The Climate Crisis and Reproduction
Updated: Aug 25
By Maya Rogers
Would you want to bring a child into a world like this? (Photo from NBC News)
Many people today, especially young American progressives, are worried about the climate crisis. Young people are seeing and will continue to see catastrophic climate change as we move from 2020 to 2021 and beyond. And, as we look to the future, many are asking themselves: “What’s next?” Not only does this question apply to how the planet will respond to human-caused increases in CO2 emissions and the destruction of nature, but also to individual lives — including whether someone chooses to have children.
There is a growing movement today that pushes younger people to think about the severe environmental consequences of having children. In a world where there is too much consumption and too little regulation, there is very little an individual can do to make substantial change. As a result, many have latched onto factors that they can control. One of these is whether or not to reproduce. While the national birth rate has gone down for many years, this number may get even smaller within the next decade. This is due in part to people’s decisions to not bring a child into a world that appears to be on the brink of collapse.
Of course, greater access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education, as well as an economy that makes it nearly impossible to support oneself, let alone a family, are also contributing factors. However, the consideration of climate change is something that will become increasingly prevalent in the coming years. The question is, would you want to bring a child into a world like this?