Science & Tech

Scientist Suggests Climate Change Could Pave the Way for Cannibalism

A man carries an inflatable Earth balloon at the People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
We do have to draw the line somewhere. Eating people definitely crosses that line.

A scientist, researcher, and professor recently suggested at a summit in Sweden that climate change might lead to cannibalism. The scientist, Magnus Söderlund from the Stockholm School of Economics, made the comments during his talk, titled “Can You Imagine Eating Human Flesh?,” as part of the Gastro Summit in Stockholm.

“I’d have to say . . . I’d be open to at least tasting it,” Söderlund told Sweden’s TV4, according to an article in the New York Post. The seminar dealt with such topics as whether humans were too selfish to “live sustainably” — and whether cannibalism might be the solution, the Post reports.

Söderlund reportedly also suggested eating pets.

When I originally saw this story, my first thought was that things seem to have gotten to the point that they are beyond parody. After all, earlier this year, I went into a comedic rant on The Greg Gutfeld Show about the impossibility of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” — jokingly suggesting that, in order to achieve its aims, we would have to “relive the Donner Party.”

“I don’t want to eat people, Greg, and I don’t want people to eat me,” I said at the time. “AOC, do you want people to eat you?”

Predictably enough, some covered my comments as if I had made them seriously — making no mention, for example, of the fact that I was on a comedy show, and therefore more than likely making a joke. In fact, at the time, it blew my mind that everyone wouldn’t make this distinction, or that anyone could have possibly thought that I was making these comments seriously. After all, what could be more clearly a joke than suggesting that the logical conclusion of any political belief would be cannibalism?

I hate to admit it: But, after reading about Söderlund’s talk, I guess I have to admit that I was wrong. What I thought could never be stated except in satire has now been suggested earnestly — and not just by some random lunatic in his mom’s basement, either. Nope. A respected scientist and professor actually, sincerely made this suggestion, and I can’t help but feel like I’m losing my mind.

Listen up, Söderlund: I’m not going to eat people. Okay? Not now, not ever — and, believe it or not, you are wrong to assume that the only reason I might decline would be that I was worried about the taste. No, the reason I don’t want to eat people is that I’m not f***ing Jeffrey Dahmer, dude. I am not Andrei Chikatilo! See, Söderlund, most people actually have this thing called “some level of basic decency,” and lack this thing called “complete and total depravity,” and that is what would make them not want to eat people — not their concerns about the taste.

Also, as the New York Post notes, there are also health risks associated with humans eating human flesh. Yep . . . I’m surprised that Mr. Scientist didn’t seem to know this, but eating human flesh can actually cause a deadly disease called “kuru.” The illness, according to NPR, comes not from any sort of pathogen but from a “twisted protein” that causes other proteins in the brain to twist in the same way, ultimately “leaving the cerebellum riddled with holes, like a sponge.”

Personally — and I may be going out on a limb here — I happen to prefer my cerebellum not to be “riddled with holes.” Just a personal preference, we’re all entitled to our own opinions, but I’d bet that there are at least four or five people out there who would agree with me.

(Hang on. Before I wrap this up, give me a moment to take the time to convince myself that I am actually not dreaming, that this is real life, and that I actually did just have to resort to a practical, health-and-safety-based argument in discussing whether or not we should be eating each other.)

Okay, thanks. Anyway, listen: Personally, I happen to be someone who is concerned about climate change and who does think it’s important that we look for solutions to combat it. The thing is, though, we do have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to what sorts of things we should be willing to do — and, I’ve gotta say: Eating people definitely crosses that line for me.

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