You Should Mate With Short People to Fight Climate Change, Expert Says

·2-min read
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  • An op-ed in the New York Times argues that short people can help save the planet more than tall people can.

  • An overall reduction in height by just 10 percent could save 87 million tons of food per year.

  • The logic: When catastrophe strikes, the fewer resources you need, the longer you’ll survive.

In a New York Times op-ed, author Mara Altman lays out several benefits of being small, but none bigger than this one: The shorter you are, the more you’ll help save the planet from peril.

Altman highlights the calculations of the researcher Thomas Samaras, who once estimated that if all citizens of the United State were just 10 percent shorter, and with our same proportions, we’d save 87 million tons of food per year. And that’s just the food.

In short, size matters. If you’re naturally smaller, logic dictates that you’ll use up fewer precious resources, and you’re better suited for long-term survival than your taller counterparts. Mating with someone short, then, may help your kids’ chances at survival, and their kids’ chances, and, well, you get the point.

Imagine a catastrophic event that limits resources. The big people die first, because they have the most needs. Altman cites Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens, about a population of early humans inhabiting the Indonesian island of Flores who became cut off from land masses. In the book, the population of Flores—a well-studied location in the world of paleoanthropology—shrinks in height over time. The inhabitants can still perform the same functions, just in smaller physical packages. They become well suited for the limited resources on the island.

So, while big is considered better by today’s societal norms (and not just in Texas) short just may be safer—both for the world and your chances at personal long-term survival.

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