Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Can't Believe I Just Read That

So yesterday, I spent some time searching out other green parenting blogs and articles. As I jumped from blog to blog, I began to see a common thread in many of the comments. Apparently, there are people out there who think that having children is environmentally irresponsible and the best thing we can do for the earth is population control. Some went so far as to say that the government should create laws prohibiting people from having more than one child.

Okay, my first reaction was not a good Christian one at all. I wanted to tell these posters that if they were so convinced that a smaller population was the key to solving the earth's problems, I would be happy to take them to a high cliff and allow them to decrease the surplus population right there and then. They'd be saving the earth, and the earth would have one less idiot to contend with.

I didn't find this point of view in the original blog entries themselves. These were after all parenting blogs. I found them in the comments that were left by others. So I did a little more research. It seems this is not just the opinion of a few crazies. They have published research by think tanks to back them up. Ugh. 

Seriously. Ugh.

It seems to me that the majority of our environmental problems have come from the belief over the past 100 years or so that we as humans should have whatever we want whenever we want it. If I want pineapple in February in the northeast, I should have it. If I I want to not do the dishes, I should just throw out my plates and utensils after every meal. If I want to look really cool, I should have an SUV, even if I really only use it to bebop around town in. 

Guess what? Having less children would not make this any different. In fact, without children, I would probably be more selfish. It was my oldest son's questioning about the impact our SUV was having on the environment (at age 6) that prompted us to get a hybrid. It is my younger son's enthusiasm for our proposed organic garden this summer that has me committed to the project. Without my boys I would probably be much more careless about the impact that the lives of just my husband and me had on the environment.

Choosing to have children is a huge decision for most people. But the fact that children will leave a carbon footprint behind should not factor into that decision.

I have more than just one reason for growing a little greener every day. But one of those reasons is because I want to leave this earth in a decent condition for my children and my grandchildren. And I will teach them to do right by this earth, too. 

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