Thursday, August 06, 2009

Children the Greatest Threat to US Environment: Oregon Study

LifeSite News
A new study by statisticians at Oregon State University claims that one of the best ways for people to support the environmentalist cause is to refrain from having children. At the same time that the US fertility rate stands at 2.05 children born per woman, barely under the level necessary to maintain a steady population, researchers Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax maintain that having children is the most destructive thing that can be done to the environment.

The "basic principle" of the study, titled "Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals," is that "a person is responsible for emissions of his descendents." Because of the high-consuming American lifestyle, the study maintains, US children add tons more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than their parents, use more water and generate more waste. According to the study, the long-term impact of a child in China is one-fifth that of a child in the United States.

The study claims to be able to chart the total "carbon impact" of a single child and all his descendants. A media release from the researchers said, "The average long-term carbon impact of a child born in the U.S. - along with all of its descendants - is more than 160 times the impact of a child born in Bangladesh."

By having two children, the study says, a woman will add 40 times the amount of carbon dioxide emissions than she would have saved with conventional "green" practices such as recycling.
Well, the simplest of logic could have told you the same thing, but I'm glad that at least someone has said it more directly, clearly, and scientifically. The article above goes on with an obvious religious and political bias, calling the childfree movement "anti-child" and linking to a paper about the racist and "anti-human" origins of the theory, but this was the first layperson coverage of the study I came across. More on the "racist" angle later, and hopefully, more neutral coverage of this study as it emerges.

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