Last post I talked about the pronatal “Right to Reproduce” Assumption in The Baby Matrix.  Results of a two year scientific analysis that has just come out leads right to another pronatal Assumption I take  on – I call it the “Offspring” Assumption. First a bit on the sobering analysis:

A group of international scientists report that the Earth is in a “critical transition,” and reaching a “tipping point” when it comes to irreversible destruction of the global environment.

What are the problems that are bringing the mounting pressure on the Earth’s environmental health? “Unchecked population growth, the disappearance of critical plant and animal species, the over-exploitation of energy resources, and the rapidly warming climate.”

And if it continues the way it’s been going, according to the lead scientist Anthony Barnosky, the Earth could reach this tipping point at a “time scale of a century or even a few decades.”

To slow or reverse the critical transition we are in, the scientists urge “international cooperation to slow population growth, curb dependence on fossil fuels, increase the efficiency of food production, and manage both lands and oceans as reservoirs of biodiversity.”

What do we need more of at an individual level? When it comes to decisions to bring more children into the world, as David Paxson, President of World Population Balance, insightfully puts it, we have to come to terms with the fact that we are now in a time where “a person’s biological right to have children must be mediated by his or her social responsibility not to have too many.”

As the Offspring Assumption chapter in my book discusses, given the population and environmental realities we face, it is time to challenge pronatalist beliefs that “biological is best” and that we all have the right to have as many biological children as we want.

We need to shift from a mindset that adulates the birth if another child, to one that hold couples who choose to adopt, or have one or no biological child in the highest regard. Why? Because they are doing their part to mitigate the catastrophic impact of a rapidly growing population on resource decline, rather than what they might personally want first.

What needs rethinking? The supposed problems with having only one child, negative myths surrounding adopting, and policies that encourage births, rather than incentivizing reduction in biological births.

Pronatal Offspring Assumptions are beliefs that lead to behaviors that harm society and our natural environment. Each person’s existence has an environmental impact, which affects other humans and other species. It is up to all of us to make reproductive decisions that lessen that impact.

It’s time, way over due in fact, to adopt mindsets that encourage the environmental health of the Earth and all the beings already on it.

As always, share your thoughts!

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