April 5th, 2010
by Alex Hallatt
Great to see more posts in the blogosphere about how not having children (or limiting the number you have to one or two) can be good for the planet as well as society. This post in Grist from Lisa Hymas was a follow up to an earlier post on the subject and provided an answer to an argument I’m faced with a lot (even by fellow greenies) – “you’d be a great person to have kids, as we need more people who think like you”…
For starters, I’ll turn again to wise words from Stephanie Mills, who heard similar arguments after she announced her intention to remain childfree in 1969:
There were well-intentioned folks who told me that I was just the kind of person who should be having children. I would respond that given the presence of the then three billion people on Earth, there were already plenty of promising babies in the world, a multitude of whom could be well served by some economic and racial justice so that the privileges I had enjoyed wouldn’t be such an extraordinary qualification for motherhood.
Also, remember, as a number of commenters note: You don’t get to pick how your kids turn out. Good parents try their best to instill in their kids strong social and environmental values, but ultimately kids determine their own destinies, parents be damned.
She doesn’t mention that even trying to live more sustainably, we still have an impact on the planet and it would just be a lot better place for future generations to live in if there were less people in those generations.
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