Check Out What Really Happened

Bioethicist opinion: Science proves kids are bad for earth; morality suggests we stop having them

Bioethicist opinion: Science proves kids are bad for earth; morality suggests we stop having them

travis rieder

Travis and his child in his Twitter profile picture

The author of this opinion piece, Travis Rieder, PhD, is the Assistant Director for Education Initiatives, Director of the Master of Bioethics degree program and Research Scholar at the Berman Institute of Bioethics. He is also a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Public Health Advocacy within the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

From NBC News: A startling and honestly distressing view is beginning to receive serious consideration in both academic and popular discussions of climate change ethics. According to this view, having a child is a major contributor to climate change. The logical takeaway here is that everyone on Earth ought to consider having fewer children.

Although culturally controversial, the scientific half of this position is fairly well-established. Several years ago, scientists showed that having a child, especially for the world’s wealthy, is one of the worst things you can do for the environment. That data was recycled this past summer in a paper showing that none of the activities most likely to reduce individuals’ carbon footprints are widely discussed.

The second, moral aspect of the view — that perhaps we ought to have fewer children — is also being taken seriously in many circles. Indeed, I have written widely on the topic myself.

But scientific evidence and moral theorizing aside, this is a complicated question with plenty of opponents. In what follows, I will address some of the challenges to this idea. Because while I recognize that this is an uncomfortable discussion, I believe that the seriousness of climate change justifies uncomfortable conversations. In this case, that means that we need to stop pretending the decision to have children doesn’t have environmental and ethical consequences.

The argument that having a child adds to one’s carbon footprint depends on the view that each of us has a personal carbon ledger for which we are responsible. Furthermore, some amount of an offspring’s emissions count towards the parents’ ledger.

Most environmentalists accept this sort of ledger view when it comes to recycling, driving, and flying, but support begins to decrease when applied to family planning. The opposition is typified by Vox writer David Roberts, who argues that “such an accounting scheme is utterly impractical” because it seems to entail that one is never responsible for one’s own emissions. Because “we don’t want to double-count,” as Roberts says, this means parents are really only responsible for their kids’ emissions.

The flaw in this objection is the plausible-sounding caveat: “we don’t want to double-count.” Because why wouldn’t we want to double-count? If moral responsibility added up mathematically, then double-counting would be a serious problem. But I think it’s clear that we should not accept a mathematical model of responsibility.

Consider a different case: If I release a murderer from prison, knowing full well that he intends to kill innocent people, then I bear some responsibility for those deaths — even though the killer is also fully responsible. My having released him doesn’t make him less responsible (he did it!). But his doing it doesn’t eliminate my responsibility either.

Something similar is true, I think, when it comes to having children: Once my daughter is an autonomous agent, she will be responsible for her emissions. But that doesn’t negate my responsibility. Moral responsibility simply isn’t mathematical.

If you buy this view of responsibility, you might eventually admit that having many children is wrong, or at least morally suspect, for standard environmental reasons: Having a child imposes high emissions on the world, while the parents get the benefit. So like with any high-cost luxury, we should limit our indulgence.

Read the rest of this opinion here.

DCG

Views: 78

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

Comment by DTOM on November 20, 2017 at 8:08am

@Diana

On one hand the PTB demand population reduction, while on the other hand they tell us the West needs cultural enrichment from open borders immigration to compensate for low birth levels - it's not hard to work out the real agenda.

“In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself,”

https://12160.info/profiles/blogs/club-of-rome-group-that-admitted-...

https://12160.info/forum/topics/royal-society-enviro-eugenicists-ca...

Comment by Diana on November 18, 2017 at 1:33pm

Why does he have a kid?  What about his moral responsibility to climate change carbon footprints?  Just like Al Gore's home consuming 34X more energy than an average home, while everyone else should feel guilty.  These people are such hypocrites.

Comment by DTOM on November 18, 2017 at 5:53am
Comment by DTOM on November 18, 2017 at 5:26am

More 'carbon' lies...as Fukushima continues to kill the Pacific...and nothing is said or done.

If Rieder and others that spout this crap, believe in it so much, they should set an example, and dispatch themselves and their families immediately.

 

 

Latest Activity

cheeki kea commented on Boris Badenov's blog post YouTube Experiencing Worldwide Outage
"When is it suppose to go off line ? ( it's 3.55 pm  17 th oct. local time. with you tube up and running )"
5 minutes ago
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @thehill: #BREAKING: Sale of legal recreational marijuana begins in Canada https://t.co/5sujnkZ6c5 https://t.co/W79KQ2AbGy
Twitter14 minutes ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @f4ashygirl: Supreme Court to hear a case about censorship. Huge. https://t.co/d6bD7k75FW
Twitter16 minutes ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
Twitter18 minutes ago · Reply · Retweet
Keisha Ruan commented on Boris Badenov's blog post YouTube Experiencing Worldwide Outage
"aweeee, i wanted to be the frst to say it"
19 minutes ago
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @BryanLowry3: McCaskill makes her first statement in response to Project Veritas placing someone in her campaign to obtain undercover vi…
Twitter20 minutes ago · Reply · Retweet
Keisha Ruan posted a status
"From a hour ago youtube is officialy down all over the world!..."FIRST!" ... youtube is saying they dont know why yet."
26 minutes ago
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @RepMarkMeadows: - Clinton campaign pays Fusion GPS - Fusion GPS hires Glenn Simpson - Glenn Simpson hires Chris Steele and Nellie Ohr -…
Twitter52 minutes ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
YouTube Experiencing Worldwide Outage - MILLENNIAL'S ON SUICIDE WATCH Lost, Depressed https://t.co/CMfhpLTcHB
Twitter53 minutes ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @wrhfeed: Young Virginia Voters Aren’t Sending In Their Ballots Because https://t.co/TjLf25Q8E6
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @wrhfeed: video Hoaxed: Everything They Told You is a Lie! https://t.co/fLN677aoAb
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @StevieJWest: She looks exactly as I'd have expected. https://t.co/TFBCDRMdl7
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @drawandstrike: It's no longer a theory or speculation. Documentary evidence was released by the Justice Dept. yesterday morning that…
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @LarrySchweikart: Carter Page is finally taking action against the DNC, and it’s serious https://t.co/ZB6u9odSX7 via @theblaze
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @MattGraver2: I'm just gonna leave this riiiiiight here: https://t.co/NqOauEd2D3 https://t.co/kELrhbMt3K
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @TwitchyTeam: WHOA! The FBI raided the offices of the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico this morning https://t.co/YLubapVsjd
Twitter1 hour ago · Reply · Retweet
canadianjoe favorited Deep Space's photo
1 hour ago
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @12160mhz: @cspanwj @cspanwj , like the rest of Tv is disgustingly anti-trump Resistance soldiers. We can barely stand it .. Your bias…
Twitter2 hours ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @12160mhz: BREAKING: TRUMP RESPONDS TO SEN. WARREN DNA TEST RESULTS! YA GOT TO SEE THIS! https://t.co/Mpe6vNMljA SHITPOSTER N CHIEF #BLU
Twitter2 hours ago · Reply · Retweet
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @wrhfeed: (BIAS) Media Embrace of Warren’s 1/1,024th Heritage an EPIC Failure #BLUEFLUSH https://t.co/u0EqglDiV1
Twitter2 hours ago · Reply · Retweet

Please remember this website is supported by your donations...

© 2018   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2015 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted