Thursday, August 13, 2009

Study finds parents' carbon footprint multiplies 5.7 times per child

Environmentalists tend to avoid the topic of population control. Too touchy. But the politically incorrect issue is becoming unavoidable as the global population lurches toward a predicted 9 billion people by mid-century.
. . .
Now comes a study by statisticians at Oregon State University focusing on the elephant in the room.

The findings: If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, think birth control.

The greenhouse gas effect of a child is almost 20 times more significant than the amount any American would save by such practices as driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or using energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances, according to Paul Murtaugh, an Oregon State professor of statistics. Under current U.S. consumption patterns, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of CO2 to the carbon legacy of an average parent -- about 5.7 times a person's lifetime emissions, he calculates.
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