Is climate the most important factor to consider when having a child? “Everything is stacked against this generation’s ability to have a balanced, wholesome life with a child,” said Ferorelli. In many cities, the cost of living is rising, as well as the expenses associated with child care, health, and education. Many people also have tenuous job security. So even if someone were to resolve their climate anxieties, all these other issues would remain.
How much time do I have to make a decision? Scientists warned last year that if the goal is to limited warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius this century, the world would have to cut its carbon emissions in half in as little as 12 years. However, prospective parents have a limited fertility window, so they can’t simply wait and see if the world gets its act together.
Am I doing this for myself or someone else? Figuring out who ultimately is supposed to benefit from your decision — yourself, your progeny, society writ large — is crucial to coming up with an answer. Kallman said she has even encountered people who have decided not to have children with the belief that they are freeing up resources for people who do have children. “It is generous to the extreme,” she said.