the childfree environmentalist
or The What, Why, Who, and How of Real Conservation
We’ve all heard about making sacrifices for our children, but what if the most important sacrifice of all was our children.
It has been said that the most needed truths of any era will always sound like heresy. It has also been said that truth is by nature self-evident. I think you will find this one to be both.
1. We are using Earth’s resources faster than they can be naturally replenished.
2. We must reduce our carbon footprint, emissions, and water use to ensure our planet remains hospitable to us.
3. As human population increases, resource consumption also skyrockets and standard of living deteriorates. Overpopulation is a serious threat to the quality of human life.
4. The best way to reduce your own footprint is to reduce all the tiny footprints that come after you.
What Is The Conversation about Conservation?
We’ve all been told to turn off the lights, take shorter showers, use electric cars, live a life of not too much. We know that producing one kilo of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 liters of water. We know that proven oil and natural gas resources are projected to run out by 2072. We’ve heard that average global temperatures are expected to increase by 2°F to 11.5°F by 2100, causing glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise.
Why Has This Become a Runaway Problem?
This is only happening because there are too many human beings. Our excessive population rates outweigh nature’s ability to renew resources. If there were only a few million or even billion of us, logging, mining, leaving the lights on, and using central heating when it’s cold wouldn’t be much of a problem.
Who Is Responsible for This?
That’s what you’ve heard anyway. Your parents and grandparents didn’t mess up the world as much as you are.
By extension then, our kids will mess up the world much more than we ever did.
Even if they are environmentally-responsible kids, just the fact that there will be so much more of them than there are of us will put a huge conservational burden on their backs and by extension, on your by-then-long-deceased back. You’re not only responsible for the resources you use but also the resources your kids and their kids use. If you have two kids and they each have two kids, in only four generations, your personal carbon footprint will be multiplied 20 times over because of all your offspring’s excesses. And the worse part will be that It’s. All. Your. Fault.
How Can You Stop This?
The good news is that you can stop this oil-guzzling Hitler before he even begins, and you don’t even need a time machine. You can cut down your carbon/water/emissions footprint by an almost immeasurably huge margin by just not having kids.
It’s the environmentally-responsible choice.
Perhaps in a future era, the balances will change, and it will once again be the responsible thing to replenish humankind. But right now, because of the cumulative bad choices of most of mankind, choosing to not have (or to not have many) children is the right thing to do.
It’s also the fun choice. Sometimes the best choices are not the most difficult ones. If you must, think about it this way: If you know that the vicious wasting cycle will end with you, you can use way more resources because you’ll never get even close to the amount of stuff people with kids end up using.
Having Children Is Selfish.
There are plenty of kids. Humanity is no longer in desperate need to propagate. We’ve won. Humans are on top.
You’ve probably heard of the pet rescue trend. Perhaps you’re even a proponent of it yourself. -How due to overcrowded shelters and irresponsible owners, it’s now considered selfish to buy an animal. “Rescued is my favorite breed,” she says, hypocritically, as her five biological children chime in behind her.
If you want to have children to share your life with, adopt. There are plenty of kids out there that need a loving parent like you. The only reason to have biological offspring of your own is the selfish, genetically-racist desire to create something in your own image, to spread your own genes and your own last name. Is it really worth it to help push the planet along to its doom just for either a fancy car, central heating, or one more Johnson?
“Under current conditions in the U.S., for instance, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent – about 5.7 times the lifetime emissions for which, on average, a person is responsible.”
“Roughly half of all nations have quadrupled their populations since 1950. Population growth since 1950 is behind the clearing of 80 percent of rainforests, the loss of tens of thousands of plant and wildlife species, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions of some 400 percent and the development or commercialization of as much as half of the Earth’s surface land.”
“The actual annual (to repeat that: per year) growth in the number of humans has ranged from 88.0 million in 1989 to 73.9 million in 2003, after which it rose again to 75.2 million in 2006. In 2009, the human population increased by 74.6 million, which is projected to fall steadily to about 41 million per annum in 2050, at which time the population will have increased to about 9.2 billion (total).”
“It is impossible to determine an average number of descendants for one person,” but if you have four children and you assume that each generation of yours will have 4 children, after 9 generations you will end up with 262,144 descendants. Just from you (and your wife).
-If you have no babies, you may wonder why you would even care about the future. If this is your issue, you may or may not be a sociopath. But if the straitjacket fits, this post is not for you. It would be an extreme of selfishness to not care about the future of the entire human race just because you will have no direct descendants in it.
-If you remain childless, who will take care of you when you are old? Although this is a much more mentally well-rounded issue to have, it is still not very well thought out. -Take all the money you would have spent on your kids (an estimated $169,080 to $389,670 from birth through age 17), and save it toward your retirement. You will live like a king.
Click here and here for some more in-depth information on this controversial topic.