Dr. S. Matthew Liao is the Director of the Centre for Bioethics and Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics at the New York University School of Global Health. But his suggestions are unethical and are a far cry from global health.
In a 2017 TED talk, Liao openly promoted eugenics and drug abuse in the name of “tackling climate change.” The audience was delighted and TED thought it was “humour.”
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In December 2016, Liao openly discussed using genetic engineering of humans to “address climate change” at the World Science Festival. He gave two examples of how editing the human genome could mitigate “climate change.”
One suggestion he had was to genetically engineer humans so that we are intolerant to meat. Another suggestion he had was to make us “so small that we get eaten by cats.” Not because it’s ethical or because it’s good for our health but as a way to combat the fictitious climate change crisis.
A year later, Liao was again peddling his bizarre and dangerous wares. In November 2017, during a TED Conference, he not only reiterated his wish to genetically engineer humans to have food intolerances but he openly promoted eugenics.
He started with his suggestion of inducing food intolerances, so we would feel unwell if we ate foods designated as forbidden. “We could artificially induce mild intolerance to meat by stimulating our immune system against common bovine proteins and in this way, we can create an aversion to eating eco-unfriendly food,” he said.
Then he targeted our physical attributes. As a small man, he probably has Napoleon Complex which is why he suggested taller, well-built people are bad for the planet. According to Liao, tall people are like a disease that should be eradicated.
“Our ecological footprints are correlated with how big we are … So, another possibility is to have smaller human beings. That’s right being small is environmentally friendly … We could use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis – this is something used in fertility clinics to screen for embryos with genetic diseases – we could use it to screen for children who will be smaller.”
What does Liao plan to do with the children who are not deemed to be the right size? Kill them? Remember, Liao is a “bioethicist” at New York University (“NYU”). If this is the sort of ethics one of its professors publicly promotes, eugenics is very much alive and well at NYU’s School of Global Health.
Then his suggestions turned to lowering birth rates using drugs.
“We can also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by lowering birth rates,” he said. “There’s a direct link between cognition and lowering birth rates … so we could use cognitive enhancements like modafinil or Ritalin to lower birth rates,” he said.
Modafinil is a prescription drug used to treat sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnoea. The use of modafinil as a “cognitive enhancer” in healthy subjects has been suggested; however, the precise benefits and risks associated with this use remain uncertain, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine.
The same article stated the most commonly reported adverse effects of modafinil (less than 10% of users) are headache, nausea, and decreased appetite. Other commonly reported adverse effects (5% to 10% of users) include anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, diarrhoea, and rhinitis.
Ritalin is also a prescription drug. Its adverse effects range from agitation and sleep problems to potentially severe cardiovascular events. Ritalin is addictive. So much so that according to the Addiction Centre, Ritalin is listed as a Schedule II federally controlled substance.
Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.
Yet Liao describes them as “safe.” But Liao did not stop there with promoting drugs. He suggested further drugs to ensure compliance.
“Many environmental problems are the result of collective action problems where people are unwilling to cooperate for the greater good … we could use, we could give people oxytocin in order to increase their willingness to cooperate with other people,” he pontificated.
Oxytocin is a natural hormone associated with trust, sexual arousal and relationship building, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “love hormone” or “cuddle chemical.”
In women, its main function is to facilitate childbirth. It plays roles in social bonding, reproduction, childbirth and the period after childbirth. Healthcare providers use synthetic (manufactured) forms to induce labour in childbirth, speed up delivery of the placenta and reduce the risk of heavy bleeding.
In men, oxytocin plays a part in ejaculation. High levels of oxytocin have been linked to an enlarged prostate.
The effects of oxytocin on your brain are complex. According to Cleveland Clinic, scientists are currently researching the role of oxytocin in various conditions, including addiction, anorexia, anxiety, autism, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”).
So, Liao is suggesting that to “save the planet” from a fabricated “climate change crisis” we should be given food intolerances and our babies that don’t fit their ideal should be murdered. If we don’t agree then we should be drugged into compliance which poses a risk to our health. These are suggestions of a professor of bioethics at NYU’s School of Global Health.
But, “climate change,” Liao is trying to “save the planet”! And human engineering methods are preferable to geoengineering, he told the TED Conference. According to him, scientists believe geoengineering has to be done because “we have no choice” as “climate change is one of the biggest problems that we face.”
“Geoengineering is very risky,” Liao said. “If it goes wrong, geoengineering could end up destroying the entire planet. In contrast, the human engineering technologies that I’ve been talking about [above] … is applied at the individual level so the risks are much more manageable than something like geoengineering.”
In other words, geoengineering doesn’t discriminate so Liao wants to be able to select who will be subjected to “climate change” mitigation through “human engineering.” We can safely assume he would like to use them on us but not on his sponsors, himself or other collaborators.
Ted Archive wrote in the description of the video on YouTube:
S. Matthew Liao discusses alternative solutions to climate change – through humour, he calls attention to some of the pressing issues our world faces. [Emphasis our own.]
“Humour”? Really? Did you laugh when you heard his talk? No? Aside from TED and the Conference’s audience, we don’t think anyone did or will.
TED Archive seems to recognise that the public didn’t think it was funny; that engineering us so we suffer food intolerances, sickness and drug addiction was “humour”:
NOTE: Comments are disabled on this video. We made this difficult decision for the TED Archive because we believe that a well-moderated conversation allows for better commentary from more people and more viewpoints. Studies show that aggressive and hateful comments silence other commenters and drive them away; unfortunately, YouTube’s comment moderation tools are simply not up to the task of allowing us to monitor comments on so many videos at once. (We’d love to see this change, YouTube.) So for now, if you’d like to comment on this talk, please use Facebook, Twitter or G+ to discuss with your networks. [Emphasis our own].Description section of Tackling Climate Change through Human Engineering?” | S. Matthew Liao, TED Archive, 20 November 2017
Perhaps TED was secretly grateful YouTube doesn’t allow comments to be moderated. It’s easier to block and censor users and comments on Facebook, Twitter and G+.
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