Somebody emailed me an article by Joanna Benn on the BBC’s website: “Baby Decisions–Adding the World’s Woes?”
Click through to read the whole article if you want, but basically, Benn poses the two sides of the argument like this:
When I see babies, not only do I see the beauty, joy and miracle of life, I also see nappies, landfill waste, vast amounts of food and money needed, and a very shaky, unpredictable future.
On the other hand:
Ask any environmental organisation what it thinks about birth control; it’ll sidestep the issue, and say it’s not their place to comment.
If a commentator says there are too many people on the planet, their words smack of authoritarian dictatorships and human rights violations, and echo traces of unpalatable eugenics.
She also says:
I have couched the question a few times: “Why did you want children?”
The answers have usually been – “It seemed the next thing to do, we wanted to, it felt right, I couldn’t imagine not…”
Push again – “Have you thought about what kind of world you are bringing them into to? Some climate change scenarios give us a 10 to 15 year window before things get very ugly and scary indeed.”
The fact is, the more people who live on this little globe, the more resources we use, the more we strain the entire system.
The question is, to what extent are we responsible for making our family choices based on the planet? Also, to what extent should we discuss this issue? Does it risk alienating the people we want to convince? Or is it a reality we have to face up to no matter what?