Want to stop global warming? Stop having kids and eating hamburgers

Here’s a great idea for all of you liberals who are concerned with climate change, global warming or whatever we’re calling it this week. Remain virgins. Or, failing that, just make sure you’re not getting pregnant or impregnating anyone else. (You gender ambidextrous types can sort out which side of that feat you fall on for yourselves.) That’s the new advice coming out of Sweden this month (and honestly… where else did you think it came from?) and I have to say I’m super excited over it. (NPR)

We’ve all heard of ways to reduce our carbon footprint: biking to work, eating less meat, recycling.

But there’s another way to help the climate. A recent study from Lund University in Sweden shows that the biggest way to reduce climate change is by having fewer children.

“I knew this was a sensitive topic to bring up,” says study co-author Kimberly Nicholas on NPR’s Morning Edition. “Certainly it’s not my place as a scientist to dictate choices for other people. But I do think it is my place to do the analysis and report it fairly.”

The study concludes that four high-impact ways to reduce CO2 gas emissions include having fewer children, living without a car, avoiding airplane travel and eating a vegetarian diet.

Let’s break down the top four pieces of advice here in list order so they’re easier to digest.

  • Have fewer children
  • Live without a car
  • Don’t travel by plane
  • Eat a vegetarian diet

As with anything in life, it’s the activists who are most concerned with a particular subject who must lead the way and set an example for others. Since this is primarily an issue on the left, I have to say that I heartily endorse this entire platform. Of course, some of its most ardent proponents may fall victim to the law of unintended consequences.

First of all, having less children is a fabulous idea. If we have a generation of kids coming along who are either home schooled or at least raised in conservative households, things might actually start looking up in twenty or thirty years. Of course, if you do manage to get the population to shrink in any measurable way, keep in mind that the ratio of those working and paying into social safety net programs to those who are collecting from them will be even more out of whack. But don’t let that bother you. There’s a planet to be saved.

Don’t own a car? Super. There’s way too much traffic out there as it is and if we could cut it in half, those of us who are still motoring around can get to important destinations more easily… like our jobs. Thanks guys!

Don’t fly? See the car situation above. Flying is miserable. I don’t expect conditions to improve very much just because there are fewer passengers, but you’ll at least marginally increase my chances of booking a flight that isn’t entirely full. And not for nothing, but all of that patchouli oil is really stinking up the economy class cabin.

Be a vegetarian. Yes indeed. Go for it. What you eat is your business, but with fewer people shopping for beef it’s less likely that the butcher shop will be sold out of Delmonico cuts when I get there on Friday afternoon. You save the world and there’s more beef for me. This is a win-win.

You know, it’s a rare day when I find myself agreeing with the latest scheme to roll out of Sweden designed to save the planet, but this one is a serious winner. Let’s all get behind this and make it happen for all of our liberal friends and neighbors.