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  • Liechtenstein
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1195

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Having kids and your carbon footprint
« on: February 17, 2020, 12:43:00 pm »
Why this professor's climate-crisis solution is rankling Twitter: 'The worst thing you can do is have a child'

I've never thought of having kids in this manner but it makes 100% logical sense. I have never understood why anyone would ever want to have kids anyway, but this is a new perspective.

https://ca.yahoo.com/news/why-professor-climate-crisis-solution-rankling-twitter-155305526.html

An academic is adding her voice to the rising chorus of climate-crisis alarm bells with a newly published manifesto that has been attracting widespread attention for its radical ideas — particularly “antinatalism,” or the end of reproduction as a way of phasing out of the human race.

“I mean, it’s a really basic idea: In terms of carbon footprint, the worst thing you can do is have a child,” Patricia MacCormack, a philosophy professor at Cambridge’s Anglia Ruskin University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “And it’s the one taboo that nobody wants to speak.”

MacCormack’s argument centers on overpopulation — if human beings cause climate change by creating greenhouse gases, then more humans mean more emissions. One study, for instance, found that that the “carbon legacy” of just one child creates 20 times more greenhouse gas than one can save by recycling, or driving an electric car. It’s something plenty of families have been taking into account for years — even Prince Harry, who said recently that he and Meghan Markle would have two children, “maximum,” for the sake of the planet, noting, “We are the one species on this planet that seems to think that this place belongs to us, and only us.”

It’s a controversial stance, however, and MacCormack says that since the release of her book, The Ahuman Manifesto, the teacher, researcher and “old-school goth” London DJ has received “hate mail, death threats, ‘go kill yourself,’ stuff like that,” she says, adding that an Italian news outlet called her “delusional.” Others have dug up photos of her in full-goth getups, “thinking it’s insulting.”

MacCormack, who largely stays away from social media, says she’s found the angry reaction intriguing. “I simply propose people not reproduce, and it automatically translated into acts of violence,” she says. “So, somehow, I want to kill children, which is ridiculous. Somehow, I’m proposing eugenics or some kind of ethnic population control … and I think that what that shows is there is an anthropocentric — or a human — impulse to read acts of grace as, automatically, acts of violence. And that says a lot more about the people not reading the book and just taking over the message.”

The vitriol is understandable, though, she says, because, “when people are confronted with something that makes them afraid of the tenuous nature of their own position … they have a choice: to either go through their fear and lose themselves, and perhaps enter into a creative relationship with the opposition so that both parties come out thinking new, or, that fear transforms into aggression in order to maintain their sense of self and that position.”

That idea, of people having to confront ideas that they’ve always believed to be right and true, is “triggering,” MacCormack says. “And rather than engage with the possibility that there are multiple truths in certain scenarios, they have to defend the precarity of their own identity. And they use threats and violence to do so.”

In fact, says a doubling-down MacCormack about the concept of antinatalism, “Not only does having a child really increase your carbon footprint, but we are living on an earth where there are a lot of organisms — human, non-human — that are in desperate need of care. And so, for me, if people want to care for children, for animals, whatever, there are cries for care everywhere.” In light of that, she says, “I’m asking us to reflect on this idea that we need to reproduce.” Further, she believes such a lifestyle would come with great freedom for women.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4425

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2020, 12:46:48 pm »
classic Life Improvement thread


  • Liechtenstein
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1195

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 12:48:35 pm »
I find it impossible to believe you actually read the article in that short time span.  Classic shooting your mouth off from a zero knowledge point of view.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5337

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 12:49:43 pm »
One person said something.

Someone who likely has an insignificant amount of power.

The media runs on outrage to get clicks / attention.

Just ignore it.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5337

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 12:52:18 pm »
If smart people have children, those kids could grow up to make an invention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions / otherwise help the environment.

The world needs an LIC 2.0!


  • NorthStar
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1364

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 09:08:56 pm »
...someone took the time to post this tripe?


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1550

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 09:08:51 am »
I actually agree with the excerpt that you posted. Higher populations do lead to greater levels of resource consumption.
Of course, one of the biggest problems is that areas with very high population growth are industrializing, leading to much higher consumption per capita as well.

What China did with its One Child policy was terrible, but only in the way it was implemented and enforced. I think one of the most ethical and effective methods in which we can protect our failing ecosphere is by incentivising high growth regions to limit their increase in population . Things like education and urbanization are great ways of doing this.

   Also, the idea that encouraging smart people to have more kids is absolute garbage. The world is full of smart people without the opportunity to affect the world. Rather than cranking out more kids, why not enable existing ones? Inevitably, the arguments against this stem from issues involving nationalism, religious bias, or other forms of tribalism.


...also, I'm a massive hypocrite in that I now have a baby.  :smiley:




  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1550

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 09:18:27 am »
    The issue isn't specifically over population. It's the over-exploitation of resources, especially in areas of scarcity.
Compounding the issue is that the way those resources are distributed is both incredibly uneven and super wasteful: as somebody once pointed out, we don't have a resource problem; we have a resource management problem.

   Fix that by cranking up efficiency, and sure: everybody can pop out a few dozen kids if they're so inclined. No problemo.
But until we collectively get our sh!t together (ie not dump all our wastes directly into the ocean, and replace all of Indonesia with a giant palm-oil monoculture), reducing the number of people on the planet *is* the absolute best thing we can do for the environment.

    Anyway, resource requirements are only a very small part of determining global carrying capacities. Even in the (extremely) unlikely event that we manage things correctly rather than bicker and fight over resources like we've been doing for the last few hundred thousand years, there will still be issues. Yes, there is plenty of room for expansion, but at what cost?  A world with 12 billion people in it is not going to be a world containing any kind of wilderness. Jungles, forests, grasslands, and all the diversity they support will be a thing of the distant past. Even if we get everything exactly right (goodluck) and somehow avoid having the wholesale destruction of ecosystems from cascading into some kind of Venusian greenhouse, we would still be left with nothing but endless, sterile croplands and urban sprawl. Imagine the entire world being an endless Gyeonggido. Depressing thought.  :sad:
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 09:33:11 am by kyndo »


  • Liechtenstein
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1195

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Having kids and your carbon footprint
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 09:31:51 am »
If smart people have children, those kids could grow up to make an invention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions / otherwise help the environment.

The world needs an LIC 2.0!

This is true. The opposite is also true. Two geniuses are perfectly capable of giving birth to Dr. Evil. Or Mini Me.