The Swift Institute on Global Warming
Life is deadly. All living things that breathe oxygen burn their food and emit poisonous CO2 as a pollutant. With every breath they contribute to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and, hence, to global warming. And yet, for all the frantic formulas floating around aimed at the reduction of CO2 emissions, particularly through limitations on the burning of fossils fuels (dead living things), little attention has been paid to this obvious other source (still living things). Rough calculations suggest that CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are dwarfed by the emissions from these living things, including human beings. Emissions from human metabolism alone, assuming a world population of six billion people and an averaging of their state of activity, are estimated to be equivalent to approximately half of 1990 fossil fuel emissions. Add to these human sources the CO2 emissions from all other creatures on the planet, including plants which respire as well as photosynthesize, and the total amount of emissions from living things is staggering.
To forestall the forecasted calamities of global warming, there must be a reduction of “living things emissions” (LTE’s). This can be approached in two ways, by reducing the number of living things, through their humane or not so humane elimination, and by reducing the amount of respiration of each living thing, through enforceable limits on exertion. With regard to the first, we appear to be well on our way. The loss of habitat through development, deforestation, and agribusiness has contributed greatly to loss of life and species extinction. Warfare will continue to contribute significantly as well, along with genocide. Human and animal population control and sterilization further limit LTE’s. All of this is a good start, but just a start. It’s time to let go of our pets. The number of livestock on farms, which has swelled enormously, could be cut back substantially with the elimination of meat from our diet. We must also begin to give serious consideration to euthanizing expendable members of our family and community. With regard to worklife and lifestyle, we must work hard at not working hard, thereby lowering our metabolism, respiring less, and reducing our CO2 emissions. The impulse to exercise must be exorcised, along with fitness clubs, marathons, and organized sports. Caffeine, which speeds up metabolism, must be banned. The work ethic must be replaced by yoga and meditation. Only by minimizing all effort will we survive. If we are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, we must all do our part, as little as possible.