February 14, 2020
Progressives are told that they might be allowed to have children after all.
By Andrea Widburg
Beginning in 1968, with Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb, American Democrats and progressives have been on a mission to decrease the human population. The whole notion of anthropogenic climate change added another layer to their urgent desire to remove humankind from the earth. Now, however, a new directive is coming down from on high (actually, from Vox): It’s okay to have children; just don’t go overboard.
Ehrlich’s book was Malthusian in nature. Writing at the end of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus noted that more food meant more people, but more people meant that there would ultimately be less food to go around because people would use abundance to reproduce rather than to improve the quality of life. According to Ehrlich, in the late 20th century the world would see Malthus’s prediction play out as the earth’s resources would be unable to sustain the burgeoning human population. Neither Malthus nor Ehrlich considered modern man’s ability to optimize both food and fresh water production.
Despite our ability to feed people (an ability hindered by culture and corruption, not technology), there exists a class of people that wants to see humans erased from the earth so that the land can be returned to a pre-human paradise. They are oblivious to the fact that it’s humans that give meaning to the earth and that Nature without humans to observe it and provide context is the equivalent of one hand clapping.
Nevertheless, the “pure Earthers,” for want of a better term, are on a mission. With technology putting the lie to both Malthus and Ehrlich, the pure Earthers needed another way to convince humans to off themselves. They found it in the idea of anthropogenic climate change. Whether the earth was getting too cold (the 1970s notion), or too hot (the early 21st-century notion), or was just doing really bad things that were all the fault of human beings, the message was clear: Humans had to delete themselves from the plant to save the planet’s delicate climate.
The left soon realized that the fringe idea of anthropogenic climate change could be used as a way to impose worldwide wealth redistribution. With redistribution as the ultimate goal, the left created a climate change crusade, telling young people (and credulous older people) that the earth is a ticking time-bomb that will soon become uninhabitable because it’s too cold, or too hot, or too wet, or too dry, or myriad other horrible things that are all the fault of human beings. (Note that Bernie claims that climate change justifies the imposition of all of his socialist policies, a panic-inducing idea that powers his Bernie Bros.)
Their fear of the earth’s imminent death has taught many young people in the West to give up on having children. In England, Extinction Rebellion, a radical climate activist group, has worked so well that there’s now an organization called BirthStrike to help women avoid the sin of reproduction. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez contemplates having fewer children.
One could argue that the world will be a better place if credulous leftists procreate less, but the reality is that societies need children to survive. It’s not a banal Buttigiegism to say that children really are the future.
Indeed, one of the things about children is that their parents care about the future. It’s the fruit of this care that has caused climatistas to realize that having children could actually help the environment by pushing people to be more proactive about preserving the earth for future generations.
Thus, at Vox, there’s a long article explaining that, thanks to pro-active pro-earth policies, having additional kids isn’t so bad. Skip an airplane flight or two and drive an electric car and you too can be an almost guilt-free parent:
The problem with most studies on the climate impact of various lifestyle decisions is that they don’t account for likely changes in government policy in the future. But climate policy will almost certainly get much stricter over the course of our children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes, the Founders Pledge researchers say.
First, emissions per person are trending downward in most rich countries. It might not seem that way given the failures of US climate policy, but it’s true; even in the US, per capita emissions have been declining since 2005. (Note that this does not mean Americans are doing great. Although per capita emissions are inching down, they’re doing so from a very tall height because the US is the world’s worst emitter per capita.)
Second, many places now have legally binding climate targets and carbon-pricing schemes that compel them to decarbonize (at least in some sectors) in the next few decades.
As more governments enact policies to protect the climate — like imposing carbon prices and including sectors like road transportation and home heating in carbon markets — they’ll mitigate the direct impact your children and grandchildren will have on the climate.
The climatistas haven't yet realized that, if these fossil fuels are removed without replacing them with cold-fusion nuclear energy, our children will be born into a dark, pre-modern world that really is a Malthusian nightmare. Still, there’s a measure of progress if they’re at least urging their acolytes once again to be fruitful and multiply.