There is a lot to be said for being small. I am comfortable in economy airline seats; I often get clothing really cheap (and still wear hand-me-downs from my nephew Dan), I need fewer calories to survive and get happy on less beer. Over at Slate, William Saletan suggests that it might help save the planet if more people were small, and suggests a little selective breeding and genetic engineering.
Smaller people consume fewer resources, live longer, and are cheaper to transport. They can fit in a Hyundai. Forty-five years ago, if you were 6 feet tall, you couldn't fly in a NASA space capsule. Now, you can barely fly coach. Blessed are the short, for they shall inherit the earth.
He suggests that it we could save a lot of resources this way. He has a point.
Who has a smaller ecological footprint?
Small people just take up less room; they can live in smaller places, increasing density, and pack more tightly into transit.
They can comfortably live with smaller furniture.
Smaller cars are a no-brainer, and they are almost cheaper than walking.
Dietitians recommend that meat portions be no larger than a deck of cards; small people have no problem with that. Imagine the impact this would have on the amount of meat raised and the reduction of the carbon footprint of meat if everyone was eating half as much.
William Saletan is onto something that Seth Godin nailed a few years ago: Small is the new Big.