Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here we go again

It's fattie bashing time once more. And again we are being fingered for global warming.
High rates of obesity in richer countries cause up to 1bn extra tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, compared with countries with leaner populations, according to a study that assesses the additional food and fuel requirements of the overweight.
Now I am quite happy with the argument that increasing consumption in the developed world contributes to global warming, but why is it assumed that us stout people are the only ones doing the consuming. We are the ones who tend to put the weight on, that's all. Skinny people who stuff themselves without piling on the flab are apparently immune from blame. And what about all those super fit exercise freaks who have to fuel themselves to maintain an abnormal exercise regime?

The point about focusing on obesity rather than patterns of consumption is that it places the blame for climate change on the sinful behaviour of fat people not on global inequities. Now take this gem:
They also factored in greater car use by the overweight. "The heavier our bodies become the harder it is to move about in them and the more dependent we become on cars," they wrote.
Sorry, it may surprise you that not only can I walk, I actually enjoy walking. It is more accurate to say that the older we get the less mobile we are and therefore are more dependent on motor transport. Have you seen any headlines saying that older people cause global warming? Soylent Green anyone?

No, instead we get the same smug message,
"Population fatness has an environmental impact," said Phil Edwards, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "We're all being told to stay fit and keep our weight down because it's good for our health. The important thing is that staying slim is good for your health and for the health of the planet."
The interrelationship between global inequality and global warming is important and complex, I refuse to accept that my waistline is to blame.


Graeme said...

Or what about using an electrical treadmill in an air-conditioned gym?

Anonymous said...

It is not just an unfair approach, it is frightening. The same report (London School of Hygiene) is reported to have concluded that "because food production is a major contributor to global warming, the more you eat, the greater the impacty on climate change".

Another news report yesterday reported a governemnt adviser saying, forgive the paraphrase, that questioning the received wisdom on climate change is this century's heresy.

It is a very short step for suppporters of the London School of Hygiene view to advocate control over what we eat and drink with non optional sanctions attached.

Climate change is already a band wagon on which interventionists jump, looking forward to burning a few heretics once public fears have been whipped up sufficiently.

Treat these turkeys with ridicule, as Graeme does, since ridicule is a powerful weapon.But take them seriously, very seriously. Within our lifetimes, appalling behaviour by man to man has stripped away the illusion that we have really become any more civilised since heretics were burned at the stake, or traitors eviscerated. All that has changed is the view of what merits what type of punishment or behaviour.

We need to promote some respect by man for mankind, both individual and collectively.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, so you too read this crapola. I was trying to be polite, but doubtlessly we are watching another PhD or two in the making.