DANIEL VAUGHAN: Don’t let climate change stop you from making babies

March 15, 2019

DANIEL VAUGHAN: Don’t let climate change stop you from making babies

“Should I have kids if the world is ending due to climate change?” is a real question being posed by liberals both in Congress and on commentary sites.

Democratic media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kicked things off, saying in a video on Instagram: “Basically, there’s a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question: Is it okay to still have children?”

I suppose every generation asks whether or not it’s a good idea for them to have children at any given time. Deciding whether they can take on the responsibility of raising children and having a family is a profoundly personal choice for many couples.

But it’s one thing to assess yourself as a person and decide to put off having children because you’re in the midst of hard times. It’s another to base your decision on apocalyptic notions of the world.

The fact of the matter is this: We live in the most prosperous time in world history.

There’s never been more opportunity, less fear, and less risk from disease, famine, and war. We have the chance to live better than the kings of old.

We should bring more kids into the world to experience this golden era in human history, not decrease the number of humans.

Even if climate change scares you, that fear shouldn’t drive your decisions — at least, not in America. Even Noah Smith, a liberal columnist for Bloomberg, pointed out that the United States leads the world in reducing CO2 emissions: “The U.S. accounts for only about 14 percent of global carbon output, and that percent is falling every day. The climate change battle will be won or lost in developing countries such as China.”

Smith goes on to point out that because China emits more than America and Europe combined, there’s one “painful but inescapable truth” that the left must accept:

[N]o matter how much they spend, no matter how dramatically they change their societies, the U.S. and Europe won’t be able to put much of a dent in global warming on their own.

[W]ithout a huge change in China, none of that will matter — the battle against climate change will be lost.

Your decision to have or not have kids won’t have an impact on global climate change. And if you live in a wealthy country, especially in the western hemisphere, your legislators are actively dealing with the problem.

At its core, the great evil lurking behind the anti-natalism argument that human birth further harms society comes from the long-discredited pseudoscience of Paul Ehrlich, author of the population bomb myth.

Ever since the rise of communism, the far left has looked for new ways to control how many children people are having. These ideas resulted in the barbarism of things like China’s one-child policy, or the gendercide of baby girls in places like India.

In the West, Paul Ehrlich’s population bomb myth was used to scare people on the left from having children. The new trick is using the specter of climate change to accomplish the same feature.

I don’t blame any would-be parents for their decisions not to have children. They all seem sincere, and it’s clear they want to do the right thing. But this is a delusion of the worst kind.

Children today don’t live in constant fear of deadly diseases and unsurvivable natural disasters. The last great conflict in the world, WWII, represented the last time any generation has faced the prospect of mass death. A military draft isn’t in place to send men and women to Vietnam. War, though always a potential threat, is not knocking at our door.

Moreover, roving tribes don’t threaten our children. Capitalism is eradicating poverty so quickly that we’re redefining what it means to be poor. We have reality shows like Hoarders and The Biggest Loser. Our public officials are anxious in this country because our poor suffer from obesity.

Think about that for a second. In all of human history, this is the only time when the poorest in society are also, statistically, the most fat. Point being: There’s more than enough food to go around.

Your children will not only survive in whatever future that climate change brings — they’ll thrive. Our technological revolution has outpaced the gains from every prior philosophical or industrial revolution.

As the great economist Adam Smith once quipped: “This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.” The left has so busied itself imagining an apocalyptic future that they’ve lost touch with reality. And the truth is, at this point in history, the world is a pretty good place for most everyone to be.

So go ahead and have some babies. They’ll only help make the world a better place.

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Daniel Vaughan

Daniel Vaughan is a columnist for the Conservative Institute and lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee. He has degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and Regent University School of Law. His work can be found on the Conservative Institute's website, or you can receive his columns and free weekly newsletter at The Beltway Outsiders. Connect with him on Twitter at @dvaughanCI.