statisticians at Oregon State University". Now granted they did go more in depth than to just say that more kids = more pollution. I'm especially interested in the particular line "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". I'm wondering how many generations contribute to ones "carbon legacy". But really is this where $$$ and time need to be spent? Do the researchers honestly think that people will be swayed to have fewer kids based on the notion that the kid will contribute to pollution. I can hear that conversation now:
Wife: You know our 2 kids are really great, but I think there may be more in store for our family. What do you think dear husband?
Husband: Well dear, you're right in saying that our kids are pretty fantastic, but there is a lot to consider when bringing a new life into the world. Is that what God has willed for us? We have to think about the impact on the rest of the family. Can we really raise 3 kids? Do we have the finances to support another child? And I honestly felt that we were putting quite a strain on our carbon footprint when little Timmy was born. Another child just might bring on the worst of global warming.
Wife: Oh dear, I didn't think about all that. God has provided us with so many blessings. I mean our financial situation is pretty favorable and looks to be growing even in this economy. And our family is so happy. I can only imagine the amount of growth that another child would provide. Not to mention that little Katie has been wanting a little sister to play with, but you're right. I'll have to explain to Katie that although we would all love another sweet baby, it's our responsibility as respectful Earth dwellers to not use up too much of our resources, and another child would cost a lot as far as the Earth is concerned. Instead, we'll plant a tree and name it Suzy. Katie can sing to her and feed her and play with her forever. And we'll put our family tree in our family tree so that future generations will know how important it is to limit the number of kids we have.
The article also mentions these lifestyle connections:
- One 2007 study found that divorce squanders resources, because people who once shared resources such as energy now use twice as much under two roofs.
- The current obesity epidemic may also be hurting the climate, because food production is a major contributor to .
Now before I totally dismiss the whole article, I realize that it is probably just using some ridiculous headline to pull you in. And they don't actually recommend that the carbon footprint of a new kid should be part of the discussion. But, there are a lot of crazies out there, and I'm sure that someone will read the article and think "I knew it! I'll go get my tubes tied now!" And this is what scares me. The real bottom line is that it makes me sad for the people who do take this into account when deciding to procreate.
I also feel the need to say that I'm not against other efforts to save the planet. There are a lot of things that we can teach our children to do to help keep everything green. Recycle (short detour- Apparently they are emphasizing this more than enough at my nephews school. Matthew began hoarding trash in his room, because he didn't want to throw it away, he wanted to save it to recycle. Even though my brother does recycle, Matthew didn't want to throw away anything. Poor kid. There was some adjustment needed. It came from his parents, but I wonder if other kids had the same issues. Sometimes things can be made more important than they are. Ok, back to good world saving ideas...), turn off lights, use energy efficient cars, appliances, etc. But I think sometimes people get an idea and run with it to an absurd end. (I thought about entering some rants about PETA here, but I'll save that for some other time. For now, I leave you with two words - Sea Kittens.)