Monday, October 15, 2007
Blog Action Day: Save the Earth-Don't Have Kids
Thanks to my blogpal Sciencewoman, I was alerted to Blog Action Day's topic: the environment.
As I started to write a comment on her post, I realized I had a lot more to say than could appropriately be considered a comment. Plus, my comment may have come off as a bit snarky.
So here goes. I have some opinions about how best to help the environment through small actions, but I also have a big one in particular that I haven't talked about very much. It's not bound to be a popular one, but I think it is the morally right decision to make. It's the issue of having kids - reproducing.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your personal impact on the environment is to not have kids. If you make the choice to not reproduce, you won't create a kid who grows up in this throw away American culture. Americans burn through the most natural resources of any group of people in the world. Why would you want to add another one to the planet? It's selfish.
Think of all of the stuff you buy and then throw away when you have kids. Thousands of diapers. Toys, clothes, bedding, bottles, etc etc. Then there's all of the extra driving you will do to cart them to and fro.
You are not off the hook if you adopt from another country. You're still raising the little one in this consumer culture. Sure, you can do your best to instill your values, but even if your child grows up to consume less than you do, you have still added another resource consumer to the planet when you didn't have to.
There is no way you can produce a child and have no added strain on the environment.
I don't blame anyone for wanting to have kids. As an evolutionary psychologist I understand the fundamental drive to reproduce. But we are not solely creatures of blind desire, we can make choices that aren't in the best interest of our genes.
I'm not the only one who thinks Having A Child - Even One - Is Environmentally Destructive and there are certainly people who passionately and vehemently disagree with this position, as can be seen here.