Monday, August 08, 2011

Fourth Child Furor

The news of David and Victoria Beckham's fourth child was met with anger from campaigners who felt that the Beckham's family size is now environmentally irresponsible.
 
At least that is what the Guardian recently reported in their article "Beckhams a 'bad example' for families." The article quotes the UK-based Optimum Population Trust, whose chief executive, Simon Ross, linked family size to carbon emissions:

"The Beckhams, and others like London mayor Boris Johnson, are very bad role models with their large families. There's no point in people trying to reduce their carbon emissions and then increasing them 100% by having another child."

Mr. Ross’s comments were echoed by Sir David Attenborough, who called for an end to the "absurd taboo" in discussing family size in the UK.

In reality, no such taboo exists. As I showed last year in my Salvo feature, "Baby Freeze: Is Population Control the New Solution to Global Warming?", environmentalists in both the UK and America have a long history of paranoia about population and have been using climate change as a reason to scare people into having less babies.
 
Also in "Baby Freeze" I drew attention to the fact that seventy-three members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House urging President Obama to add one billion dollars in funding for international family planning to his 2011 budget. While advocates of family planning are hardly a new phenomenon, what was significant about this letter is that it cited “climate change” as a reason to advocate lower birth rates. “Family planning,” the Representatives said, “should be part of larger strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Slower population growth will make reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions easier to achieve.”
 
The ruthless utilitarian logic is actually very simple: less people = less polluters.

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