Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The planet needs you to be thin

Oh dear - and those morons at Fairfax wonder why they are slowly disappearing up their own arseholes. I guess everyone was too distracted by the story of Fairfax imploding to notice the dreck that its journalists are still serving up:

OVERWEIGHT people are a threat to future food security, scientists say.

The researchers say the energy requirement of humans depends not only on numbers but average mass. ''Tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability,'' they wrote.

Professor Ian Roberts, who led the research, said: ''Everyone accepts that population growth threatens global environmental sustainability - our study shows that population fatness is also a major threat. Unless we tackle both population and fatness, our chances are slim.''

A quick bit of googling uncovered that Ian Roberts is the author of a book called "The Energy Glut: The Politics of Fatness in an Overheating World". Somehow, he masterfully ties together cheap oil and obesity. The solution - well, it's not spelled out in the reviews, but I presume it is something along the lines of expensive oil and being forced to get rid of our cars. Somehow, the SMH managed to miss that angle completely. 

The book description also works in the term "decarbonisation". So I guess you can tell where the author is coming from.

What amazes me is that the book has been in print since September 2010, and the SMH is only just getting around to this "exciting new environmental discovery".

Personally, I liked this review in The Lancet the best:

The fiction, for which disbelief must be suspended in my view, is Roberts and Edwards's charming notion that “We are entering a new era of the bicycle”. They document the rise in obesity in China with increased car ownership and the demise of the bicycle. Improbably this coincided with improvement in activity levels of Cubans, who bought the unwanted Chinese bikes to help overcome their own political and economic crisis. Maybe in Cuba, but, as Frank Zappa said, “It Can't Happen Here”. Nonethess, The Energy Glut is interesting and important, addressing a subject that affects us all, and for which we are all to blame: petroleum's sinister legacy is a reason why we're lazy, but also why we overeat.

You've probably guessed from the title of this blog, and from my many photos, that I ride a bike a lot. However, I am not some matchstick thin supermodel. I am still a large, chunky bloke. And I know from experience that riding a bike can be a pain in the arse - literally - and in many other places. It is not some magic panacea. Plus you'll have to wrest my car keys from my cold, dead hands. Whenever someone mentions Cuba as a role model, I shudder. The last thing we need is a bunch of authoritarian socialists telling us how to manage our affairs.

Anyway, if you're fat, you can now blame Big Oil. 

I pulled this table from a paper that Ian Roberts published. Look at the lightest countries - the ones that we are supposed to be emulating. Do you really want to live like a North Korean?

1 comment:

1735099 said...

Perhaps not - but I'd be happy to have a Gurkha (4th line) on my side in a stoush.