Nevertheless, I hold what many would consider very radical views on the subject of the environment. I think it would be a good thing if we vastly reduced the use of consumer automobiles and banned most private air travel. I endorse many of the ideas of the “degrowth” movement. Production, distribution, and consumption of what we think of consumer goods should be vastly curtailed. We should do more with less for our good and the good of creation. But I would advocate all of these things even if I did not think that we might be making the world warmer. All I need are my eyes to recognize that our greed is making it ugly to the point of uninhabitability in many places — usually ones far away from where the wealthy live.

But even if I believed the most lurid predictions about climate change, it would not alter my views about child-rearing in the slightest. There is no necessary connection between birth and spoliation. The world’s poorest have more babies than the rest of us and are still the least responsible for our present ecological woes. Regardless of the country in which they happen to be born children are not to blame for the crimes of adults. The Earth is here for them, awaiting their good stewardship after our own failures pass into history.