Should We Modify Humans To “Save” The Planet?

What should we do about climate change? Lower our carbon emissions? Buy into solar energy? Stop eating meat? How about we genetically alter the human species?

A group of researchers have suggested doing just that, stating it “poses less danger than altering our planet through geoengineering.” They’re not necessarily advocating such measures, but they do believe we should consider them.

For example, they believe that through “human engineering” we could “induce intolerance to red meat,” reduce the size of human beings, and even use hormones to make people more “altruistic.”

All of these respective methods, they say, could reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce, lower the amount of energy our bodies need, and make us more mindful of the world around us.

In my mind, that’s setting us up for some kind of terrible dystopia. Who would decide what would change about our species? And how would those changes be implemented? What would happen to those who disagreed? Is this just eugenics under the guise of “going green?”

The researchers make comparisons to the widespread use of caffeine, iodine, and fluoride, which benefit humans in various ways. However, in all honesty, I’m just not sure we’d be able to accurately predict the long term affects of genetic engineering (unfortunately, we already do it).

Just call me old-fashioned, I guess.

But, one way or another, humanity will change. Will it be a slow, physiological change? A cybernetic change? Will we modify our genetic code, or integrate ourselves into computers?

Probably both.

It’s one aspect of the future I’m not particularly excited about.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions. Might be a robot.

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