BirthStrikers choose not to have children over climate change fears

This is just sad. I don’t just mean that in a condescending partisan way. I mean it in a personal way too. It’s sad that people who want children are so frightened of the future they are ready to give up on having a family. From CNN:

For 33-year-old British musician Blythe Pepino…[h]er fears about climate change are so strong she has decided not to have biological children.

“I really want a kid,” she told CNN. “I love my partner and I want a family with him but I don’t feel like this is a time that you can do that.”

Pepino believes that there will be an “ecological Armageddon” and founded BirthStrike at the end of 2018. BirthStrike is a group of people who are declaring their decision not to have kids because of climate change…

“You are gambling with someone else’s life,” said Cody Harrison, a 29-year-old who recently joined the group. “If things don’t go well, that human is not going to have a very good life.”

It’s not just fear of the future challenges a child born now might face. It’s also a calculation that every person born will have a carbon footprint which adds to the problem. If you believe too many people is the bottom line problem then not adding to that number makes a certain cold sense. Of course, any couple that has only one child is actually not maintaining the current. If every couple did that, the population would drop dramatically in one generation. But I guess the thinking is that if one child is good, none is better.

Both BirthStrike and Conceivable Future are quick to say that they do not endorse coercive population control methods or judge anyone for having children.

Nor should the groups be conflated with the anti-natalist movement, the philosophy that it’s morally wrong to procreate, because of the suffering that comes with life.

“I try not to judge anybody for their own choices,” said Harrison. “Once I’m ready I’d like to adopt.”

I find that last bit hard to believe. If you think the situation is so dire that it’s best not to have a child, you’re definitely going to be a bit judgmental toward people who do. But I guess it’s something that BirthStrike isn’t demanding government regulation to enforce this on everyone else. They are at least officially taking a libertarian approach.

I still think it’s sad because this is a decision based on fear. Children born now are not necessarily doomed to a terrible future. We have problems with polluted oceans, fresh water, food, energy, etc. These are real problems. And yet, life is better for a larger number of people than it has ever been in the past.

The problems we have can be overcome. I don’t think banning straws or writing off nuclear power is going to get us there in the near term, but there are ways to improve the situation without giving in to fear. Even if some of those solutions aren’t clear yet, we’ve come a long way and there is still lots of room for optimism about our future as a species. It’s a bit sad that some people don’t seem to believe that anymore. I believe they’d be a lot happier tuning out the collectivist agita and making those very personal decisions as individuals.