

  6. peterandnen says:

    Nah! Nothing to worry about. I just read the script. It’s all about the next remake of “The Nutty Professor”.

  7. The Badger says:

    The Professor seems to have missed using the obvious example of adults already adjusting their infant children for their future benefit, a procedure which has been popular and successful for centuries with hardly any legal consequences. I am of course referring to the practice of MGM (Male Genital Mutilation), often called “circumcision” by its supporters.

    I wonder why he didn’t mention it, seems very in line with the rest of his ideas.

    (And if any moderator is thinking of SNIPPING this comment please read it 2 more times and think again!)

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Let’s see: Liao is an asian name. Asians are on average shorter than Europeans.

    Might dear Doctor Liao have a hidden inferiority complex, tired of being a short shrimp? Is he a hidden Racist against White Europeans? (Not to mention Black American Football Players, especially those named after kitchen appliances like ‘Refrigerator’)…

    Also, I suspect his knowledge of growth is broken. Genetically large people who have bone elongation end early still achieve high mass, just more squat of build. A world of short rotund folks does not sound improved…

    We need a “voted off the island” process to revoke such folk’s tenure and degrees… Just a dozen a year of the most nutty would greatly focus the minds of the rest…

  9. Each generation creates evil pseudosciences that are remarkably hard to eradicate. In some cases millions of deaths are needed to discredit a perverted “Scientific” theory. Here are a few of my pet peeves. I invite the cognoscenti here to expand the list:

    1. Eugenics. Everyone from Margaret Sanger to Adolf Hitler loved this one.
    2. Lysenkoism. Thanks to comrade Trofim millions of Russians died of starvation.
    3. Progressive Education. Thank John Dewey for this ongoing disaster.
    4. Global Warming. This one may hang around as long as Gore et al profit from it.

  10. Trick says:

    Expanding that 1:15am too short a list for science coming up short, in Dan Rather’s no particular order:

    Seances
    Levitation
    Crop circles
    Channeling
    Dowsing
    Technical Analysis (finance)
    Myers-Briggs
    Mesmerizing (hypnosis)
    Acupuncture
    Precognition
    Faith healing
    Biorhythms
    200 mpg carburetor
    Moon landing conspiracy
    Face on (mars, moon…)
    Ancient astronauts (from Sirius A,B, Nibiru…)
    Flat Earth
    Paul is dead
    Earth ends 2012
    Bermuda triangle
    Brainwashing
    Witches, dragons, Loch Nessie, underpants gnomes

    My winner: Dangling “at” on the end of a sentence: Where are you ”at”? (pseudoenglish)

    ——

    Probably “gored” some cognoscenti’s ox.

  11. oldbrew says:

    ‘if the 7.5 billion people on the planet all shrank by 15cm, it wouldn’t lower global temperatures one jot’

    Bad news for basketball though.

  12. Bitter&twisted says:

    Email the fascist at:
    Matthew.liao@nyu.edu
    I have.

  13. hunter says:

    Another xenocidal misanthrope finds his true home in climate science.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s