I read something today that perturbed me as I do have quite a few kids but I am not thinking of having any more on purpose specifically because of my environmental concerns. The article was from last year and published last May in The Australian. It was by Sarah-Kate Templeton and all about how having children should be considered to be an environmental misdemeanor. Having too many children leaves a huge carbon imprint the same w ay as not recycling and driving big SUVs does. Most people are going to read this and glaze over. We need the SUVs to cart our large families around.
The original paper done on this concept was put together by the Optimum Population Trust. The idea behind it is that if each couple had two children instead of three the savings in carbon dioxide output would be the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between New York and London. Although this seems impressive I am like so many other humans wondering why I should go to the trouble of not breeding while millionaires are still allowed to fly around the world in their jet planes. I am thinking about people like Tom Cruise and John Travolta who supposedly care about the environment yet charter jet planes. Am I not supposed to procreate before some kind law cracks down on their indulgent behavior?
Does it surprise anyone reading this that the rest of the world thinks we are so selfish for having so many children when we have the birth control available to us to stop it? After the entire problem in so many underprivileged countries is that there is a lack of birth control. The result is too many babies, most of them starving. Many of the children in those countries don't even live long enough to leave a very big carbon imprint on the world. Yet we have these children that grow up to own one or more cars or homes and that insist on continuing cycles of consumerism that support industries that harm the environment. What's a mother to think? Is this survival of the fittest? Or survival of the bullies?
People make a big deal about Earth Hour and shutting off their lights for one hour but really effective change would be accomplished by not having a kid. By comparison the savings in energy when it comes to things like shutting off all of your lights at night or lowering your thermostat seem like spits in the bucket.
John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London said – “The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.” I would cap that statement off with an advisory to adopt one as well.
According to Guillebaud, The British fertility rate is 1.7. The European average is 1.5. Despite this, Professor Guillebaud says rich countries should be the most concerned about family size as their children have higher per capita carbon dioxide emissions.