Given that human beings have conquered every other species on this planet, and we are running out of space and resources, does it make sense to shrink every human now on earth and those born in the future? We would still have weapons to protect ourselves and would be able to consume 1/2 to 1/3 the resources depending on how small we were to go. I know this is hypothetical, but would this be a viable solution to global resource problems?
I wish I had a more clever response. I got nothing.
Overall, no not really. A midget may only eat 1/3 as many calories, but growing food is a fairly minor part of our resource shortage. They still live in houses, drive cars, need medical care, etc.
The more I think about this, the less silly it sounds. A world of midgets would be one where the cars and houses are all smaller, and as a result you need fewer resources to create them.
Don’t they have some health issues because of their size?
Some extremely short people do; but it’s more a side effect of whatever medical issue made them short than an inherent issue with shortness. Ethnic groups that are naturally very short don’t have those problems, and presumably the same would be true of a genetically engineered short humanity.
Short people got no reason to live.
But we’ve got a large pool of sunken costs. We already have products designed for average sized people. If the human race shrank down to half their current size, we’d have to put a lot of resources into redeveloping and rebuilding things we’ve already got.
I believe that midgets are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way…
Me, too. What little I come up with, I just come up short.
Since this requires speculation, let’s move it to IMHO.
General Questions Moderator
Bear in mind that the smaller we get, the larger everything else gets, comparatively. Are you willing to share the planet with giant pit bulls and enormous mosquitoes? And how about fighting off a mega-virus?
You mean dwarves? Elves? Little people?
Such small people would have an obvious advantage when it comes to space exploration & colonization due to how expensive it is to get mass into space or move it over interplanetary distances.
We could get around a lot of that just by having the transition being a gradual one. Old stuff is always falling apart and new stuff being made after all; we’d just have to make sure enough of the “new stuff” is sized properly.
We’re talking about little people with lots of high tech after all.
Any savings would all be eaten up by the midgets desire to own and drive enormous vehicles.
On practical basis you would also have to mentally/genetically re-wire women to prefer smaller mates. Good luck with that.
But the women themselves will be small. How many women want a mate who’s twice their size?
Well, if you used the number of “Increase your penis size!” ads prevalent on the porn sites, to gauge that… the majority of the females in the human race.
Not that I would be familiar with what is on ‘porn sites’, mind you. That’s how it was described to me, by one of my ‘friends’.
If there was a way to significantly reduce the size of humans without creating health problems, that would definitely lead, eventually, to significant reduction in resources used. But only if the reduction was (in population terms) massive - close to 100%.
There is no way currently to do that without engaging in very widespread forced eugenics for a few hundred years. No thanks.
Actually theres a factual answer about this. Overpopulation and doomsday theories started in the 2nd century ad. The term overpupulation was coined by Thomas Malthus in the early 1800’s.
Since then, the everyone who has ever said the world is coming to an end because of overpopulation has made the exact same mistake time and time again. They look at census data and extrapolate it over X years. But, they take GNP or current resources and keep it static. Of course, if the population doubles we will run out of resources…if the new people don’t produce anything.
Within a few years of Malthus’ dire prediction the industrial revolution occurred and human production rose by like 200X. By the late 1800’s, germ theory allowed human growth to be exponential. Vaccines of the 1950s caused infant mortality to reach nearly zero. And yet, with each doubling, we have more resources than ever before.
Therefore, humanity will never use up all the resources as long as each new human produces something. As technology and medicine keep advancing, we will continue to find ways to survive in even greater numbers.
Therefore, to answer the ops question: we do not need to consume less in the future, just make sure everybody produces something.
Genetic engineering is a more likely way of doing such a thing than something as unworkable as eugenics. And given the amount of resources humans use it would take a lot less reduction than that to cause a “significant reduction in resources used”.
There isn’t an infinite amount of material that we can use to produce things with. Nor is there any reason to think that medicine and technology can advance without limit. And a great deal of what we are doing is using up non-renewable resources that are rapidly running out. The amount of people we have now is unsustainable.
We’ll be lucky if civilization survives at all, much less expands its population indefinitely.
That hurdle was defeated with recycling. Many metals are recycled to such an extent now that existing amounts will probably last forever. Water is naturally recycled all the time.
What makes you think technology can’t keep advancing? Moore’s law has yet to be disproven.
We could consume even less food in the future if humans were engineered to be ectothermic. Of course, we’d be spending more energy in that case on controlling the temperature of our environments. I’m not sure what the overall resource cost or savings of that would be.