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August 7, 2009


Live Science - A study by statisticians at Oregon State University concluded that in the United States, the carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of an extra child is almost 20 times more important than some of the other environment-friendly practices people might employ during their entire lives - things like driving a high mileage car, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

"In discussions about climate change, we tend to focus on the carbon emissions of an individual over his or her lifetime," said study team member Paul Murtaugh. "Those are important issues and it's essential that they should be considered. But an added challenge facing us is continuing population growth and increasing global consumption of resources."

Reproductive choices haven't gained as much attention in the consideration of human impact to the Earth, Murtaugh said. When an individual produces a child - and that child potentially produces more descendants in the future - the effect on the environment can be many times the impact produced by a person during their lifetime. . .

The impact doesn't only come through increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases - larger populations also generate more waste and tax water supplies.


Blogger Stephen P. Schaefer said...

Does this mean that China's one child policy makes it the world leader in ecological responsibility?

August 7, 2009 3:16 PM  
Anonymous DU is good for (nuclear) bizness said...

Given that China is producing huge numbers of relatively crude and dirty autos and has no plans to even review emission standards for at least ten years, what do you think? But at least they're not turning their spent nuclear fuel rods into armor piercing bullets and firing them at everyone who can't shoot back.

August 7, 2009 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

China's one-child policy is honored as much in the breach as the keeping. There are winked-at exemptions for sons and the countryside, and (afaiaa) the only guaranteed-effective method of pop control -sterilisation- is never part of the picture.

August 8, 2009 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

China's one child policy is an example of how not to reduce population.

China's one child policy is killing girls regularly, by letting the parents leave them in orphanages, where the girls are often poorly cared for. Also testing for baby gender before birth has caused many girls to never be born. China's birth rate is running about 122 boys per 100 girls, which in future will leave a lot of men wanting wives. This leaves a lot of men without families, which sounds like a very easy population to draft into military service.

Of course China's rulers could promote homosexuality as an alternative to finding a wife, but I won't hold my breath.

The best way to reduce birth rates, is to educate women. Everywhere it is tried, if the education is practical and realistic, it works.

August 9, 2009 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

But mandatory sterilisation after 1/2 live birth (i.e., both DNA contributors get sterilised after their joint live birth) is the only certain way to reduce the population and be fair about it.

August 9, 2009 3:26 PM  

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