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Save the Planet- Don’t Procreate! | Teeny Manolo

Save the Planet- Don’t Procreate!

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The latest news in promoting a “green” lifestyle says that to truly make the biggest impact, don’t have any kids.

Well, they say, have fewer kids, but what exactly is the definition of “fewer?” For people like the Duggars, fewer would qualify as twelve. For people such as myself, fewer equals only one. And for others who only want one, that would mean zero.

Is this the latest ploy to make people feel guilty for having kids? There seems to be a large anti-kid contingent around lately, ranging from those who think kids have no place in a restaurant that doesn’t have a drink dispensing machine, to this article purporting we could save the planet if we all just went away.

I understand the point they are making, that obviously less people on the planet correlates to less greenhouse emissions and use of resources, simply because there wouldn’t be as many beings to emit the gases and use the resources in the first place. Completely logical, Mr. Spock.

However, in most First World nations, the birth rate is already declining.  It is the developing countries who still have the higher birth rates, and I think that the ultimate way to decrease population growth is actually to make those countries prosper more. 

I do consider myself a fairly liberal person, but the idea of limiting children, when there are so many other things that could be done first, sort of boggles my mind.

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8 Responses to “Save the Planet- Don’t Procreate!”

  1. La Petite Acadienne August 5, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    I agree with you about the developing countries. The task is pretty Herculean in nature, though.

    First, you need to overcome years of societal norm that says that having big families is better/more desirable. Then, you need to convince them that it’s a GOOD thing for women to not be constantly popping out babies, which requires a certain amount of feminism to take root. And then you need to teach them about birth control, and then to make birth control accessible and affordable. Etc, etc.

    It’s possible, but it’s a really monumental task, and one that is rather daunting to contemplate. To reduce birth rates in developing countries would basically require a sea change in their entire society. So it’s a lot easier for us to say “Well, we can effect changes in our OWN society, at least!” and tell people to have fewer kids.

  2. Obi-Wandreas August 5, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    These are the same bozos who said that the world would run out of resources by 1990 due to overpopulation and proposed forced sterilization and abortions to prevent it. Why anyone still takes them seriously (some hold high academic or government positions) is beyond me.

    It is the height of arrogance to think that one has the power to destroy a planet. Planets and ecosystems have more power and adaptability than anything humanity has ever been capable of producing.

    What these nimrods failed to account for is increases in technology and farming efficiency which has allowed far more food to be grown on far less land with far fewer resources. We no longer need to clear-cut to grow food. It is not for nothing that there are more trees in America now than at the time of the Revolution.

    If they think they can be planetary heroes by changing the way they live, I respect their right to do so. They shouldn’t expect anyone, however, to take them seriously while they do it.

  3. class factotum August 5, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    What I want to know is who are these people saving the planet for?

  4. KESW August 5, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Class factotum — I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t know about all of them, but there are definitely some very very, um, dedicated environmentalists who think of humanity as the cancer of the Earth and would rather have us all gone and the planet continue without us. That sounds like religion rather than science to me.

    I really despise the idea of limiting birth rates in whatever guise or excuse it wraps itself in. Yes, there are AREAS of the world that suffer from overpopulation, and areas of the world that do not have enough food to eat, but it is not for sheer lack of resources. How much food goes uneaten in America and Western Europe each year? Plummeting birth rates have actually led to a lot of the health care crisis that we’re now in, as we have not enough young workers to support older folks ready to retire because the last few generations have been so sparing in their procreation. China has actually moved a two-child policy in some areas because of just this problem.

    Don’t have more kids than you can handle, but don’t let anybody tell you how many that is!!

  5. dgm August 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    Well said, Class factotum.

    Apparently we are to save the world for the rest of the animal kingdom, as well as the plants. This would be our most noble sacrifice.

    Ugh.

  6. P August 6, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    I love kids, but it’s true- if you were really super duper dedicated to doing what’s best for the planet, you wouldn’t have any kids. I dislike the hypocrisy in being all smug about driving a Prius when you pack it with your kids.

    And it’s true that we can make much more food than predicted, but how much of that is due to the factory grown animals and genetically modified plants and pesticides/fertilizers that so many people complain about? Just can’t have it both ways- you eat all organic and local, or you make enough food to feed everyone.

    Again, it’s the hypocrisy that bugs me.

  7. class factotum August 7, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    genetically modified plants and pesticides/fertilizers that so many people complain about

    I’m not complaining. In fact, I am looking for a pesticide that will kill dill-eating rabbits and sunflower bloom-eating squirrels.

  8. KESW August 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    P: I think anyone who truly cares about both humans and the planet we’re living on would have to acknowledge that there is a delicate balance we need to achieve in taking care of people who are starving now and making sure their children have a healthy world to survive in. Many problems in local food production could be solved not through overloads of pesticide, fertilizer, or genetic modification (though those are not always bad things — kitchen compost and cow dung counted as fertilizer last time I checked), but through better farming skills, more efficient land use, cleaner water supply.

    Class factotum — I don’t know about the squirrels, but my mom always put human hair (my brothers wore homemade buzzcuts every summer) out around things she didn’t want rabbits to eat.