In a previous post I wrote about Lisa Hymas, senior editor at grist, who wrote about the value of being childfree from an environmental perspective. She also did a great interview on MSNBC this week:

In part she talks about what childfree have been talking about for while now — that the choice not to have children is not talked about enough (although it is talked about much more these days than in the past), and when it is, the childfree sentiment is At Last, someone wants to hear from us!

She also makes the point that a lot of childfree that she has talked to have occupations that involve kids.  Indeed, the notion that all childfree don’t like kids is just not the case.  We just choose not to raise our own.

But she adds a nice twist–there will be soon 7 billion people on the planet, and not bringing another person onto the planet is one of the best things you can do for the earth and the people already on it.  The calculation on greenhouse gas emission impact is startling–when you have child it goes up by 570% — because you not only  have the kid, but then the kid has a kid, etc. It is a ” massive increase in your own impact.”  On Earth Day this is something to think about.

Population also comes up on a day like today. While many experts say that we have already passed the point of being able to sustain the population we have, Fred Pearce, an environmental journalist, might disagree.  He was on The Daily Show last night with Jon Stewart, and ironically has positive thoughts about our population.  He indicated that world population will stabilize soon because women are having fewer children. Why? Because they are in or are going into the workforce. When faced with take a job or have a baby, he says women take the job.  Mmmm.  In need to see the research and data on that.

He predicts that our population will stabilize in 2040 at 8 billion and then begin a decline after that.  By then, he may be right, but we will be way beyond sustainability at that point.  It is more than women just continuing to have about two babies.  One child or none would make a better difference for the population numbers and for greenhouse gas emissions for those of us who are here along with 8 billion others! Frankly that number is a scary thought.  I’d like to see a visual of what that would really look and feel like. If we could, I bet even Pearce would not be as optimistic.

Do you think people will take Lisa points to heart and truly consider having one child or none for the good of the planet?

Do you know of Pearce’s work or his book, The Coming Population Crash: Our Planet’s Surprising Future?

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