April 21, 2009

First They Came for the Fatties!

?Fatties Cause Global Warming,? with a link to London?s Sun, has to be one of the all-time great Drudge Report headlines, right up there with ?Rev. Wright Caught in Nasty Spychip Cougar Attack.? (Ok, I made the last one up.) And the latest assault on fat people is truly alarming?but not because it represents any ?scapegoating of overweight Americans,? which, I?m sure, we?re going to hear all about from the Fat Lobby. (No the Fat Lobby isn?t a foul-smelling anteroom at The Cheesecake Factory, it?s an actual constellation of pressure groups who want obesity to be classified as a ?disease? and all rotund people awarded preferential hiring and college admissions and more convenient parking places.)

No, what?s truly disturbing is the speed at which mainstream media, including a blue-collar tabloid like The Sun, are picking up on the Obama administration?s designation of carbon dioxide, the basic building block of life, as a dangerous, planet-threatening emission and running with it. No longer are the great villains of global warming going to be just greedy capitalists and the Chinese; now it?s those fatties who are heating up the atmosphere as they huff and puff while struggling up the stairs:

Dr Phil Edwards, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: ?Moving about in a heavy body is like driving in a gas guzzler.?

Each fat person is said to be responsible for emitting a tonne more of climate-warming carbon dioxide per year than a thin one.

It means an extra BILLION TONNES of CO2 a year is created, according to World Health Organisation estimates of overweight people.

The scientists say providing extra grub for them to guzzle adds to carbon emissions that heat up the world, melting polar ice caps, raising sea levels and killing rain forests.

The fact that so many Americans and Europeans are overweight, and subsisting on a corn-syrup-based processed diet, is shameful. However, this new syllogism?Carbon dioxide is bad; therefore the people who exhale most are the most evil?is rather totalitarian and murderous in its implications. Something like Life After People, a new History Channel series in which we get to experience the computer-generated verdant paradise that is Earth with a population of zero, seems to indicate that even average Americans are being primed to accept zero growth, the end of America as an industrial power, which carbon caps will ensure sans some new breakthrough technolog, and even population control. Essentially, the sacrifice of man at the altar of Gaia. The West is world weary, to be sure, but never before have I seen an elite class with greater pretensions of total Mastery of the Earth.

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