A disturbing new NPR report is pushing the old population control myths, this time in the name of protecting the environment from “climate change.”
The report follows a Johns Hopkins University philosopher and a fringe group called “Conceivable Future,” which are pushing anti-child policies by blaming large families for environmental problems.
An article last week from NPR resurrected all of these ideas in one form or another, with a title that gets straight to the point: “Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?” The implied answer, of course, is “no.”
Author Jennifer Ludden approvingly quotes Johns Hopkins University philosopher and bioethicist Travis Rieder, an advocate for what he calls the “small family ethic.” At a recent talk at James Madison University, Rieder challenged “the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to ‘give them grandchildren.’”
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Why? Because “dangerous climate change” is coming. “Very, very soon.” You know, just like global cooling, overpopulation, mass starvation, resource depletion, and mass extinction were coming “very, very soon.” Let’s not forget Al Gore’s famous “doomsday clock,” which accurately predicted the current climate apocalypse uneventfully expired in January, bringing none of the catastrophes or irreversible climatic threats to civilization the former vice president foretold. Evidently, the planet didn’t get the memo that this year was the environmentalist equivalent of the rapture, and paid no more attention to Gore than God did to Harold Camping.
Rieder wants governments to stop offering tax credits to families with children and instead start penalizing them. He described his plan “like a carbon tax on kids.” In his ideal world, only one in every two women would have a child. Though, he does not mention how that would come about – forced sterilization or abortions, perhaps?
Rieder claims that his proposals are not like the notorious One Child Policy in China, which has led to forced abortions, sterilizations and other abuses.
“But children, in a kind of cold way of looking at it, are an externality,” he continued. “We as parents, we as family members, we get the good. And the world, the community, pays the cost.”
The “Conceivable Future” group also is proposing radical, anti-family ideas. The group equates “the climate crisis” to “a reproductive crisis.” It organizes meetings and clubs in various states to push frightening predictions about overpopulation and environmental demise. They call it “climate trauma.”
During one New Hampshire meeting, an older woman confessed that she contributed to the problem by having children in the 1980s before she was aware of the environmental issues the group claims are related to overpopulation. The woman, Nancy Nolan, said she now tells her own children, “’I hope you never have children,’ which is an awful thing to say. It can bring me to tears easily.”
Caring for the environment is extremely important, but it should not come at the expense of human life. Ideas like the ones Rieder and the Conceivable Future group are pushing lead to coercive and abusive policies that destroy both lives and families. They claim that they do not want to force anyone to not have children; but historically, incentives against having children have not worked well, precisely because of the innate desire for children – one that even Rieder and the leaders of Conceivable Future have not escaped.
Rieder and his wife have one child, and they hope to adopt another, NPR reports. Josephine Ferorelli, a Conceivable Future founder, admitted that she also “would love to have a kid.”
The Federalist’s G. Shane Morris concluded:
Today, an entire segment of the population is convinced that their greatest service to mankind and Mother Earth is not to have babies. They’ve been suckered by a movement that’s spent half a century discrediting itself, and now they’re playing out C. S. Lewis’ satirical image of people “running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.”
There is certainly a crisis today, but it’s not the one the Left has trademarked.
The problem is that, through overpopulation fears, legalized abortion and other means, our culture headed down a dangerous path that devalues every single human life.