I’m curious, does the threat of climate change put you off having children?
As you may know, I have two children, so obviously the threat of the climate change hasn’t personally put me off having kids, but I’m wondering if it has put you off?
As environmentalists ourselves, my partner and I do worry about what the future holds. We are keen to teach our kids about good environmental stewardship, such as the need for composting, recycling, reducing our plastic consumption, not using the car when we don’t need to, and other things that help the environment. We’re also keen to teach them key skills, such as learning to grow your own food.
Where our worry has led us down the teaching route, this worry about the future has led to some people abstaining from having kids all together. I came across this article from 2016 in Vice (there is some bad language there, in case you are offended), where Harriet Spark says her “reasoning for abstaining from having children is two-fold: She does not want to contribute to pre-existing resource depletion by adding another human to this planet, and she does not want to bring a child into a world she sees as doomed”.
“It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic,” said Spark. “The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people“.
I also came across this one from NPR (no bad language in there!) that asks if environmentalists should have kids, and provocatively says “maybe we should protect our kids by not having them“. The article also references an American non-profit called Conceivable Future, which is founded on the notion that “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis“.
Some other people say one of the answers to climate change is to have fewer children. The article from Slate proposes to “cut the birth rate to one child per couple, for a few generations at least. The population would dwindle by about 5 billion people over the next century, he says, ensuring the habitability of the Earth for the 1.6 billion who remained“.
There’s obviously lots to think about here for a Thursday afternoon, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are child free, or have decided on one kid only, is climate change your main reason?
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