Friday, August 14, 2009

Soylant Green Is . . . People

We have met the enemy, and it is . . . us, as reported in the August 7th New York Times:
Having children is the surest way to send your carbon footprint soaring, according to a new study from statisticians at Oregon State University.

The study found that having a child has an impact that far outweighs that of other energy-saving behaviors.

Take, for example, a hypothetical American woman who switches to a more fuel-efficient car, drives less, recycles, installs more efficient light bulbs, and replaces her refrigerator and windows with energy-saving models. If she had two children, the researchers found, her carbon legacy would eventually rise to nearly 40 times what she had saved by those actions.

"Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle," the report states.

The impact of children varies dramatically depending on geography: An American woman who has a baby will generate nearly seven times the carbon footprint of that of a Chinese woman who has a child, the study found. . .

"In discussions about climate change, we tend to focus on the carbon emissions of an individual over his or her lifetime," said Paul Murtaugh, a professor of statistics at O.S.U., in a statement accompanying the study’s release. "Those are important issues and it’s essential that they should be considered. But an added challenge facing us is continuing population growth and increasing global consumption of resources."
In particular, the study concludes:
Under current conditions in the United States, for example, each child adds about 9441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average female, which is 5.7 times her lifetime emissions. A person’s reproductive choices must be considered along with his day-to-day activities when assessing his ultimate impact on the global environment.
As Moonbattery says on Right Wing News:
It's tempting to say: By all means, be good liberals and stop reproducing. Except that with liberalism, everything is based on coercion. They want you to stop reproducing. Now consider that the government has been moving aggressively to seize control of healthcare.
So, could global warming zealotry turn the liberal mantra of "choice" into China's one child policy?


OBloodyHell said...

> could global warming zealotry turn the liberal mantra of "choice" into China's one child policy?

Only if they pass it in the next year while they have control, after which it would be repealed, and, if not repealed, there would be lynchings.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Back from vacation ---

The other difficulty with passing any child-discouraging legislation is that folks will run the numbers on support of elders down the road. Perhaps I overestimate the wisdom of the American people in this, as we have missed exactly that point on Social Security, but I believe it could be explosive.