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 Post subject: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabitale?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:47 pm 
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Since climate scientists are always warning us about this, we've all read the news stories, or learned about this in school, year after year we learn that this problem is way worse than previously projected.

I might actually want to have kids but long ago I thought, this world seems to be going to hell in so many ways. I can acknowledge now since I'm a little older that some of this was paranoia on my part, and I'm more hopeful about many issues, but not about climate change and everything that it will lead to. This issue still spooks the hell out of me and I don't know of / can't imagine any way we can reverse the coming damage with technology or otherwise.

So, is it OK to have kids, knowing what's to come? I don't have any, currently or on the way, and maybe this is a hard, blunt question for parents. I've gotta ask anyways. I don't mean is it ok to breed more consumers, I'll leave that as a separate topic, for now I mean is it OK to knowingly bring kids into a world that is unfortunately headed for disaster and some very sad days ahead. I hate that this is a concern, and that this is a downer of a question, but it's been a concern of mine for a while. I just wonder what others think, maybe there are some fresh perspectives out there worth consideration

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:33 am 
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Sure. Somebody has to fight the desert mutants as they cross the wastelands in search of water and gasoline.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:22 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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More seriously, there have been terrible things looming throughout history. I was born in the 70's and grew up in the 80's, when it looked like we were all going to be nuked into dust at any moment. In the 60's, the Cold War simmered and Viet Nam and other stuff was happening. The 50's? Cold war, nuclear annihilation. 40's? WW2! 20's? 30's? The great depression! The teens? A meatgrinder of a war, devouring a generation of European children. You can keep going backwards. It's not particularly worse than it's been. There are still as many ingenious humans working to keep the world from going down the tubes as there are foolish ones working toward chaos. (The plague! Would you have children during the plague? Would you have children knowing that 40 years old was unspeakably ancient? That's been the case for much of human history.)

The future is always going to look pretty bad if you look at it that way. Would you deny the potential for people to have pretty good lives and be happy regardless of what's going on around them? I really don't want to spin this off into another childfree thread, but if you're going to have kids, have kids. If you're not, don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:36 am 
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Everything solipsistnation said but also with an added:

Don't forget... we're an animal species that came directly from evolution through reproduction. It's embedded in every fibre of our being. Whether you choose to bring a child into this world or not, it's absolutely, 100% going to happen on this earth at the same rate it always has and ever will until the very moment the earth blows into pieces.

Edit to say: Not trying to poo-poo anyone who chooses not to have kids for this or any reason. I think you just might not be seeing the big picture on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:47 am 
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Echoing solipsistnation here (especially the part about desert mutants and wastelands)

Yes, some things are far worse than they used to be; climate change sucks, as does the possibility of cyberterrorism, identity theft, and Westboro Baptist. However, I'm willing to bet that my daughter will have a much easier time of life than most of humanity born throughout history. People have, and still, survive plagues, evil dictators, food shortages, and an unnameable other serious crises. Or:

solipsistnation wrote:
The future is always going to look pretty bad if you look at it that way. Would you deny the potential for people to have pretty good lives and be happy regardless of what's going on around them? I really don't want to spin this off into another childfree thread, but if you're going to have kids, have kids. If you're not, don't.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:46 am 
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It depends on how you look at it, I would argue that we have a consumption problem, not a population problem...Canada has a relatively small population, and we have plenty of space, yet consumes more and contributes more to global warming than many densely populated countries.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:21 pm 
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I think it's only natural to want your kids to have a future. I don't have kids and aren't having any in the foreseeable future. But I have had had thoughts along the line of "What if the ice caps melt and I bought a kid into the world just so it can drown later on?" On the other hand you can teach them not be over consuming environment destroying pricks. So I dunno. I think it's your choice and you make the decision that you feel is right. doesn't matter what other people think.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:34 pm 
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But if the ice caps melt, they can build an awesome catamaran and roam the future oceans having adventures!

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
It depends on how you look at it, I would argue that we have a consumption problem, not a population problem...Canada has a relatively small population, and we have plenty of space, yet consumes more and contributes more to global warming than many densely populated countries.


Clearly everybody should go vegan, right?

I think coming to a place of sustainability in population growth lies with increased women's education, functioning in the public sphere, reproductive autonomy, and control of family money. In most developed nations with strong educational and financial protections for women, the birth rate has already fallen below replacement levels (to the point where governments are bribing people to have children to prop up failing social security schemes). We don't need to tell Europeans to have fewer children. The U.S. hasn't reached that point of cultural development yet, but I see no reason why it won't within the next few generations. Repeated research has shown that helping women attain more education, more control of family money, and more reproductive autonomy has led naturally to decreased population growth in developing nations. Rather than engaging in navel gazing over whether people in the first world should have kids, I'd rather everybody exercise their right to figure out how many kids they should have (and how they should get those kids) and put the rest of our intellectual and financial resources into getting the power into the hands of women around the world who *can't* make that choice now.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:49 pm 
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None of us really know what will happen in the next 30 seconds, let alone the next 30 years, so I think if you want children (and can be a responsible parent!), you should have them. Even if there are big problems/challenges/ crisises during their lifetime, I think it's better to give them life than not at all on some chance that something might go really wrong.

As for me, I do not plan on having children ever (I can hardly be responsible for myself), but if I ever did change my mind, the potential future problems of mankind would have no influence on that decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Yeah, and to respond to the actual question - I feel better now about bringing kids into the world than my grandparents should've felt about it, but they didn't think about that question at all. Hopefully my children will be part of the solution and I don't have any doubts that they will respond well to however the world turns out in their lifetimes. I'm okay with the world looking different in fifty years. I have pangs of guilt over changing weather patterns and all that they mean and the fact that humanity has been the driving force behind that change. But at the same time, the way the world is now is not empirically better or worse than the way it might be when my kids grow up, or the way it was 100 years ago. There is no magic number of species that should exist, the world has gone through massive shifts in the past and it always finds a way to realign. I trust that humanity will be clever enough to ride with the changes and to make the adjustments that make sense, including adjustments in childbearing.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:37 am 
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Bridean, I'm not having one, so feel free to have one for me. Then it allll evens out.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:32 am 
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Moon wrote:
Bridean, I'm not having one, so feel free to have one for me. Then it allll evens out.

exactly! just think of all the childfree vegans you have to take up the slack for.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:42 am 
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I'll be the pessimist and say I think we're all forked beyond repair, so I feel justified in my decision to probably not have kids for other reasons. I personally don't think there's anything future generations can do, short of restructuring the whole way the world works, to save what previous generations have done.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:50 pm 
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Personally, I will not drag more children into this over-crowded world. If you want to be a parent, adopt. Your DNA isn't so valuable that the next generation can't get by without it. Give the next generation the gift of more elbow room.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:40 am 
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foxfire burns wrote:
Personally, I will not drag more children into this over-crowded world. If you want to be a parent, adopt. Your DNA isn't so valuable that the next generation can't get by without it. Give the next generation the gift of more elbow room.


I think you underestimate how difficult it is to adopt a child. And let's say everyone agreed not to get pregnant on purpose. What about people who accidentally conceive? Do you expect absolutely every single person to get an abortion?

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:44 am 
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The long trend of human history is that things get better, not worse. You're probably more justified in having children today than at any other point in history.

Climate change is a major concern, but it's not going to make the world uninhabitable over the next century.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:58 am 
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mumbles wrote:

Climate change is a major concern, but it's not going to make the world uninhabitable over the next century.

well not for everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:47 pm 
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The problems facing the world now, or problems facing the world ever, are a reason why if you do have kids I believe it is very important to make them as informed as you can as the issues they will have to deal with and are dealing with currently, and how to live without waste and extras as much as possible. The kids you may have, who are well trained by their parents to be responsible in their actions, limit resource consumption, care about the world around them, do things for themselves, etc. will be much better for the world than kids who do not understand and don't care.

I think the most important thing is to raise your kids with a sense of conservation in everyday life and anti-consumerist practices so that the kids you have may be better stewards of the planet than their predecessors so that crisis now or later will be better mitigated than by a generation that does not understand/care. The kids you may have then can influence others such as friends, teachers, parents of friends, and may be helpful. We are running out of resources, not space, so it is in my mind, more important to find out how to reduce/reuse, limit consumption of everything unnecessary, etc, rather than not have kids. Personally, I want to have many, if it was up to me, I would probably not stop till I had at least 7, maybe more. If I lived in a previous time in history, maybe I could do this. Since I don't, and since my partner is scared at the moment of having kids, its an uphill conversation. I'm going to start with having one, and see where it goes, but all in all, I would not decide not to have kids just because we are going to have to get more creative as a nation on how to reduce waste and help provide for all the people in the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:56 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:43 pm 
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I actually felt this way for a long time and didn't want to have kids. My husband really wanted to. Someone convinced me by saying we really don't know what will happen in the future and it is quite a leap to have absolutely no hope. I thought about that - do I really have no hope at all? And the truth is, deep down inside I can't say that. I do agree with others in this thread that looking at history from a long perspective, in many ways things have gotten better. It is also true that every generation seems to have some doomsday threat.

So, I had a kid and I have to say I am SO GLAD! He is truly the best thing that's ever happened to me (and I had him at 38, with lots to be proud of that I'd accomplished before that).

However, I do worry now about the future more than ever and sometimes I get really scared for his sake. I just try to do my best to be a part of the solution and teach him too.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:12 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
It depends on how you look at it, I would argue that we have a consumption problem, not a population problem...Canada has a relatively small population, and we have plenty of space, yet consumes more and contributes more to global warming than many densely populated countries.


YES! There is a problem of consumption, and for me not so much overpopulation (a term mostly used when speaking of African nations or India-racism rearing its ugly head!). I have 3, with many of my friends having 3+.. I don't think we're screwing the planet.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:04 am 
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i dont think we have a population problem yet, just a consumption problem, but since the consumption problem will not go away & the population is growing like crazy, there will be a population problem anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to have kids when world is becoming uninhabital
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:58 am 
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mamatafari wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
It depends on how you look at it, I would argue that we have a consumption problem, not a population problem...Canada has a relatively small population, and we have plenty of space, yet consumes more and contributes more to global warming than many densely populated countries.


YES! There is a problem of consumption, and for me not so much overpopulation (a term mostly used when speaking of African nations or India-racism rearing its ugly head!). I have 3, with many of my friends having 3+.. I don't think we're screwing the planet.


Okay, I am going to mostly agree with mamatafari. I think that one needs to be careful when we talk about 'over population' and what sort of populations we are talking about. I bolded the subtext that is often in the background. Northern Europe, for example, certainly does not have an 'over population problem.'

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