Proud to be a lifelong, kid-free environmentalist

That’s how Warren Dunn signs himself in a “My View” piece in the Santa Fe New Mexican entitled “Fewer children will leave fewer carbon footprints.” Worried about deforestation, global warming and “the possible demise of our species,” Dunn calls for free vasectomies and tubal ligations, and replacing tax deductions for having children with rewards for married couples who remain childless.

Mr. Dunn is not alone in his antipathy to breeding. A search of “childfree” at turns up quite a few books celebrating life without progeny, and a web search turns up a number of websites like Childfree by and Baby Not on Board: A Celebration of Life Without Kids. The latter contains a link to a site called “Unruly, Ill-Mannered Yard Apes” that provides its readers with a “delightful assemblage of baby synonyms (for example, sperm vermin).” Alas, the link takes one to a web design page that has nothing to do with nasty epithets for children.

With birth rates well below replacement levels, European countries have long had to rely on immigrants to attain an adequate work force, and the social problems arising from this in France especially are well known. I wonder if Mr. Dunn and other advocates of population reduction have given any thought to who is going to be working and paying into Social Security when the all the childless environmentalists are sitting in their childfree and grandchildfree homes collecting their checks.

Comments 2

  1. Lucinda wrote:

    Although most systems of providing for retired citizens are financed by taxing working citizens, the concept of needing younger people to support older people is obsolete. If used responsibly, products from the industrial and technological revolutions could satisfy our needs without selling our children into wage slavery.

    Social security systems are artificial, so adjustments for changes, such as a reduction in the number of potential workers, can be made.

    Automation removes more workers from payrolls than birth control does. Owners of the machines gain the “wages” formerly paid to workers, without paying a percentage into pension funds. Adjustments could be made.

    Unemployment reveals that we already have enough potential workers. Increasing employment and increasing wages will increase funds paid to social security.

    In the USA, a pea-and-shell game is being played on taxpayers. More money is taken in for social security than is shelled out, but the remainder vanishes instead of being invested for future pensioners.

    The solution to having our nest eggs stolen isn’t to lay more eggs.



    As a partner in a childless (by choice) couple, and a very active volunteer I’ll say one thing–any of our friends who decide to have children I say good bye to, see you in 20 years. My heart sinks–happy for them but it’s a loss to community as they turn completely inward and away from the world that so much needs their help. It’s right to give one’s family undivided attention and everything you’ve got, but it’s a loss to the outside world. Some people accuse people who choose not to have children of being selfish and narcissistic but frankly I see it the other way. Families with children become totally self-absorbed and “don’t have time” for anything or anyone but them. Very sad.

    Posted 13 Jun 2008 at 4:36 pm
  2. Brigette Russell wrote:

    Not every couple who has children becomes totally self-absorbed, inward-looking, and narcissistic. I know a number of people with children who are involved in community organizations, charitable work, etc. While it is true that some parents become totally focused on their children to the exclusion of any sense of community life, it is also true that some childless people lead self-absorbed, narcissistic lives of pointless hedonism.

    Posted 15 Jun 2008 at 3:49 am

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 3

  1. From Moralia - Be patriotic – have a baby, and get an SUV for your trouble on 13 Jun 2008 at 12:30 pm

    […] would be a better incentive. Oh wait, I forgot, we Americans aren’t supposed to have babies because they’re bad for the environment. Maybe Berkeley or Santa Monica or Santa Fe will declare October 4 the Day of Non-Conception and […]

  2. From Moralia - The lazy shrew and the breeder pig on 31 Jul 2008 at 6:12 pm

    […] was longer] The “kids are bad for the environment” argument is something I’ve posted about before. This is strictly an affluent Westerner’s line of thinking, the sort of reasoning you get […]

  3. From Moralia - Excuse me for breeding and cluttering up your world on 23 Dec 2008 at 10:53 pm

    […] but I have to say, there is a noticeable minority here who really don’t like kids. I’ve written before about people who think kids are bad for the environment. I thought of that post later in the same […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *