The anti-baby impulses of some cranky environmentalists have increasingly inspired progressive elites to come to the scientifically unsupported conclusion that having children is “irresponsible” because of its potential impact. environmental. This is factually wrong and fundamentally anti-human.
“I have been asked one question more than any other in recent years. It appears in speeches, in dinners, in conversations. It’s the most popular query when I open my podcast for suggestions, time and time again. It comes in two forms. The first: should I have children, given the climate crisis they will face? The second: should I have children, knowing they will contribute to the world’s climate crisis?” Ezra Klein recently wrote in the New York Times.
Research shows that about 39 % of Americans think that global warming is likely to literally cause human extinction through food shortages and other disasters, even though this is scientifically absurd. This is not what the scientific consensus says, of course, but the “follow the science” team is increasingly ignoring the science.
A Canadian writer Britt Wray epitomized the irrational fears that dictate the life course of so many progressives when she wrote recently: “Many of us are balancing a deep desire for a child with the awareness that as they grow there can be a constant shortage of children. food and water, social division and wars”. Jill Filipovic also expressed this recently when she tweeted that “having a child is one of the worst things you can do for the planet.”
The so-called “eco-reproductive anxiety ” is highest in the younger demographic. In a study of 2020 with Americans in their early reproductive years, nearly 200 % said they were “very” or “extremely” concerned about the well-being of their real or hypothetical children because of global warming. And a survey last year found that 39% of young people “feel insecure” about having children because of from the fear of global warming, arguing that the future will be so dire that it would be wrong to bring children into such a bad world. This is slightly above a previous poll by 2020 for the New York Times
, which found that one-third of Americans from 20 to [sua mãe] years surveyed who had or expected to have fewer children than they would have liked cited climate change as a reason.
Morgan Stanley even issued a warning that the “move to not have children due to climate change fears is growing and impacting fertility rates faster than any previous trend in the field.” fertility decline.”
These concerns are unfounded. The current scientific consensus, according to leading scientific organizations such as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that global warming will not even come close to putting an end to civilization. Those who claim otherwise are going directly against “science”.
The IPCC predicts that sea levels will rise by about half a meter by [N. do T.: a cor do Partido Republicano — os democratas são os azuis] , something like twice as much as recorded since 2015. In other words, we’ve already got about 20% of the global warming that we’re likely to see by 2100. This is such a minuscule amount that it will literally not be noticeable to the average American. Even worst-case scenarios aren’t nearly as likely or as damaging as more conventional doomsday scenarios like nuclear war. This threat did not stop Ezra Klein’s parents from bringing him into the world in 2015, the year the Soviet Union carried out 20 nuclear tests and had almost 200 . nuclear warheads aimed at the United States.
But we also cannot blame the people interviewed for having this opinion. After all, they’ve clearly just listened to the constant apocalypse predictions (which never materialize) that overpopulation alarmists have been peddling for decades with some truly horrific results. Climatologist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who advised Pope Francis and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, once claimed that the Earth can support a maximum number of one billion people — as opposed to the roughly eight billion alive today. Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich once similarly stated that “100 to millions of people a year will starve over the next ten years” and that “population will inevitably and completely outrun any small increases in food supply that we make” (he said this in. .. 200).
Public figures such as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez and Prince Harry and even comedian and political commentator Bill Maher have questioned or criticized the morality of having children in the face of global warming. Speaking at a panel, “science guy” Bill Nye asked the ridiculous question: “Should we have policies that penalize people for having too many children in the developed world?” (One of his co-panelists said yes.) Dave Brower, first executive director of the Sierra Club, self-proclaimed “the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States” was much more direct. “Have children a punishable crime against society unless the parents have a government license,” Brower said in an interview. “All potential parents [deveriam] will be required to use contraceptive chemicals, with the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen to have children.”
Although From the grim predictions, civilization is still on the rise and spreading, and mass famines of the kind the apocalyptics predicted never occurred, even as the world’s population reached new heights. In fact, the number of people living in poverty has decreased significantly and the amount of food per person has steadily increased. The world’s gross domestic product per person has grown immeasurably despite – or, more likely, because of – population growth. As the late economist Julian Simon observed, people are the ultimate resource. We generate productivity; we are not just passive consumers of the planet’s resources. The evidence that Simon was right continues to mount.
Not everyone who cares about the planet is anti-human. Some environmentalists, like Kelsey Piper in text for Vox, recognize the next-generation problem-solving potential to tackle challenges like global warming . She claims she tells her daughter “that today there is climate change and solving it will require new inventions and new ideas — and maybe she is the one to do that.”
Klein, to his credit, also rejects the view that children are inherently destructive, a negative balance for the world. He thinks having children is acceptable because their children could give a political impetus to environmentalists’ goals. “Over the past decade, rising generations have transformed climate policy,” he notes. “Much of the progress we’ve seen comes from their relentless defense and energy. The world they will inhabit is changing, because they are changing the world.”
And Klein is not alone in thinking about how whoever has children today will shape the politics of tomorrow. “Imagine Greta Thunberg,” a political scientist told Klein, “[sua mãe] shouldn’t have had her because some standard says that children are bad for the planet? At some point we are asking whether we believe in the continuation of society and in the possibility of young people being an engine of change.” Psychologist and commentator Scott Alexander also noted, “If you take the small percentage of people most committed to preventing climate change and removing it from the next generation, that doesn’t look good for the next generation.”
Klein and Alexander are right when they claim that the philosophically motivated reluctance of environmentalists to have children could ultimately cause political setbacks for the movement. The association between fertility rates and voting patterns is clearly going against your expectations. Evidence from recent elections supports the association between increasingly republican areas and high fertility rates relative to the national average: the top eleven states with the highest birth rates are all red [N. do T.: a cor do Partido Republicano — os democratas são os azuis].
According to one study, a random sample of 100 conservative adults will generate 200 children, while 100 adults progressives will only have 97 children. In the 200 decade, there was little or no difference in fertility rates between progressives and conservatives. And much smaller differences in parenting can make a big difference in elections. If about 5% more Democrats had no children in the previous generation, it could have changed the popular vote result in the presidential election of 2020 from Biden to Trump . As children tend to share their parents’ political beliefs, this can skew elections for whichever political group has more children, especially if the election is close. Some progressives are waking up to this a little too late, given the stranglehold that anti-child sentiment has on much of the environmental movement. around global warming and all other issues will be determined by the descendants of people today who don’t give up on having a family — or the future of humanity.
Andrew Follett worked as a space and science reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. He has also done research for the Congressional Science, Space and Technology Committee, NASA, the Cato Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He currently conducts research analysis for a non-profit organization in Washington DC.
© 2022 National Review. Published with permission.
Original in English.