Genetics and the Impending Climate Crisis

By: Shanmitha Arun, Tiarni Chu, Elizabeth Tanner, Eryn Wilkinson

Given the exponential nature of climate change related effects on human society, advancements in reproductive technology could be exactly what humanity needs in order to survive; here, we explore the feasibility of such options as well as their legal, social, and ethical implications.

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With the climate crisis becoming more imminent, technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 and IVF have been proposed to ensure the survival of the human race. Yet, these solutions require further evaluation of past, current, and potential future perspectives from marginalized communities so that the world that survives is an equitable one. When looking at the intersections between climate change and reproductive choice, our approach centered around the ways that different groups are disproportionately impacted, primarily medically and politically, by the combined negative effects of climate change and systemic oppression. While there are other alternate solutions, which are cheaper, we have been trying for years to mitigate the effects of climate change and humankind is simply still not doing enough.

We aimed to look at the societal impact that our project can entail, as we understand and aim to see further into how these global, biological conflicts are intertwined with societal implications. As a scientific community, we should be considering broadly about societal and ethical implications when discussing the future of human germline editing. With extensive consideration as to how certain research can affect our modern day society, we hope our project provides insightful evidence as to how human germline editing can bring benefits to the world.

Despite global efforts to reduce the carbon footprint made by mankind, global warming and climate change are still pressing issues that need to be addressed. It is unfortunate and sad that we have gotten to this point, but turning to the advantages of new reproductive biotechnologies may be the only way going forward.

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