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This is ridiculous

“The most recent example of anti-birth thinking comes from Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax of Oregon State University. In a study called ‘Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals,’ they suggest that if you truly care about the environment, it’s not enough to trade your SUV for a Prius, use the right lightbulbs, or limit your lawn to organic fertilizers. To the contrary, you need to start thinking about something way more important: i.e., having one less child.

“The ‘basic premise,’ the study reports, is that ‘a person is responsible for emissions of his [descendants].’”

What??

This dangerous kind of thinking presupposes that some human beings have more intrinsic worth than others (i.e.. the human beings who already happen to be living in this world). New human beings are just using our resources and producing more waste.

Remember “science czar” John Holdren’s views on population control? Here again the philosophy seems to be that fewer people equal a “better” world. But without people, does the environment really matter that much? Let’s not attempt to save the planet by equating precious human life with carbon emissions.

Comments:

Ben W wrote: "You can't continue exponential growth forever. So we have a choice of how and when we want to limit our growth." Well, as I think I've said before, today's most strident proponents of population *growth*, at least for their own adherents, are fundamentalist Muslims. So is anyone reaching out to *them*, to insure that *everyone* joins in to limit growth? If not, it would seem that other ratios (like Muslims-to-infidel) are going to reach the tipping point soon. Maybe I should be learning Arabic, instead...
Oh, certainly. We agree that it's wrong to say that the world is better off without people or that the environment takes precedence over people. Any courses of actions based on those beliefs is likewise wrong. // LQ, my point is that *eventually* we're going to have to deal with population growth that is flat or oscillating between (+/-). You can't continue exponential growth forever. So we have a choice of how and when we want to limit our growth.
Ben, thanks for the response. I would say that my problem is a both/and re: those complaints. I agree with your reasons for to care for the environment, where I read the 'chain of command' as: God -> People -> Environment. Problems arise when, in our times, that order is either reversed or... (sorry) contaminated in some way. Wouldn't you agree that, as Christians, we *may* not be able to accept certain reasons for actions... based on incorrect assumptions/sandy foundations... (and, this phrase is for Jason)/inordinate desires?
Ben W wrote: "In fact, the problems you're referring to have more to do with the ratio of old to young people, and nothing to do with absolute over/under-population." OK, I'm willing to be schooled about how not having children doesn't affect both the ratio, *and also* the absolute population numbers. But please note that I did, actually, read Zoe's post from some time ago about "Demographic Winter", as well as (I think it was) Roberto's about the Japanese caretaker robots, so I actually *have* thought about this a bit.
Oops, didn't catch it -- and it's a bit of a hassle to go back and fix it now. I'll just let it stand with your explanation.
Ack - I accidentally posted part of a post from another comment thread. Gina (or whomever), feel free to delete everything before "err, sorry" and this comment.
Eh, what Jeff Wells *should* have said is that there are some people advocating social darwinism, and that nearly all of these people are on the right. // CBDenver, society's ability to enforce charity (an oxymoron) is only through government. But still - if no one offers voluntary charity to those who need it, then needy are left to fend for themselves: social darwinism. // I'm not saying that anti-enforced-charity-ers are social darwinists, but that they are *closer* to social darwinism than the enforced-charity-ers. It's a sliding scale. // We're probably using the term "social darwinism" in a way that would make sociologists cry.. particularly as charity, empathy, and pity can be somewhat explained by evolution. Err, sorry. Most people's complaints about Holdren's "views" on population control (which come from a book co-authored 30 years ago, but don't get me started on what counts for "proof" these days) - anyways, most people's complaints are related to government control of their lives, or of the idea that we can quantify what a person is "worth", even in ecological terms. They are *not* as concerned with how many people the Earth can support, and how this number will probably change in the next 10, 50, or 100 years. //// Taking a shot at your question - we should care about the environment because (1) the Bible tells us we should be good stewards of what God has loaned us, and (2) a whole buncha people will probably starve if we mess up our ability to grow food or get clean water. Killing people is immoral, even if just through negligence.
Sorry Ben, I didn't really understand your first sentence: in that, can you explain what my complaint was and how it differs from the complaint(s) most people put forward? (regarding, I assume... population control? I'm not sure what you think I'm complaining about. Though I will say: It's not prudence I'm complaining about.) /// Here's a fun question for the fray: Why should we care about the environment?
Fair enough, Steve, although that's not the complaint most people put forward. But the situation is complicated - energy and mineral resources are more easily fixed by technology than carbon emissions, and ecologies are perhaps the toughest to save (like what happened to Easter Island - overfished and deforested). We have about 10-30 years to come up with good replacements for oil (based on Peak Oil, not CO2 emissions), so there's good reason to be at least *cautious*.
Sorry LQ, I lived in Bremerton, WA for 15 months--it rained too much for this sunny girl. Hey all, this population nonsense is growing in all quadrants, and sadly, many of our university professors are teaching it to their students. I can envision China's one-child policy popping up here in the land of the free.
Ben, I think, obviously (duh :P), our descendants' CO2 emissions would not exist without us. Does *anyone* need a scientific study to tell them this? (Obviously not. The study is merely giving us numbers based on realistic models and estimations, so we can have an idea of our environmental impact. Fine, now we know.) /// Or do we? What I find disturbing is the study moralizing on the appropriateness of environmental impacts based on possible children doing possible things based on today's information/technology. We cannot know the future either of our children's survival or technological advances or even the environmental impact. Not being able to access the study itself, I can't really say more. Who is this aimed at? Those who will 'carelessly' have children? Those who are not rich enough to afford 'proper environmental lifestyles'? Those too poor, whose children will spend their lives digging through the refuse of 'the polluters' to survive? /// Sorry PotentialUs, the numbers don't add up to love, we've even had to put down our pets. Thank God for our solar powered robot overlords and slaves, with whom all earthly delights are sufficiently emulated.
Should I go start digging a grave for one of mine? No, coffins and funerals probably cause too much CO2 emissions and people would also have to take time away from their precious money making activities. I guess it's time to read _A Modest Proposal_ by Jonathan Swift again.
LQ, the two are not mutually exclusive. Under and over-population both cause problems, and you can be overpopulated resource-wise, and underpopulated for nursing/health care. In fact, the problems you're referring to have more to do with the ratio of old to young people, and nothing to do with absolute over/under-population. // Amanda, what's wrong with the logic that parents are somewhat responsible for the CO2 emissions of their children? If they hadn't been born, they wouldn't be consuming resources (duh, right?).
When the believers in global warming have all grown old and need care from the younger people to whom they never gave birth, perhaps then the grand irony will occur to them. Sorry this nonsense arose from my home state, but I'm not surprised. If D.C. ever feels overpopulated, y'all know where to come - eventually...
It's not the US only. Macleans (Cdn Magazine) has a long article entitled: "The case against having children" ( http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/24/no-kids-no-grief/ ). It's a long article explaining why your job is more important than being a parent. Sunny outlook for society... // Anyway, I just think it's a funny argument: "We have to stop having children to save the environment... for the... children?"