Exchanging One Footprint for Another
Does this sound familiar? It could have been lifted straight out of the 60’s- 70’s. Remember the days of the population explosion panic? (Thomas Malthus, 1766-1834–his theories never panned out) Carbon footprint theories are a different issue, but with the same take on population explosion. Both views are used to justify abortion. Can’t anyone come up with something original???
If someone offered me a bag of 9,441 metric tons of carbon or a child. I would pick the child every time…..every time.
For people who are looking for ways to reduce their “carbon footprint,” here’s one radical idea that could have a big long-term impact, some scientists say: Have fewer kids.
A study by statisticians at 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.concluded that in the United States, the carbon legacy and
“In discussions about population growth and increasing global consumption of resources.”, we tend to focus on the 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
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.
A child’s impact
Under current conditions in the United States, for instance, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent – about 5.7 times the lifetime emissions for which, on average, a person is responsible.
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.
The impact of having children differs between countries. While some developing nations have much higher populations and rates of population growth than the United States, their overall impact on the global carbon equation is often reduced by shorter life spans and less consumption. The long-term impact of a child born to a family in China is less than one-fifth the impact of a child born in the United States, the study found.
However, as the developing world increases both its population and consumption levels, this equation may even out.
“China and India right now are steadily increasing their standards of living,” Murtaugh said.and industrial development, and other developing nations may also continue to increase as they seek higher
Not advocating law
The researchers note that they are not advocating government controls or intervention on population issues, but say they simply want to make people aware of the environmental consequences of their reproductive choices.
“Many people are unaware of the power of,” Murtaugh said. “Future growth amplifies the consequences of people’s reproductive choices today, the same way that compound interest amplifies a bank balance.”