Saturday, October 20, 2007

global obesity warming

"The obesity epidemic is as serious as climate change" my arse. It ain't the same ball park - to paraphrase Samuel L jackson in Pulp Fiction - it ain't the same league, it ain't even in the same sport. The obesity epidemic (if there is such a thing) is not even as significant as the smoking 'epidemic' for one very simple reason:

it doesn't affect other people.

OK, if my child needed an operation and all the hospitals were full of morbidly fat lazy people then I would be as frustrated and angry as the next person. But if you are going to start moaning about the amount of tax spent on propping up these bloaters then you quickly go down the slippery slope of: well people who smoke, do drugs, climb mountains without the proper equipment, get drunk and into fights, drive too fast etc. There's a lot of 'epidemics' which are every bit as costly, annoying and down to personal lifestyle choice. But most of them affect other people very directly: my children are much more likely to be run over by someone in too much of a hurry to watch the road than they are to be squashed to death in a lift by a fat person. People under the influence of alcohol are also very likely to inflict injuries on my family one way or another. Then there's smoking: at least it's banned in public indoors places now (about three decades late), personally I would like to see it banned in any area inhabited by children including private homes - it's a straight forward human rights issue.

But global warming (whatever the cause human or natural or a mixture) is going to affect everybody and lots of other species as well. I don't know if anybody's done any research, but aren't obese people actually carbon sinks? They must be tying up lots of the stuff and OK they eat more so there's a whole production issue but then population increase is the real baddie there.


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