Saturday, May 5, 2012

Climate Change Fight has Gone Cah-RAZEE!!!

It seems every major debate in the world today succumbs to the crazies. So it is with global climate change.

As you might have seen all over the news and blogosphere , a climate change denying think tank, the Heartland Institute, has put out an inspired ad campaign that basically says that anyone who believes that climate change exists is the equivalent to the world's worst mass murderers and terrorists.
The short-lived Heartland Institute ad

You see, people like Ted Kaczzynski who was  the "Unibomber" and Osama bi Laden  believed in global warming. Hitler was a vegetarian, and so are many people who worry about climate change. So therefore, people who think climate change is a threat are really, really, really bad people, according to the Heartland Institute.

According to the Institute: The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.

Which means that 95 percent of climate scientists are apparently murderers, tyrants and madmen.

If you use the Heartland Institute's logic, if you have one thing in common with the world's most horrible people, then you are the same as those horrible people. So, presumably, Stalin and most members of the Heartland Institute agree the sun rises in the east.

So, since we're in agreement with Stalin that the sun rises in the east, I'm a mass murderer, and so are the members of the Heartland Institute.

Of course, if that were true, that would solve the problem of global warming. We'd all kill each other, the world would have no people, and global warming would no longer be a worry.

People who believe that most of the world is fairly rational think the Heartland Institute overreached.  The Guardian, which first reported this story, called this "quite possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns."

 The ad was short lived. The Heartland Institute took it down later on Friday, less than twelve hours after they appeared. Officials with the institute said it was just an experiment. Heartland President Joseph Bast said:

“We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment. We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the 'realist' message on the climate."

 Oh, I can't WAIT for Heartland's next "experiment."

Meanwhile, S. Matthew Liao, a professor of philosophy and bioethics has his own ideas on how to combat global warming.

Make people smaller. Smaller people consume fewer resources, and would have a lighter impact on the planet, and reduce the climate change.

This was all in an article in The Atlantic in March, where Liao discussed his big but small ideas.

"And so size reduction could be one way to reduce a person's ecological footprint. For instance if you reduce the average U.S. height by just 15cm, you could reduce body mass by 21% for men and 25% for women, with a corresponding reduction in metabolic rates by some 15% to 18%, because less tissue means lower energy and nutrient needs."

He says that his ideas could actually be liberating, not more restrictive.

For instance, he says it makes sense to have smaller families, to reduce impacts that would worsen climate change. One idea is to force parents to limit themselves to two children. But under his scheme, perhaps you could give these parents a choice: Produce two mormal sixe children or three mini-mes, as it were:

"There was a group of doctors in Britain who recently advocated a two-child maximum. But at the end of the day those are crude prescriptions---what we really care about is some kind of fixed allocation of greenhouse gas emissions per family. If that's the case, given certain fixed allocations of greenhouse gas emissions, human engineering could give families the choice between two medium sized children, or three small sized children. From our perspective that would be more liberty enhancing than a policy that says "you can only have one or two children." 

 I don't know how well this will fly. Are you going to make people create smaller children by force of law, or is it voluntary?  Will there be unintended consequences to all these small people?  And how small do we make them? Just short enough to be lousy basketball players, or tiny, like my 35-pound cocker spaniel? Will there be size police arresting people who are too big, or parents of children who are too big?  Will we all be required to gather around and sing the Elton John song "Tiny Dancer?"

So, given the Heartland Institute's bad ad, and the tiny person idea, I think we all need to keep thinking to figure out what to do with global climate change.

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