March 19, 2012

I welcome our new smaller climate optmized green cat-like overlords

Förberedelse(title borrowed from Anthony Watts)

Some other reactions or comments to my "green dwarves" paper:

TheGuardian: Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change, say philosophers. Leo Hickman gave us a chance to respond to the criticisms, and printed them at length. This is your opportunity to see how we deal with them individually.

Slate: Is "Human Engineering and Climate Change" Paper a Case of Academic Trolling? - Slate thinks we may be trolling.

Io9: Four ways we could hack human bodies to save the environment - a science fiction site sceptical of the feasibility of our ideas? What next, criticism of the practicality of steampunk? :-)

Planet of the (Little) Apes | Practical Ethics - Steve thinks about the children. How fun would it be to grow up short if your parents are environmentally conscious?

Jeffrey Bossert Clark: Re-making Man by Choice and Decree has a bunch of criticisms at the Library of Law and Liberty (some which I entirely agree with).

The Bard of Murdock: Inventing Children A "poetical cartoon" based on the paper.

Small dead animals had a poll, finding that 98% of participants favoured "Grind Up climate alarmists into tiny particles and blast them into the lower troposphere" over our proposals. Don't they know that climate alarmists being green have a suboptimal reflection spectrum, and will not be efficiently lofted into the stratosphere before they rain out?

I expect that the story of the paper will be the usual one: in a few months it is a paper among other papers in an ethics journal, perhaps cited a few times if we are lucky (if only as a warning example of a stupid idea - but that still counts!). Meanwhile the paper will take on another life among the undergrowth of the noosphere, mutating into the story that scientists are working on (or have already done) re-engineering people to be green (probably using chemtrails or brain implants). It will be yet another piece of evidence of the Big Conspiracy. You doubt it? Look at all those blog posts, that paper was real!

What struck me the most was that the big outcry came from the climate-sceptics rather than the traditional greens (although having Bill McKibben tweet that the paper contained the "worst climate change solutions of all time" warms my heart). I guess this is because they tend to hold conservative views (psychologically if not ideologically) and hence the paper pressed the "messing with human nature" hot button besides the "something radical must be done about the climate" hot button. Among the greens and libertarians only one button was pushed.

I'll work on that for my next paper. Just how many hot buttons can I innocently press?

Posted by Anders3 at March 19, 2012 06:05 PM