“Add this to the list of decisions affected by climate change: Should I have children?
It is not an easy time for people to feel hopeful, with the effects of global warming no longer theoretical, projections becoming more dire and governmental action lagging. And while few, if any, studies have examined how large a role climate change plays in people’s childbearing decisions, it loomed large in interviews with more than a dozen people ages 18 to 43.
A 32-year-old who always thought she would have children can no longer justify it to herself. A Mormon has bucked the expectations of her religion by resolving to adopt rather than give birth. An Ohio woman had her first child after an unplanned pregnancy — and then had a second because she did not want her daughter to face an environmental collapse alone.”
David Lindsay: Here is the lovely Letter to the editor, which informed me to read the article above.
To the Editor:
Re “No Children Because of Climate Change? Some People Are Considering It” (news article, nytimes.com, Feb. 5):
The decision whether or not to have children has always been a heavy one. But climate change and its catastrophic effects are shifting the question for many people.
The choice to have fewer children is one of the most effective ways we can reduce our individual carbon footprints. And it isn’t just about the climate; it’s about helping to protect the future for all species.
Unfortunately, the ability to plan when, if and how many children is out of reach for many. Here in the United States, nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Family planning faces a barrage of attacks — from abolishing science-based sex education to slashing programs that provide affordable contraception.
By restricting access to family planning, we are preventing many from making the reproductive choices that are right for them. That’s bad for women, families and the environment.
The writer, an internist, is a population campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity.