Climate Crisis: an Era to Not Have Babies? With nature being in peril and overpopulation as one of its main catalysts, is the next generation pressured to treat climate adversity as a reproductive crisis?
Honey Mabelle A. Villarba
Her silhouette reflected in the glass door as her body faced the soothing view of nature and sea combined. “What a beauty”, she thought yet was instantly distracted by the waste scattered just near the shore of the beach. She then saw a couple with three children and her thoughts promptly lingered into the future. Her principle always reminded her of the consequence of childbirth: another carbon footprint added in a world already in distress. For her, having babies in the future is like pouring gasoline into the fire instead of admitting that the house is burning and grabbing a hose to put it out. As long as people do not seem to understand the gravity of overpopulation and how the situation of nature continue to deteriorate, she was convinced that being a parent is not an option.
“There is no denying that the climate crisis is contributory to the growing groups of people who choose to not have offspring. With the eco-anxiety brought about the impending doom of t d Juanillo concerning the effects of more babies in the future.
More than this, an article from Mother Jones (an American NGO published by the Foundation for National Progress) details the carbon footprint of a single baby. It states that one American child generates as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as 106 Haitian kids. Moreover, a typical baby goes through 3,800 disposable diapers in her first 2.5 years.
Consequently, researchers from Lund University in Sweden also found that having one fewer child per family can save “an average of 58.6 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year.”
With such data, people with the same belief as April continue to stand their ground that bringing a child into this world is tantamount to more carbon footprint, hence contributory to global warming.
AT THE REAR OF HESITATION
Now, it’s not a novel fact that actions were made upon the realization that the disruption to global climate is dramatically escalating. For the longest of time, one of the largest threats to ecology is due to the buildup of human-generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In line with this, it is no longer surprising that the polls find young adults more particularly concerned about global warming than the older generation – obviously because they are already experiencing the aftermath of destructive human activities in the past. It is therefore reasonable to think that the existing and even future generation grapple with the eco-anxiety of bringing more lives into this world.
“Apart from the climate crisis, the current economic and social climate of the world seems not viable enough to raise a child in, especially for the working class. And since the climate crisis – the single biggest crisis that will affect humanity in totality – will also largely affect our economy and societal footing, then indeed, the climate crisis is preventing this generation and the next ones from having babies,” Juanillo firmly added.
In fact, people around the world are beginning to address the problem by reducing their carbon footprint through less consumption and advanced technology. However, unsustainable human population growth can put those efforts into waste, leading the next generation to infer that they not only need smaller footprints, but fewer feet.
A SUBJECTIVE DECISION
At the end of the day, people will have differing opinions regarding this matter. What is deemed as irresponsible by some could be other people’s joy in life. The “delight” in having a baby is strictly subjective. There are individuals who find joy in having an offspring and in raising them to be adults. There are also those who think that whatever “delight” there is in having a child cannot compare to the trouble present in raising one. For some, having babies amplifies the global consumption of resources and climate change. Yet, for others, children are seen as hope of the future who will serve as agents for redemption.
“Indeed, childbirth is a subjective decision. No one should have a say on whether a person should give birth to a child or not except the person who is going to mother that child and raise them for the rest of their lives. More than this, it is important to note that bringing another life into this world, means
foreseeing the quality of life they will have. At a time when we are on the brink of losing the battle against the climate crisis, would we really want to bring life into this world without the assurance that they will grow up to have clean breathable air, a potable source of water, green spaces – generally a livable planet?” Juanillo rhetorically asked.
Finally, it all boils down to the conscious decision-making of each and everyone in the planet. Only at this time, we are in a tight race of curbing the climate crisis hence our individual actions have various societal and environmental effects. Doubtless, in this fierce battle which involves humanity; we should all stand in the ground of individual responsibility and corporate accountability.
Published: April 25, 2022