Tie your tubes and save the planet!

by Carder

tubes tied.jpgForget the fact that Europe and Japan are in under-population crisis mode. Americans need to get on the hard-core population control bandwagon.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The most recent example of anti-birth thinking comes from Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax of Oregon State University.

In a study called "Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals," they suggest that if you truly care about the environment, it's not enough to trade your SUV for a Prius, use the right lightbulbs, or limit your lawn to organic fertilizers. To the contrary, you need to start thinking about something way more important: i.e., having one less child....

The "basic premise," the study reports, is that "a person is responsible for emissions of his descendents."

When Mr. Murtaugh runs the numbers, he finds some alarming results. Take an American woman who checks all the green boxes: She recycles, installs energy efficient windows, cuts back how much she drives, and so on. Yet simply by having two children, Prof. Murtaugh reports, she will add nearly 40 times the amount of carbon dioxide emissions she had saved with those lifestyle changes. No wonder the Los Angeles Times web site reports on this study under the title "Tie Your Tubes and Save the Planet?"

Today it's a suggestion. Don't put it past these geniuses that tomorrow, it will become national policy. Exhibit A: Holdren
johnholden.jpg

The president's science adviser, John Holdren, appears to share Mr. Murtaugh's worries about too many Americans. In a 1973 article, he argued that "210 million [Americans] now is too many and 280 million in 2040 is likely to be too many." He concluded that we should encourage women to have fewer children.

This is the same Holdren who advocated tainting the water supply with sterilizing agents to render the population fruitless, among other progressive ideas:

When questioned about this during his confirmation hearings, Mr. Holdren said he no longer thinks it "productive" to focus on the "optimum population" (possibly because America now has 304 million people). But he gave no indication of abandoning the underlying idea that having more Americans is a big problem.

The article concludes with logical hope, which is something Murtaugh, Holdren, and their ilk sorely lack:

The real answer, of course, is to have a little more faith in the creative powers of human beings. Given the freedom to grow and innovate, surely the same people who have licked polio, sent a man to the moon, and given us a revolution in information will sooner or later come up with new technologies that will provide for our energy needs while being friendlier to the environment.

]Photo attribution: lighthousepatriotjournal.com]


Comments:

Wow, that IS a scary thought.

With China discovering that the answer wasn't, in fact, population control as they defined it, we're going to follow in their (failed!) footsteps? I sincerely hope that this just blows over.

Personally, I'm going to continue 'polluting' the planet with my good genes for a while longer. ;)

Posted by: MaryRose at August 5, 2009 3:17 PM


Loco, loco, loco.

Posted by: Janet at August 5, 2009 3:37 PM


Makes me want to have Just.One.More.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at August 5, 2009 3:44 PM


"The "basic premise," the study reports, is that "a person is responsible for emissions of his descendants."

Am I the only one who finds that funny?

Posted by: Janet at August 5, 2009 3:47 PM


I would find it funny, Janet, if I didn't find it so sick.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at August 5, 2009 3:49 PM


"Makes me want to have Just.One.More."

Doesn't it?

Thanks for correcting my post on the other thread. :)

Posted by: Janet at August 5, 2009 3:49 PM


One less? Oh alright. I guess I'll just have 7 instead of 8. Or maybe 8 instead of 9. I'll let you know... ;)

Posted by: Kristen at August 5, 2009 3:53 PM


"The real answer, of course, is to have a little more faith in the creative powers of human beings. Given the freedom to grow and innovate, surely the same people who have licked polio, sent a man to the moon, and given us a revolution in information will sooner or later come up with new technologies that will provide for our energy needs while being friendlier to the environment."

How true. This cash for clunkers programs is one of the more illogical solutions to saving the environment. Why are we destroying the auto industry as we know it, and also destroying perfectly running cars that teens and poorer people could be driving? The used-car market will be dried up. The politicians don't get it because they don't live in the REAL world. How can people work if they can't find an affordable car?

Posted by: Janet at August 5, 2009 4:11 PM


Alas, I must be fond of overpopulation: I want to end the genocide in Darfur, want to fight maternal death due to infanticide, want to see a world without wars...

Wow, in a pro-life world, overpopulation really is a problem. :)

Posted by: Vannah at August 5, 2009 4:36 PM


In my world atlas, I read that four billion of the world's population comes out of poverty in continents such as South America and Africa, where it is expected of people to get married young, where there is little education, where pursuing college isn't an option, et cetera. According to the atlas, fixing poverty would push the population down to two to three billion- no infanticide necessary! :)

I don't think that volunteering to not have children is wrong (I don't think that I want to be a mother, for example), but I would much rather focus on fixing the problems of the world. :)

Ending poverty = helping our beloved Earth = happier people = pro-life. No need for abortions.

Posted by: Vannah at August 5, 2009 4:40 PM


Interesting that this comes out of Oregon... the one state in the Union with socialized medicine.

Posted by: Elisabeth at August 5, 2009 7:08 PM


Since so many people are choosing childlessness these days (both radical environmentalists with misplaced good intentions, and people who just plain don't wish to be parents), and considering the negative population growth in so many countries, perhaps that means that those of us who WANT kids should have a few extra to make up for the lack elsewhere. Hmm... I'm currently gestating our third child. Maybe in a couple of years my hubby and I should have the "just one more" talk. :-) I like being a rebel now and then.

Posted by: army_wife at August 5, 2009 7:41 PM


I didn't know that you were pregnant, Army_Wife. Congratulations. :)

Posted by: Vannah at August 5, 2009 8:00 PM


Congrats Army_Wife.

Why is the world so obsessed with sterilization ? The World is NOT overpopulated. One of the reasons for the problems has to do with natural resources not being used correctly.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at August 5, 2009 8:54 PM


Vannah,

I don't think that volunteering to not have children is wrong (I don't think that I want to be a mother, for example), but I would much rather focus on fixing the problems of the world. :)

Thanks for actually caring! It's so easy to not be burdened by the suffering we don't really see. I wish you all the best in your quest for justice.

I don't think that you can separate marriage and motherhood though. I can see never marrying and dedicating oneself to service, but being in a marriage and not being open to the blessing of children when the marriage bed is intended to be fruitful- it just makes me sad. I'm not saying that you would ever abort a child you didn't purposefully conceived- not at all- but that it counters the very essence of married life to want a family that is just two adults and no children. Being married and choosing not to have children, while still having sex, is separating sex and babies. The only alternative is to separate sex and marriage, which is just as ridiculous as separating sex and babies.

Being single as a way to conquer the injustices of the world is an awesome way to dedicate yourself without losing focus- but being married and choosing to be barren, I don't think that can ever be good.

Posted by: Jacqueline at August 5, 2009 9:08 PM


Another thought, Vannah- I don't think that having kids rules out mercy work. My mom had my sister and I helping vaccinate impoverish villages, feeding orphans and filling soup bowls from as young as I can remember. We did it because she did it, but one awesome consequence of that upbringing is that my sister and I didn't grow up oblivious to human suffering. My sister now works in mental health crisis intervention (suicide prevention and such) and I'm a social worker.

So you could fix the world with children. And better yet, you'll have taught children to grow up and fix the world, long after you are no longer able to!

Posted by: Jacque at August 5, 2009 9:12 PM


Gee, sorry Murtaugh and Holdren, but we just found out Saturday that we'll be 'polluting the environment' with one more (very much wanted!) human being. On second thought...I take back that apology! :)

Posted by: Pamela at August 5, 2009 9:16 PM


At my old church where I also worked, a woman with many children brings them in often to stock shelves in the food pantry. I once walked in looking for a colleague and asked if he was there and she replied, "Nope. Just me and my team."

I LOVE that she calls her kids her "team" and I think of how blessed those kids are that mom takes them to serve others rather than to Chuck E. Cheese all the time. It reminds me of 2003 in Florida when Terri Schindler had her feeding tube removed for the 2nd time. On the lawn, a child was whining, "Mom, when do we get to go home." And I remember her exact words, "We don't. We stay here tonight because that's how we show people that we love Terri." I remember thinking that I want to be that kind of mother one day.

So I changed my mind- I don't think not being distracted with kids makes mercy work easier, I think it might actually take away power you could have had.

Posted by: Jacqueline at August 5, 2009 9:18 PM


Congratulations, Pamela!

Jacqueline took the words out of my mouth. What better way to affect the world by instilling truth and values in the next generation?

Posted by: klynn73 at August 5, 2009 10:02 PM


Pamela, Congratulations and best wishes for a healthy pregnancy.

Posted by: Janet at August 5, 2009 10:54 PM


"Why is the world so obsessed with sterilization ? The World is NOT overpopulated. One of the reasons for the problems has to do with natural resources not being used correctly."
Posted by: LizFromNebraska at August 5, 2009 8:54 PM

The Green Groupies must think we all want to live in the big cities of the world. We don't. There is plenty of room on our planet. Maybe beyond. They could go there.

Posted by: Janet at August 5, 2009 10:57 PM


Just had our 6th and all very much wanted.

Posted by: Stacy at August 5, 2009 11:04 PM


Yes, Pamela, CONGRATULATIONS!

Posted by: Jacqueline at August 5, 2009 11:46 PM


Congratulations, Stacy and Pamela! :)

Jacqueline:

I like children's rights a lot. I considered becoming a lawyer (well, still consider) to help children.

You're very brave to be a social worker. It seems to be such a difficult job, but one that allows you to effect such positive change in the lives of children, even though it certainly must be eternally challenging. Thank you for helping to better children's lives, Jacqueline. :)

Yeah, I definitely see your point about marriage and children. I think that the reason I'm not considering motherhood at the moment is because of my age, but I definitely would like to help through children, as you said. They further everyone's compassion and are so uplifting. The world is a better place because of children being in it; if we were conceived as adults, then there would be a lot less of the peaceful things in life.

"Me and my team." That makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. :)

Posted by: Vannah at August 6, 2009 1:19 AM


Thank you all for your kind thoughts/words :)

Posted by: Pamela at August 6, 2009 1:34 AM


As a young mother just getting started having children I am really worried that in my lifetime I could face forced abortion and forced sterilization! We need to wake up to the evil forces at work that want us to worship the planet and throw away our children!

Posted by: Sydney M at August 6, 2009 8:47 AM


Vannah,

Children's rights are so important, especially in this day and age when people think it's okay to have and kill kids at will with no regard for their welfare. I wish on a regular basis that I were a lawyer, but know I'm where I'm supposed to be. You should go to law school though! I'll live viacariously through you. :)

You would make a PERFECT Court-Appointed Special Advocate. CASA folks don't have to have law degrees, but take the case of a child and advocate to the court, the judge the best situation for that child. You could do so much right now.

You're sweet to call me brave. I'm actually the weakling that does the research to fund the brave ones in the trenches. But I found that I'm more useful crunching numbers and fufilling funding research mandates, so that's what I do. I admire those like my sister who really are brave.

Thinking about that mother's comment always makes me warm and fuzzy too. I want a team! :)

Posted by: Jacqueline at August 6, 2009 2:13 PM


Thanks for the well wishes, everyone! And congrats to those who are expecting or just added a "team member"! (I liked that mom's comment, too.)

Posted by: army_wife at August 6, 2009 5:03 PM


The essential problem with unlimited population growth, is that the math does not work when you examine the details. To be specific, there is only so much energy coming into the earth, and being freed by nuclear reactions inside the planet. Beyond a certain point releasing too much energy will cause the planet to cook, like turning the heat up, and up, and up on a house. This does not mean the limit is close, but it means there is a limit. This means that there will, eventually, be zero population growth.

The only question, is what the details are of how that happens. The options are predators, war, murder, abstinence, plague, famine, abortion, birth control, and the like. To me, it seems best that those who do not desperately feel the need for children should not have them, to allow for better lives for those children who are born.

Inevitably abundant things are less prized then rare things, thus fewer children mean more attention, calories, care, medical support, etc, which would also vastly decrease the abortion rates, because everyone would know there were lots of people who would love and take great care of the child.

Nature controls population through predation, plague, and famine. It is indeed "unnatural" to a degree to separate sex and reproduction. The question is, do you prefer natural plague, war, murder, and famine to birth control? Attendant of course, is the natural act of cannibalizing or abandoning children when resources are scarce. I would rather pick which of the natural options happen, then letting chance choose. Chance seems terribly cruel.

In the end, it to me is simple. In ecology, when there are scarce resources compared to numbers, each of the that number are less healthy, and spend more of their energy fighting against each other for survival. Thus in gardening, weeding and thinning.

There WILL be weeding and thinning...the only question is who chooses(including no one choosing and letting things take their course), and what is the choice. I wish that wasn't the case, but it seems clear the world is in fact that way.

While the specifics of a persons life can vastly affect their energy use and good/evil affects on the world, it is clear, in a tiny lifeboat build for 6, that things are going to get dirty with 100 people. And if they are all saints? They will choose who dies and is eaten, or jumps off so the others can live...It seems best not to ever have to make such damning decisions...that is possible by looking into the future. A stitch in time saves 9.

Posted by: Logan at August 14, 2009 10:09 AM