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I remember being on a golf course talking politics and a friend “jokingly” called me a “breeder.” I have four kids; he’s chosen to forgo parenthood altogether.
After a moment of stunned silence, I realized two things: one, that there are plenty of folks who think that having children is evil, and two, that this person was not in fact my friend.
He’s not alone in his thinking though: a survey by Veolia, an environmental utility firm, reveals that a quarter of respondents described “not being at peace” due to global warming and said they were “giving up long-term projects such as having children.” The poll should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as the Paris-based company posts other polls on their Twitter feed that all seem to arrive at similar conclusions: that a majority of inhabitants of the earth spend their waking hours freaking out over the future of the planet.
Efforts must be collective in order to achieve #EcologicalTransformation.👫 For most of the world's inhabitants, the 3 main actors of ecological transformation are citizens, #governments and local authorities. 🌎
➡️ Discover the 1st barometer of Veolia and @elabe_fr.
— Veolia (@Veolia) December 14, 2022
Still, their findings cannot be totally discounted; there are in fact hordes of individuals who do obsess over climate change and claim that almost every weather event is yet another sign of our imminent doom. DailyMail reports:
A quarter of Americans are delaying long-term plans like starting a family, fearing that climate change will drive ever more weather calamities, a survey reveals.
Research by Veolia, an environmental utility firm, shows a growing number of people are alarmed by global warming — four fifths call it a “real” phenomenon and nearly two thirds put the blame on mankind. [Emphasis mine.]
It comes as storms and floods have claimed at least 17 lives in California in recent days…
It wasn’t that long ago that most societies considered it a duty for young people to bear children. Even not-a-biologist Ketanji Brown Jackson can probably tell you that a species that doesn’t reproduce will go extinct. Unfortunately for the United States, birth rates are in a long-term nosedive, as Pew Research reports:
- Forty-three states recorded their lowest general fertility rate, which represents annual births per 1,000 women aged 15-44, in at least three decades in 2020.
- Every state except for North Dakota experienced losses when the most recently published 2020 rates are compared to averages over the decade ending in 2010.
- The severity of the declines over the past decade varies greatly, with Western states generally experiencing the most severe fertility rate drops. Arizona’s and Utah’s declines were more than double that of the 50-state average.
- States are already feeling some effects of low fertility, such as lower school enrollment, but many of the most significant potential hits to tax revenues won’t occur for decades.
- Some states are more vulnerable to potential budget pressures than others because of their tax structures, economies, and ability to attract working-age residents via migration.
The Biden Administration seemingly has an answer: just let in millions of illegal immigrants to prop up our population numbers. Twitter CEO Elon Musk, however, does not agree that the low birth rate is a good thing; he actually argues that it’s a threat:
I think a lot of people think that there’s too many people on the planet, but I think there’s in fact too few. And that possibly the single greatest risk to human civilation is the rapidly dimishing birth rate.
— Pranay Prabhakar (@billionairemnk) January 3, 2023
I know some couples who chose not to have children and are happy with their decision. I know others who as they get older regret staying childless, and find their lives lacking a certain meaning. For me, parenting is the most challenging—but also by far the most rewarding—adventure in life, and it’s just plain sad that so many people are so caught up in climate change mania that they would opt to forgo one of the species’ most basic functions: reproducing.
It would indeed be a sorrowful world with no children.