Would You Have Children?

David Trammel's picture

James Rainey, over on NBCNews wrote an article on the growing attitude by Millennials, that it might be unwise to have children when facing climate change and the hardships it will bring.

For some millennials, climate change clock ticks louder than biological one

"Erika Lundahl writes and performs her own songs. She works in Seattle for a company that publishes books on the environment. She thinks a lot about how best to occupy her place in the world. Yet, despite this full life, Lundahl, at 27, feels a clock ticking. Her biological clock, yes, but also the one to fix global warming, or face the likelihood that she and her potential children will have to live in a seriously marginalized world.

“There is this sense that if you don’t have kids soon, you could be putting them in a harder position,” Lundahl said. “But if you do have them, that will not be easy either, with the storms, the intense droughts, the precariousness of the times. It’s like you are playing with two ticking time bombs — yours and the planet’s.”

Fears of bringing children into a troubled world may be as old as recorded history. The government reported last year that U.S. birth rates had hit a 30-year low, attributed partly to millennials who felt they were under economic duress."


Would you have children facing what we know is coming?

We have six.

And I would say that for those who've already started collapsing it's probably a better idea to have children than to not. Children are the primary means by which we send our knowledge into the future: our libraries will not go with us if we have to flee, the knowledge in our children's heads will go with them no matter where they land.

As one works downward on the scale of technologies children themselves are useful, rather than burdens. Littles playing in the yard keep the magpies off the tomatoes hardening off. Your woodstove will use the same amount of wood whether chopped by you or a big child. In some senses, the family is the community.

When we consider the coming population collapse, we can see that the first to go will be those reliant on modern medical technology, who are mostly elders. Young people with strong, healthy bodies and no ongoing medical intervention will fare best, short of an epidemic like Spanish Flu. Ensuring that there are such young people and that they have the knowledge they need is surely the job of those of us in our middle years of life.