U.S. Sen. Mike Lee sparked liberal outrage this week when he said families should be encouraged to have more children to combat environmental problems.
In a speech mocking Democrats’ Green New Deal, the pro-life Republican from Utah suggested that the country would find more new, innovative ways to combat climate change if it has more people to work on solutions to the problem, CNN reports.
“This is the real solution to climate change: babies,” Lee told the Senate. “The true heroes of this story aren’t politicians, and they aren’t social media activists. They are moms and dads.”
He continued: “The solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places, is to fall in love, get married and have some kids.
“Problems of human imagination are not solved by more laws, they’re solved by more humans. More people mean bigger markets for more innovation. More babies mean forward-looking adults, the sort we need to tackle long-term, large-scale problems,” Lee said.
His speech quickly was attacked by Democrats and liberal news outlets, including the Washington Post, according to National Review.
The newspaper rebutted Lee’s suggestion under the headline, “Sen. Mike Lee says we can solve climate change with more babies. Science says otherwise.”
According to the National Review critique:
That [Washington Post] article relied on a single study for its estimate of the impact of a new child on climate change — and said study did not even attempt to take into account the effect Lee was talking about, which is that more people means more technological advancement and thus new ways to reduce emissions. The study just estimated how much carbon a child (and in turn the child’s own children and so on) will emit over the course of his life, based on various assumptions about how overall per capita emissions will change, without considering that children could themselves alter the trajectory of those emissions.
Lee’s speech largely was not serious. He also suggested using trained seahorses and fictional animals from the Star Wars series for transportation, but his comments about families got to the heart of a very real threat.
There are people who sincerely believe couples should not have children. New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the key proponent of the Green New Deal, recently hinted at population control measures as she touted her environmental plan.
“There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult,” Ocasio-Cortez said in February. “And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, is it okay to still have children?”
She continued: “And I mean, not only just financially … but also just this basic moral question, what do we do? And even if you don’t have kids, there are still children here who are in the world, and we have a moral obligation to them, to leave a better world for them.”
Some people believe the government should compel or even force limited family sizes for the sake of the environment. Such thinking has led to forced abortions and forced sterilizations under China’s population control policies.
But doom predictions about overpopulation have been made for more than a century, and none have come true. Instead, as Lee said, the growing population has found new and innovative ways to live, eat and take care of the environment for future generations.