Beth Shea

GREEN RANT: Having a Baby is NOT Bad for the Earth

by , 08/07/09
filed under: Inhabitots

green rant, are babies bad for the environment, babies and the environment, is procreation eco-friendly, voluntary extinction

Procreating is a basic human instinct and right, but some extreme environmentalists are pioneering efforts such as ‘voluntary human extinction‘ on a global level and undergoing sterilization procedures on an individual level, for the sake of protecting Mother Earth from overpopulation and human destruction. Resident Inhabitots writer Desmond Williams thinks it’s high time we put an end to this nonsensical debate, and poses the question, “Without children, what future are we protecting?” Where do you stand on the ‘babies are inherently un-eco-friendly’ debate? Read Desmond’s Green Rant at Inhabitots and leave us a comment with your thoughts.

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9 Comments

  1. mrgaric August 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Personally:
    1. I don’t think there should be some totalitarian regime telling people they can or cannot have children
    2. I think having a child is one thing, but having many (you decide how many “many” is) is another.
    3. People use resources that require the use of land that will never be untouched and wild again.
    4. More people need more resources.
    5. There is already very little untouched, wild anything left.
    6. We can have a few kids who get to enjoy a wonderful world or many that inherit a messed up world.
    7. There will not be a mature discussion about this until the situation is in crisis

    PS The people who read this website probably aren’t the ones having many, many children that they cannot support anyhow

  2. alexjameslowe August 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    luvzwool-

    “The FACT is that the planet is finite which means more humans means less of everything else, and the more humans there are the faster they multiply”

    This is true of bacteria, but not necessarily of human beings, some of whom are brilliant engineers and scientists who are figuring out how to make the resources we have stretch much much farther, maybe even go all the way into space. See my post above. Why not abandon nihilism and fight the good fight of keeping the planet, and ourselves, alive and well?

  3. luvzwool August 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    You should not have children for YOUR child’s sake. The FACT is that the planet is finite which means more humans means less of everything else, and the more humans there are the faster they multiply – that’s why it’s called an exponential population explosion. Experts now reckon the human race may be headed for extinction itself by the end of this century. Do you really want YOUR child(ren) to face such a dire future?

  4. alexjameslowe August 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Having kids is not selfish. The people who think that the human race is necessarily bad for the planet would do well to remember that in two billion years time, the sun will run low on hydrogen and swell into a red giant, baking the surface of Earth to molten temperatures and killing anything that remains. The only way that ‘Mother Earth’ can survive in the long term is through human colonization of space.

    So for God’s sake, don’t sterilize yourself- your would-be child or grandchild might be the next Einstein who will write the theory of quantum gravity and provide endless clean energy and a superhighway to space. More modestly, he or she might just be an MIT professor who will find a way to make solar panels ten times more efficient. By all means- have kids and raise them to love math!!

  5. grunch August 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    However, the earth may not be the most hospitable place when the child reaches adulthood.

  6. grunch August 7, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    However, the earth may no be the most hospitable place when the child has reached adulthood.

  7. russ August 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    If you want children – great!

    If you don’t – great!

    Who cares?

  8. mercurian ferret August 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Like many popularization of debate points, the question is not a binary one: children or no children. It is about the decisions of how many children and how to raise them that is important. For example, would parents who have only one child that is raised to be the ultimate consumer be “environmentally moral”? What about in comparison to parents who raise their four children to be as eco-conscious as possible?

    Also, the question of moral judgment is not only for whether or not parents should have children, but also with the idea of how environmental lessons can be passed down (and – importantly – followed) from one generation to another. However, like compounding interest, if there is a positive population gain, no matter how efficient future generations are, there will be impacts. From that multi-generational perspective (one in which we cannot control for the behaviors toward the environment our progeny have, but one in which we can mathematically model population growth based on a particular birth rate), then morality toward one’s planet changes. You cannot argue that 10billion people living efficiently will have a greater effect than 6 billion living as efficiently (or even finding a way to drop the number to 1 billion) — of course, unless we figure out a way to have a net-negative per-person impact.

  9. aphid August 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I trhink these extreme environmentalists are a bit crazy and probably not too bright. However, on the basis that craziness and stupidity might be inherited characteristics, I see no reason to encourage them to have children.

    If you agree with them, obviously don’t argue with them.
    If you don’t agree with them, don’t argue with them and they don’t just go away – they die out!

    The best thing to do in this debate is to remain silent, but to give encouraging glances now and again.

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