And the Darwin Award Goes To…

…leftists who are too obsessed with global warming to want to reproduce. Hey, if that’s what it takes, we probably should be grateful. NPR asks the question–seriously, as far as I can tell–“Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?”

Standing before several dozen students in a college classroom, Travis Rieder tries to convince them not to have children. Or at least not too many.

He’s at James Madison University in southwest Virginia to talk about a “small-family ethic” — to question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to “give them grandchildren.”

Why question such assumptions? The prospect of climate catastrophe.

It’s interesting: I haven’t seen data on this, but by observation I believe that liberals, on the average, have smaller families than conservatives. But I don’t think this is because of global warming, I think it is because liberals generally put a higher priority on disposable income.

“Here’s a provocative thought: Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them,” Rieder says.

His arguments sound pretty persuasive in the classroom. At home, it was a different matter.

“I have been one of those women who actually craved to have a baby,” says Sadiye Rieder, smiling as she sits next to her husband in the sunroom of their Maryland home. “To go through pregnancy and everything, that mattered to me a lot.”

Sadiye also wanted a big family. She grew up among extended relatives in the Turkish part of Cyprus and says she enjoyed having people around all the time.

This was not a problem early in their marriage, as each focused on their studies. But by the time Sadiye began feeling ready for motherhood, Travis’ research had delved into the morality of adoption, which led to the ethics of procreation and to its impact on the climate.

They knew they had to talk.

“It’s not easy to convince a philosopher!” Sadiye says with a laugh.

Sometimes it’s not easy to convince a guy, period. But happily–I mean that sincerely–Sadiye was able to talk Travis, the “philosopher,” into one child.


Travis is a “philosopher,” not a scientist, and it is evident from NPR’s account that he has no idea of the current state of the climate debate, which the alarmists are losing badly. But he is not the only anti-child climate hysteric.

Meghan Hoskins is among a dozen people gathered in the spare office of an environmental group in Keene, N.H., earlier this year. They sit on folding chairs in a circle, the room humming with multiple conversations.

Never, ever, participate in a gathering that consists of people sitting on folding chairs in a circle.

This is one of 16 meetings over the past year and a half organized by Conceivable Future, a nonprofit founded on the notion that “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis.”

Hoskins says she’s always wanted “little redheaded babies” — as do her parents, the sooner the better.

But she’s a grad student in environmental studies, and the more she learns, the more she questions what kind of life those babies would have.

Actually, it is entirely rational to worry about what kind of life your children will have. Only global warming doesn’t rank among the top 100 threats to their well-being. Liberalism is number three on that list, after automobile accidents and fatal diseases.

At the New Hampshire meeting, 67-year-old Nancy Nolan tells two younger women that people didn’t know about climate change in the 1980s when she had her kids. Once her children were grown, “I said to them, ‘I hope you never have children,’ which is an awful thing to say,” Nolan says, her voice wavering. “It can bring me to tears easily.”

That really was an awful thing to say, and completely unnecessary from a scientific point of view. But liberals are hard-wired, apparently, to fall for any theory that foretells catastrophe unless we all adopt the liberal party line.

The perennial question, of course, is how to make the rest of us fall for it. This is where the government comes in:

Rieder and his Georgetown collaborators have a proposal, and the first thing they stress is that it’s not like China’s abusive one-child policy. It aims to persuade people to choose fewer children with a strategy that boils down to carrots for the poor, sticks for the rich.

How did I know that was coming?

Ethically, Rieder says poor nations get some slack because they’re still developing, and because their per capita emissions are a sliver of the developed world’s. Plus, it just doesn’t look good for rich, Western nations to tell people in poor ones not to have kids. He suggests things like paying poor women to refill their birth control and — something that’s had proven success — widespread media campaigns.

Good luck with that.

For the sticks part of the plan, Rieder proposes that richer nations do away with tax breaks for having children and actually penalize new parents. He says the penalty should be progressive, based on income, and could increase with each additional child.

Taxes! Is there anything they can’t do? Somehow, every liberal preoccupation comes down to increasing taxes on you and me. Funny coincidence, isn’t it?

Liberals are easy to ridicule; in fact, making fun of them is a moral duty. But it is sobering to understand the extent to which they want to meddle in your life.

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