Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - American Babies Are Ruining Everything - Opinion: American Babies Are Ruining Everything

More and more, we are hearing from people who might best be described as anti-birthers. …they advance a simple proposition: that the birth of each additional American child is a kind of calamity for the environment.

There’s a larger trouble with this point of view, of course, and it has nothing to do with the arithmetic. However new-sounding the language about “carbon footprints” may be, what we have here is the same old Malthusian view of people breeding themselves to destruction.

…. it means that when a friend has a baby, you have to think we’re all the worse for it. It means that instead of celebrating the development that brings things like refrigeration, cars and calories to people who don’t now have them, we fear the day that a child in Manila enjoys enough of the blessings of life to have the same carbon footprint as a kid from Minnesota.

The real answer, of course, is to have a little more faith in the creative powers of human beings. Given the freedom to grow and innovate, surely the same people who have licked polio, sent a man to the moon, and given us a revolution in information will sooner or later come up with new technologies that will provide for our energy needs while being friendlier to the environment.

The task is not without its challenges. But we’re not likely to get far with a “science” that defines the problem as American babies.



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