Recent news reports suggest that a new syndrome — call it Climate Change Derangement Syndrome (CCDS) — is on the rise.
Exhibit 1: Greenhouse Gases are Making You Fat:
Mad as it may sound, Danish researchers have announced a theory that may not only explain why people all over the world are getting fatter and fatter, but also warn of the serious consequences for life on Earth of continued pollution of the atmosphere by CO2 emissions. In itself, the theory is quite simple: CO2 contributes to making us fat.
Not surprisingly, the author’s recommendations are to eat more fruits and veggies, get plenty of exercise, and consider a return to living in caves. (Okay, I made the cave part up, but the rest is true).
A new paper to be published in Ethics, Policy & Environment proposes a series of biomedical modifications that could help humans, themselves, consume less. Some of the proposed modifications are simple and noninvasive. For instance, many people wish to give up meat for ecological reasons, but lack the willpower to do so on their own. The paper suggests that such individuals could take a pill that would trigger mild nausea upon the ingestion of meat, which would then lead to a lasting aversion to meat-eating. Other techniques are bound to be more controversial. For instance, the paper suggests that parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, less resource-intensive children.
Of course, those who read this article won’t be surprised at the upsurge in CCDS:
Researchers from the University of Sydney looked at patients attending an anxiety disorders clinic. They found one-third of the patients had anxiety about the effects of climate change. Their behaviours included checking and rechecking pets water bowls, light switches, taps and stoves. Researchers say while these behaviours are common in obsessive compulsive disorder, the rationale was unique.
It might be time to bring out the special “I hug myself” jackets.