Wednesday, January 02, 2008

One-child and Childfree Families for the Environment

Smaller Families for a Healthy Environment
Most of us will be part of the problem by having our own children. We need to raise our kids to be conscious of population and environmental issues. The most important step we can take is to minimize our impact by having small families, or by not reproducing at all.

You might think that there is not much difference between a family of two children and one with three, but there is a large disparity after a few generations. If each of your three children has three kids, and so on, you will have 27 great grandchildren. In five generations there will be 243 progeny. If there had only been two per couple, there would only be eight great grandchildren, and 32 great, great, great grandchildren. So at the end of five generations we compare 243 with 32; the difference is over seven fold!
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Those of us who choose not to bear children have a support group all our own: Childfree By Choice. If you are unsure about having kids, the group meets your needs with material for people still trying to make up their minds about being parents—there’s even a bunch of jokes about childlessness. More and more people are choosing the option to forego children. Now about one in five women will not bear any child, while a few years ago it was only one in six.
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It’s definitely a paradox: We have children for the future, but if we have too many the future will be compromised. The solution is for people to have the right number of children—fewer than in the past. It also means that some people will forgo passing on their genes. Instead, they have the opportunity to pass on their wisdom and culture to future generations.
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