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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Being Short is Better Than We’re Told

“I don’t want tall people to feel bad about themselves,” Samaras said, sincerely, “but the time is right to be short.”

Parents boast about how their kids “eat them out of house and home” and grow out of shoes the very week a new pair is bought as if it’s a badge of honor. My children eat like gerbils — it’s fine, they are healthy — and because of their low percentiles we save money and food, and they fit into the same pair of shoes for a year. Growing like a weed? No, thanks. I’ll take growing like a cactus.

Short people don’t just save resources, but as resources become scarcer because of the earth’s growing population and global warming, they may also be best suited for long-term survival (and not just because more of us will be able to jam into spaceships when we are forced off this planet we wrecked). Yuval Noah Harari, in his book “Sapiens,” wrote about a population of early humans who inhabited an island called Flores. Because of a rise in sea level, the island was cut off from other land masses.

“Big people, who need a lot of food, died first,” Mr. Harari wrote.

After generations, the people on the island evolved to reach only three and a half feet tall. They could do everything bigger humans could — make tools, hunt — but they could also stay alive when times got tough.

When you mate with shorter people, you’re potentially saving the planet by shrinking the needs of subsequent generations. Lowering the height minimum for prospective partners on your dating profile is a step toward a greener planet.

Nancy Blaker, a Netherlands-based researcher who at one time studied social status, said that short men, counter to prevailing stereotypes, may “compensate” for being short by developing positive attributes. “It’s not about being aggressive and mean,” she said; “short men behave in smart strategic ways and that can also mean being prosocial.”

My husband, who is 5-foot-6, said it would have been easier to be tall than to have had to put effort into developing his wit, but I know we wouldn’t be married if he didn’t make my cheeks hurt from smiling so hard on our first date.

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