So a Swedish tech startup called Doconomy is releasing what they call “the world’s first credit card with a carbon footprint limit.” The idea is to track the carbon footprint of all the shit you buy on a regular basis and encourage people to buy carbon offsets when they spend too much money on environmentally harmful stuff.
So where exactly does the mandatory bug eating come in?
That bit of unappetizing prophecy comes courtesy of the overheated imagination of Infowars blabber and general scaremonger Paul Joseph Watson, who in a recent video tried to argue that the DO Black card would put us on a slippery slope to compulsory bug dinners.
Eating too much red meat this month? Take one too many car journeys? Not recycled enough garbage? Well in the near future when you go to pay for something on your credit card you could be met with this: transaction denied, you’ve reached your co2 emission limit.
Uh oh. That sounds ominous.
That steak dinner you plan for tonight is actually gonna be a bug burger made of mealworms all washed down with an invigorating cup of … worm poo tea.
Actually, on the off chance I ever go to a restaurant that serves both steak and mealworm burgers (and makes you pay before you eat), and my DO Black card is declined I think I would just whip out a different credit card and pay with that.
But Watson has a whole elaborate scenario for the future in which these cards are your only option. He notes that in a recent paper in Nature discusses the possibility of “mandatory [personal carbon allowances] or personal carbon-trading schemes” in the future that could help “to promote low-carbon lifestyles in a synergetic manner.” The authors of the paper actually reject the idea of “carbon card” and suggest using smartphones instead. They also point out that whoever implements their altogether hypothetical scheme will have to provide possible subsidies to keep poor people from getting too screwed over.
I’m not sure Watson, his head filled with visions of worm dinners, has read the whole paper, which was more an extended thought experiment rather than a concrete proposal. And no, it contained nothing about eating bugs.
But Watson can’t get the bugs out of his head.
There you were thinking you’d never eat the bugs once you top out your co2 ration limit. It could be a choice between consuming the crickets or going hungry. But wait, not only could future purchases be dependent on whether you’ve topped out on your carbon footprint.
They’re also announcing that credit scores could be based not on the fact that you’ve abused credit and got yourself into mountains of debt … but … on … non-financial customer data such as browsing histories and online shopping behavior … or customer ratings for online vendors. [Or] you shared an article that the fact checkers weren’t happy with. [Or] you tweeted a nasty thing about Jeff Bezos. [Or] you failed to post the black square for BLM. Now you can’t get a loan; now you can’t get a bank account; now you can’t get a mortgage.
Or, apparently, a roast beef sandwich.
I’ve heard dried locusts, ants and beetles are an acquired taste. Well, if the technocrats get their way you’ll be acquiring it very soon.
If we ever get to that point (we won’t) I’m pretty sure Infowars will start selling bug protein supplements. I’m kind of surprised they don’t sell them already.
Follow me on Twitter.
Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.
We Hunted the Mammoth relies entirely on readers like you for its survival. If you appreciate our work, please send a few bucks our way! Thanks!