Skip to comments.Is Cap and Trade for Babies Next?
Posted on 08/15/2009 10:31:51 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Just when you thought you'd seen everything, a pair of scientists at Oregon State University has published a study arguing that any effort to limit carbon emissions must consider the impact of "reproductive choices" on the ecological equation.
Paul A. Murtaugh and Michael G. Schlax make their case in "Reproduction and the Carbon Legacies of Individuals," published in the journal, Global Environmental Change. "While population growth is obviously a key component of projections of carbon emissions at a global level, there has been relatively little emphasis on the environmental consequences of the reproductive choices of an individual person," they argue. After all, there are not only the "immediate effects" caused by each offspring, but also the "additional impacts" if these offspring eventually produce further offspring.
According to the study, a single female's decision to reproduce even a single child could have tremendous ecological effects. In order to make their case, the researchers traced a hypothetical single female's "genetic contribution to future generations" and projected the carbon legacy this contribution would entail. They posit that each child will add 9441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average female.
To their credit, the researchers have invested considerable thought into exactly how they might project this "carbon legacy." They made their calculations with the understanding that children, both male and female, are likely to enter into reproductive pairs and produce future generations. They assumed a reproductive rate of 1.85 children per woman by the year 2050.
Taking all this into account, Murtaugh and Schlax estimate that a woman in the United States who makes significant lifestyle adjustments in order to reduce her own carbon legacy - such as increasing her car's fuel economy, reducing miles driven, adopting energy-efficient technologies, recycling, etc. - would save about 486 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a lifetime. Yet, "if you were to have two children, this would eventually add nearly 40 times that amount" of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In other words, all her efforts to be environmentally conscious and careful would be overwhelmed by her decision to have just two children.
The researchers argue:
Clearly, an individual's reproductive choices can have a dramatic effect on the total carbon emissions ultimately attributable to his or her genetic lineage. Understanding the ways that an individual's daily activities influence emissions and explain the huge disparities in per capita emissions among countries is obviously essential, but ignoring the consequences of reproduction can lead to a serious underestimation of an individual's long-term impact on the global environment.
In one sense, a scientific report like this could represent little more than a hypothetical answer to a conjectured question. Nevertheless, more is at stake here. These researchers make this point clear when, early in their article, they assert: "Our basic premise is that a person is responsible for the carbon emissions of his descendents, weighted by their relatedness to him."
This is a quite remarkable assertion. While these two researchers have addressed their report to the scientific community, they openly acknowledge that their argument should be taken into consideration by those concerned with the policy challenge of climate change. As they argue, "Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle."
Warnings that human reproduction will lead to ecological disaster have been common since at least the 1960s. Generally, these arguments have been couched in considerations of limited natural resources and environmental sustainability. Now, a new element is added to the mix, complete with a proposed model for quantifying a projected environmental impact. These two researchers advise that failing to take "reproductive choices" of individuals into account will effectively doom all other efforts to reduce the level of carbon emissions.
The logic of this argument is clear and chilling. The leap from scientific analysis to proposals for public policy is almost sure to come. How long will it be before prospective parents are warned that their decision to reproduce could be catastrophic for the environment? Should we now expect a cap and trade proposal for babies?
Anti-natalist philosophies have been around even longer than arguments over ecology and sustainability. Given our biblical responsibility for environmental stewardship, Christians should indeed be thoughtfully engaged with the entire nexus of questions related to carbon emissions, climate change, and respect for the Earth. Nevertheless, when we begin to measure babies in terms of a "carbon legacy" and a projected threat to the environment, we abandon the biblical worldview. Human beings cannot be reduced to a "carbon legacy" and the gift of children must never be seen as an assault upon the earth.
Adapted from R. Albert Mohler Jr.'s weblog at www.albertmohler.com.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com. For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to www.sbts.edu. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Original Source: www.albertmohler.com.
Obama has appointed a ton of crazies, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this gets taken seriously
Global warming hysteria is the foreplay before the sodomy known as government population control.
I know two candidates for mandatory carbon footprint reduction right now....
China has been capping babies for years. How’s their environment?
My guess is they REALLY like Gladiator movies and antiques...
The logic behind the global warming argument is totalitarian.
Yes, these people intend to insert themselves into your most basic decisions. There is nothing private where they are concerned.
People are going to have to understand that there is no such thing as a little totalitarianism. Once you have accepted the logic that drives it you have no clear boundary anymore.
I have a novel idea. Why don’t we drill here, drill now, use our abundant coal resources, build nuclear power plants, forget about endangered species, wetlands, global warming, etc., and get back to feeding the world with our abundance.
Do you realize, I know most of you do, that all these liberal programs are working just as the liberals intended, they are destroying us as a world leader in every possible way.
They take advantage of our goodness in order to destroy us. Who doesn’t want to protect the environment, save the children, protect animals, etc.? All of us do. However, all these things can easily be done privately with no government involvement. As my tagline says, “Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.”
They have become so open and aggressive we need to fight back in kind. We are doing that with the Tea Parties, Townhall Meetings, e-mails, letters, and phone calls to politicians and the media.
We must not let up. We are beginning to have an impact.
Bet they didn't count on that choice eh!
Now, to find their addresses and my old Burdizzo.
You want help? sure! but you got to agree to be sterilized. In return I would be willing to give them cradle to grave care of every sort, food, housing, healthcare, even shinny mag wheels that spin, as long as they agree to be sterilized.
“any effort to limit carbon emissions must consider the impact of “reproductive choices” on the ecological equation.”
This is their true dream. And it is of course pure evil. It really is easy to see parallels with 1930’s Germany.
Humans have no rights.
Fish, whales & owls have all of them.
They might have a point. In the process of conceiving three children, I can remember lots of nights when Mrs. CommerceComet and I were producing carbon dioxide hot and heavy.
How awful! So now you're EcoCriminals...
Aren't we all
But one thing we probably know....these two dweebs have never engaged in that kind of greenhouse gas production, unless it was with each other.
Maybe that's what really bothers them. They didn't get invited to the party. Maybe we should just buy them a night at the Mustang Ranch and they'll shut up.
Hamid read the new report on Cap and Trade for babies with Rapt Attention. He turned to his wife:
“Look, Surya! We and our fellow muslim couples can each have 10 kids, like the Koran commands, and each one will add 9441 tons of Carbon to our atmosphere! We can conquer the world while the decadent Europeans and Americans stop having children, and we will be warmer, just like in Iraq! Hooraaaaay! Allahu fubar!”
They'll all die of black lung well before the ice caps collapse.
Do you know what this means? Rampant sex can protect us against the coming Maunder Minimum! Who knew?
Guilty as charged....and proud of it.
Maybe that's what really bothers them.
I think what really bothers them is that they have screwed up their own lives and want to make amends by running everyone else's.
Poor dears. I suspect that there's a woman out there for just about every man. You may have to order her over the internet, but she's out there!
I believe that my family accounts for more emissions than a one GigaWatt dirty coal plant!
Wheeeeee!!!! Take that, Greenies!
(by the way, the bulk of them are quite conservative :^)
“A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.” John Paul II
I have a far better idea. All liberals must commit suicide in order to save the planet.
The founder were so on their game, enumerating inalienable rights, as they did.
The founders didn't have a problem. They declared, as the basic law of our country, that there are rights that the government does bestow but is obligated to recognize.
What the left does is to demand recognition of created "rights," and assume authority over them. It a power play: the "plantation" method exposed.
As Galatians 6:7 illustrates.