Friday, August 28, 2009

Child-free movement: You say 'child-free,' I say 'childless'

Orlando Sentinel
My life would be a lot less full and happy and complete without my children. Here's a short list of what the so-called "child-free" are missing.

(I figured I'd tell them since they've never actually walked in the shoes of a parent, but I've walked in theirs -- for 35 years to be exact. And sorry, no, nieces and nephew aren't the same as having your own kids.)
And a response.

Online (and sometimes off) there is often tension between child-free zealots and passionate (some would say overly-passionate) parents.
. . .
One part of the child-free analysis often comes down to a discussion of return-on-investment. My husband and I often spoke in these terms when talking about whether or not to have kids. We're both extremely analytical people and for a long time, for us, when we would list the pros and cons, the ROI was simply not there. Until I was pregnant, we decided to stay pregnant, and then it didn't matter anymore.
. . .
But I am still far too analytical to ever do what the author of the Moms At Work piece did. And I still sympathize with the child-free crowd--not, mind you, because we regret having our son. But because it is a thought process that makes sense to me, even though we ultimately chose a different path. Not everyone needs to be a parent, no matter how rewarding some (but certainly not all!) aspects of childrearing may be. My child has added immeasurably to our lives, but that certainly doesn't mean that I think anyone who doesn't parent is "missing out." Besides, most of my child-free friends make great ~Aunts and ~Uncles for my little guy!



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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Laura Scott on Living Childless by Choice

Not All Trees Are Meant to Bear Fruit

Laura Scott's newly published Two is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice. . . is a qualitative look at what motivates couples to decide that their two-person families are already just the right size. Scott expertly navigates uncharted waters by focusing on the process of choosing to be childless by choice (CBC), as opposed to those who have been unable to conceive. Like most groups, the intentionally childless are not monolithic, and Scott gains insight from a diverse group of people who share their various paths to voluntary childlessness.

Laura Scott's newly published Two is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice, I am far from alone.

Two is Enough is a qualitative look at what motivates couples to decide that their two-person families are already just the right size. Scott expertly navigates uncharted waters by focusing on the process of choosing to be childless by choice (CBC), as opposed to those who have been unable to conceive. Like most groups, the intentionally childless are not monolithic, and Scott gains insight from a diverse group of people who share their various paths to voluntary childlessness. . . .
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Study finds parents' carbon footprint multiplies 5.7 times per child

GREENSPACE
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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Monday, August 10, 2009

Planned parenting

The Ottawa Citizen
The latest hot topic in newspapers and magazines seems to be the (apparently scandalous) notion that some people don't want children. The whole thing seems to be fuelled by Corinne Maier's book No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children. The publisher describes it as a "shocking treatise."

Why is this shocking? . . .I can't see why listing the cons is so controversial. Surely everybody who has children -- or who at least had them through planned pregnancies -- has considered the pros and cons and made an informed decision. (Or maybe they haven't. That's a scary thought.) The answer to the question: "Should everyone have kids?" is quite obviously "no." Some people just don't want to, which is fine. I wouldn't want those people raising children and hating every moment of it, would you?
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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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