Planet Gore

Childlessness Carbon Credits?


Say it loud: I’m childfree and I’m proud

In 1969, graduating college senior Stephanie Mills made national headlines with a commencement address exclaiming that, in the face of impending ecological devastation, she was choosing to forgo parenthood.  “I am terribly saddened by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all,” she told her classmates.

I come here before you today to make the same proclamationwith a twist. I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all. 

Making the green choice too often feels like a sacrifice or a hassle or an expense.  In this case, it feels like a luxurious indulgence that just so happens to cost a lot less for me and weigh a lot less on the carbon-bloated atmosphere.

And then there’s this:

A person who cares about preserving a livable environment has lots of options for doing her bit, and you’ve heard all about them: live in an energy-efficient home in a walkable neighborhood; bike or walk or take public transit when possible; drive an efficient car if you drive one at all; fly less; go veg; buy organic and local; limit purchases of consumer goods; switch to CFLs or LEDs; slay your vampires; offset carbon emissions; vote for climate-concerned candidates, and hold them accountable for their campaign promises.

But even in aggregate, all of these moves don’t come close to the impact of not bringing new human beingsparticularly new Americans — into the world.

Fertile Americans are destroying the planet, huh?


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