Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why Not Just Commit Suicide?

UPDATE: below

Weasel Zippers linked the weirdest story of the year, from the November 21st Daily Mail (U.K.):
Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.

But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.

Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.

original caption: "Desperate measures: Toni Vernelli was steralised at age 27 to reduce her carbon footprint"

source: Daily Mail

Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.

He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.

Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.

At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".

Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card.

While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.

"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.

"Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population."

While most parents view their children as the ultimate miracle of nature, Toni seems to see them as a sinister threat to the future.
The article spotlights a second, similar, couple:
Most young girls dream of marriage and babies. But Sarah dreamed of helping the environment - and as she agonised over the perils of climate change, the loss of animal species and destruction of wilderness, she came to the extraordinary decision never to have a child.

"I realised then that a baby would pollute the planet - and that never having a child was the most environmentally friendly thing I could do." . . .

Sarah started work for the Ethical Consumer magazine, and seven years ago she met her fiancé Mark Hudson, a 37-year- old health- care worker. . .

While other young couples sit down and discuss mortgages, Sarah and Mark discussed the medical options for one or the other to be sterilised. . .

"I'd never dream of preaching to others about having a family. It's a very personal choice. What I do like to do is make people aware of the facts.

"When I see a mother with a large family, I don't resent her, but I do hope she's thought through the implications."

Mark adds: "Sarah and I live as green a life a possible. We don't have a car, cycle everywhere instead, and we never fly.

"We recycle, use low-energy light bulbs and eat only organic, locally produced food.

"In short, we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. But all this would be undone if we had a child.

"That's why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of Earth.

"Sarah and I don't need children to feel complete. What makes us happy is knowing that we are doing our bit to save our precious planet."
Question: how does sterilization advance environmentalism? It ain't logical, observes Hatless in Hattiesburg. Aren't "Greenies" trying to protect Earth's resources for future progeny? Without children, why not "party like it's 1999"?

I'm not saying the genetic imperative is obligatory--I'm divorced and childless. But, like most American conservatives (and a few Euro-righties), I'm an optimist, and many conservative optimists (albeit unconsciously) believe kids can "lead us out of that darkness, which we could not even realize, toward that light, which we could not even see."

There is no "right" number of people on the planet. Instead, as the Daily Mail piece demonstrates, the misplaced Malthusianism of progressives is an excuse to support solely stasis.

Between "reproducing is 'morally wrong'" and the "Roe Effect", I'm amazed lefties haven't died off like dinosaurs.


A commenter on Right Wing News quips: "Think of it as evolution in action." That's a faded catchphrase (in libertarian/SF circles), popularized in Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's "grade C-" novel Oath of Fealty, published in 1981.

(via Doug J. via Allahpundit, Right Wing News)


Anonymous said...

This proves that insanity comes in many forms.

When men and women share power equally, perhaps insanity will disappear from the globe.

We'll see.

Carl said...

Self-refuting non sequitur of the week!

Major Premise (conceded): Toni and Sarah are insane.

Well-supported Inference: Based on the story and their own quotes, Toni and Sarah are "sharing power equally" with their men.

Conclusion: Anony's fixation on gender equality of outcome doesn't foster sanity.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps male domination causes insanity among the entire population.