Phi Beta Cons

More Brilliant Ideas from the Ivory Tower

Have you been wondering what academics are doing these days? A professor at New York University, Matthew Liao, has been trying to use biotechnology to reduce the human “footprint” in order to curb global warming.

He has a couple of ideas—one is to create “a pill that would trigger nausea if [people] ingest meat, which would lead to a long-term aversion to meat,” writes Molly Wharton elsewhere on the NRO site. Why do we need this? Because 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from cultivating livestock.

If the pill doesn’t work, perhaps a patch that “make its user sick if he or she tries to eat a juicy burger” could be tried.

But the problem isn’t just that we eat too much meat; we’re also too big. Dr. Liao suggests using gene imprinting or hormones to reduce our height by 15 centimeters or so.

No, this is not the Onion. At least I don’t think so. He told this to the Atlantic and the BBC.

Now the kicker: Professor Liao is director of bioethics at NYU. If you were wondering what bioethics is all about, apparently it is about changing people so they do what the nanny-state-turned-into-a-totalitarian-state thinks they ought to do.

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More

Election-Meddling Redux

It is not an attack on the American election. It is an influence operation aimed at the American media, using the $60 billion per annum American intelligence apparatus to pull it off. And it’s working. On Wednesday night, it was suddenly announced that U.S. security services would conduct a press ... Read More

Election-Meddling Redux

It is not an attack on the American election. It is an influence operation aimed at the American media, using the $60 billion per annum American intelligence apparatus to pull it off. And it’s working. On Wednesday night, it was suddenly announced that U.S. security services would conduct a press ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More