Reducing our Carbon Heartbeat
Breaking news: people are – themselves – pollutants. In a shoddy little piece of propaganda issued earlier today, Britain’s Daily Telegraph quotes a recent study by the London School of Economics (LSE) titled: Fewer Emitter, Lower Emissions, Less Cost. The bottom line? Babies are burdensome… not only to their parents, but to society at large and, indeed, to the entire human race:
“The UN estimates that 40 per cent of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended.” The Daily Telegraph, 09/09/09
The spin continues, “If these basic family planning needs were met, 34 gigatons (billion tonnes) of CO2 would be saved – equivalent to nearly 6 times the annual emissions of the US and almost 60 times the UK’s annual total.”
Roger Martin, chairman of the Optimum Population Trust at the LSE, (yes folks, that actually exists) said: “It’s always been [obvious] that total emissions depend on the number of emitters as well as their individual emissions – the carbon tonnage can’t shoot down as we want, while the population keeps shooting up.”
In sum, human beings – themselves the supposed authors of climate change – are becoming a bona fide hazard to global health, and if we could only provide adequate family planning resources (read: harmful, cancer-causing contraceptives, condoms which increase risky sexual behaviors, and abortion on demand), maybe… just maybe we can save this planet from ourselves.
What is actually inherent in the equation “More Humans = More Pollution” is the obvious converse: “Fewer Humans = Healthier Planet.”
And isn’t that what the climate control junkies have been harping after for decades? They don’t want to save the world “for the sake of the children” … They don’t want there to be any children. Period. Except for those whom they selectively deign worthy of existence. Healthy ones. Fit ones. Those who fit the socioeconomic designs of their mercenary mothers and fathers.
Perhaps my acerbity is unnecessary, but then, how does one respond to the charge that human beings are trash? That the human person is intrinsically parasitic? Can one be too politically insensitive when answering such a charge? I think not. Maybe it’s the mother bear in me, but anyone who purports that curtailing “40% of the world’s pregnancies” would solve some pressing issues relating to the utterly unsubstantiated and unproven “epidemic” of global warming has some ‘splaining to do. Particularly in light of all the “chatter” surrounding the great health care debate over here in the States.
Yes, by all means, let’s make the Pill more readily available for human consumption. That will surely stop the crushing wheels of progress from lurching forward over unsuspecting subspecies and biomes. But then, there’s the mounting evidence (as mentioned here and here) that contraceptive sex ain’t the panacea it’s cracked up to be, particularly from the perspective of environmental impact.
So maybe the Pill’s not the ideal solution to curb that nasty, child-producing epidemic know colloquially as “sexual intercourse.” Maybe there’s an easier way… a “greener” way. Maybe we ought to be looking down the pike for the eventuality of the ultimate rationalization: forced sterilization.
We have licenses to drive. Licenses to wed. Licenses to install plumbing on build sites… shouldn’t we, you know, set up some kind of government authorization process whereby individuals can be screened, processed and labelled “fit to breed?”
Don’t think it’s not coming just because it’s terrifying. Twenty years ago, the notion of starving a disabled person to death was terrifying. Forty years ago, there existed no such notion as “consensual sex” between a sixteen-year old boy and a 22-year old college man. Seventy years ago, the specter of gender-selective abortion was terrifying (well, everywhere but in Nazi Germany).
Which brings us to today. And which brings me to the close of my rant. And the following article, which I’d suggest you share with as many people as possible, with the caveat that you prepare in advance to offer a solid rebuttal to the fallacies contained within.
“shouldn’t we, you know, set up some kind of government authorization process whereby individuals can be screened, processed and labelled “fit to breed?”
You find this a scary prospect? Do you find the menace of a brat-free existence too much to bear?
Let’s face it, too many people have children for the wrong reasons. Having offspring should not be a merely selfish thing; it entails too much responsibility for that.
I, putting myself in the role of the still unborn child, would be thankful if certain people were not allowed to become my parents.
Not so long ago, child protection laws were still unimaginable. How could the state have any saying in what one was to do to one’s own child?
These laws exist because there is a need to safeguard the mental and physical health of individuals who are still not autonomous and whose parents are abusive.
Maybe those people should not have been allowed to procreate in the first place. The automatic right to bear offspring is secondary compared with the right for every individual to grow and live in a healthy environment. And that is not something that should be feared, on the contrary.
I’d like to address a couple of your points which seem slightly at odds with one another.
First: “Do you find the menace of a brat-free existence too much to bear?”
And secondly: “I, putting myself in the role of the still unborn child, would be thankful if certain people were not allowed to become my parents.”
I’m concerned by your apparent schizophrenia over what appear to be conflicting ideologies. Do you regard children, born or unborn, as “brats,” or as individuals whose shoes you can easily step into as you attempt to rationalize poor parenting skills as justification for abortion?
Your typical, relativistic response to the “abortion issue” shows clearly how two-minded you are over the whole matter. Either the unborn is a person worthy of human dignity and respect, or is a parasitic “brat” whose unwanted appearance on the scene merits extinction.
Guess what? You can’t have it both ways. Either you are an advocate for child rights, as you purport to be, or you’re an advocate for their willful destruction.
And as for your final gem, “Maybe those people should not have been allowed to procreate in the first place.”
Who would you suggest make that call? Perhaps you are personally qualified to make such a profound judgment? What qualifies you, I wonder… your race? Your socioeconomic status? Your religion? Your gender? Your political beliefs?
It’s a slippery slope, anonymous. Do your homework and bone up on some Margaret Sanger, then come back and try again.
Well, I am not schizophrenic, but I am quite dualistic on my thinking, realizing that the same thing can mean many different things. As such, my use of the word “brat”, which I know can be used derogatorily, was actually drawing on a certain tenderness that can be attributed to it. The ages at which a child can be called a brat are really unique and special to a parent, more than when the child can’t talk yet, or when it is moving into adolescence. I was trying to draw on the rewarding aspects of parenthood so I choose that word, but apparently it wasn’t understood as I meant it to be. I could as well have used the word “child” .
Now, I am not commenting on the abortion issue. I am a strong proponent of contraception which, if strictly followed, leaves no (or even less) justification for abortion. I am certainly not advocating abortion as a contraceptive measure, or as a forced imposition for those who would eventually be doing it without a permit.
Deciding on who can or can’t have offspring shouldn’t have anything to do with race, ethnicity, social status, etc. I know that this is a difficult issue and would have to be executed with total fairness and strict guidelines. It should depend on things which can objectively verifiable. For example:
Have both prospective parents been in a stable and harmonious relationship for a minimum established period?
Are they above the established minimum age?
Do they have the means to provide for the child?
Are they physically (hereditary and infectious diseases, etc) and mentally healthy ?
Is any of them a convicted criminal?
Is any of them addicted to drugs?
Has the prospective female parent already had the maximum number of permitted births?
Before you say that this is akin to eugenics, let me remind you that I make no mention of intelligence, beauty, height, etc. Those factors are personal and subjective. The factors that I am listing are not.
“I know that this is a difficult issue and would have to be executed with total fairness and strict guidelines.”
I meant “difficult” as “sensitive” (sensitive issue).
“Eugenics: the study of, or belief in, the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).”
The above definition, from the Random House dictionary sitting on my desk, is both commonly-held and widely recognized.
Mask what you propose with whatever “dualism” you will, but it remains – irrefutably – eugenic in nature.
What arrogance to presume that someone can decide whether another human being is “fit” or “unfit” to reproduce.
Finally, contraception (contra=against ception= the beginning) is intrinsically opposed to human life from the first moment of existence. Abortion is necessarily the logical outcome of failed contraceptive practice. As long as we have the one, the people will demand access to the other.
(And by the way, all chemical contraceptives currently on the market are themselves abortifacient.)
The guidelines I suggested are simply oriented towards:
Guaranteeing the conditions necessary for the child to have a normal and healthy growth.
Preventing excessive population growth (into environmentally unsustainable numbers).
Eugenics is, as your dictionary correctly mentions, oriented to influence the genetic make-up of a population towards whatever traits are considered desirable at the time.
The goals are different therefore the execution is different, and so is the outcome.
Regarding abortion, I have to admit that I am not familiar with your use of the word. You seem to be equating an act that prevents conception (the joining of the sperm and the egg) with the killing of an already formed fetus.
I have to ask, do you also consider abstention from sex as abortion, since healthy eggs and sperm are being denied their transformation into human beings, and die without being fulfilled?
Aha, but you change tactics. You originally listed the following criterion:
“Are they physically (hereditary and infectious diseases, etc) and mentally healthy?”
If that’s not eugenic, I’d be curious to know what does qualify. Your reasoning is sound if selective population control is your aim, but what you suggest is most certainly eugenics.
Abstention is, of course, not an abortive act, but a preventative one. Abortion has nothing to do with individual sperm or egg cells, and everything to do with the destruction of a fertilized zygote/ developing fetus/human person (call him or her whatever you like.)
If you are unfamiliar with the effects of chemical contraception, which is the form I specifically referenced, then I suggest checking out the label info on Ortho, Depo, the Nuva ring, etc. Chemical contraceptives have a secondary effect: they not only suppress ovulation (this is not abortion), but they actually thin the uterine lining and render the womb an inhospitable environment incapable of sustaining the implantation of a fertilized egg (this is abortion).
If you still have questions about the connections between abortion and chemical contraceptives, I’d be happy to discuss the matter further, or recommend some good sites for you to research.
Great job Jenny. This is the kind of foolish debate that wears me down. I’m so grateful for people such as you who are willing to step into the breech and engage.
I’m getting older and am frustrated with much of the (non)thinking that throws sand into the mindgears. Of course you know better than most, that this is really a spiritual problem at the root.
(P.S. I’ve been away from blogosphere for a while and am thrilled to hear of your engagement. I prayed for you and other blogger kin at several holy hours.)