Changing the World

In the 1910’s interest in eugenics[1] was aroused in some scientific circles. During the 20s and 30s, science and politics converged and a consensus view emerged over about twenty years to the effect that eugenics was an accepted scientific fact. The conceit that we could manage the genetic patterns of humanity by culling and breeding appropriately was accepted as truth. Canadian Prime Ministers, American Presidents, and other World leaders could be heard to quote scientists on the efficacy and desirability of eugenic practices such as forced or involuntary sterilization and other programs.

I predict that in the years to come, climate change will be put on the shelf with eugenics.

The parallels are undeniable.

The convergence of science and political language and dialogue is amazing, but very precedented. The current conceit that we can manage a global climate is not so very far from the idea that we can manage the human genetic pool. Mind you, the costs will be longer lasting and more pervasive for climate change initiatives than eugenic initiatives.

[1] Eugenics – the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics)


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