recipes. whatever is true. adoption. whatever is just. redemption. whatever is honorable. modesty. whatever is pure. motherhood. whatever is lovely. think about it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Consider Reducing Baby Emissions

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Psalms 127:3-5

This morning I sat down to read our local paper and came upon the following article. I was shocked and disgusted at the message it portrayed. If you are as apalled as I was after reading, please respond (in Christ centered love) to the editor of the Northwest News and/or the author below. Let them know that this is not the kind of articles that we want to be printed our papers. Please remember to sign your name, as anonymous letters will not be read or printed and keep the comments 300 words or less, per the standards of the paper. I will comment about my views on this article in a later post.

Author Marianne Gabel:

By Marianne Gabel, One Earth

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 2:05 PM EDT

"The busy people on this planet make greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change. Most folks understand that. But we make something else: more people. Population increase is the "missing piece" in discussions of global warming. It is a sensitive but very important topic. Let my imaginary friend, the Inquiring Reader, lead the conversation.

Inquiring Reader: What is the global population now? Where is it headed?

One Earth: There are about 6.7 billion people crowding the planet today. The United Nations has predictions about how much earth's population will grow by 2050, in 43 years.The "likely" prediction is a 40 percent increase, to 9.2 billion people. The "high" projection is 10.6 billion, the "low" projection 7.9 billion people. All projections assume at least some drop in birth rates. If we keep reproducing at the exact rate we are now, does 12 billion sound scary enough?

I.R.: Close to double! But what's the connection to global warming?

One Earth: Human activity makes carbon dioxide. Over the last 2,000 years, the increase in people and the increase in carbon dioxide emissions have marched in lockstep.

I.R.: Who's going to be having those babies that the U.N. is predicting?

One Earth: Most will be born in the developing world. The population of the 50 least developed countries is set to double.

I.R.: But those people won't be driving SUVs. How will they increase greenhouse gases?

One Earth: More people, more carbon, even if each person's share is smaller. Also, they cut down trees to plant more crops and to get wood for fuel. Because trees grow by locking up carbon dioxide, forest cutting is causing nearly 20 percent of the world's GHG increase.
I.R.: What about in the developed world, like the United States?One Earth: Population in the developed world won't grow very much between now and 2050, except from immigration. But we -- particularly Americans -- create a lot more carbon dioxide than the poorer countries. Americans represent about 4 percent of the world's population but we produce 25 percent of the CO2. So a baby born in the United States already has a size 13 carbon footprint.I.R.: Is Central Ohio any different?
One Earth: The Delaware County Engineer's office reported this spring that the county's population had grown 42.5 percent since 2000. Franklin County added almost 30,000 people during the same time span. A lot of planted and forested acres have been paved over, and there are a lot more cars. If we want to find places where CO2 increases should be cut, we can start right here, in our own growing counties
.I.R.: Isn't more being done everywhere to reduce global warming gases?
One Earth: Yes, and of course that's critical, but you know what? We could work very hard and find our carbon reductions offset by more people arriving on the planet.
I.R.: What needs to be done? It probably needs to be done quickly.
One Earth: The good news is that in the developing world, things can turn around quickly if women have information and access to family planning. Between 1950 and 2005, women in Mexico and Brazil went from averaging more than six children each to about 2.4 children. When women in poorer countries can choose family size, they consistently choose smaller families. They know they can take better care of fewer children and make the whole family better off. But they can't do it unless contraception is easily available! America should give a huge boost in our international aid to offer voluntary reproductive health services to the women who want it.
I.R.: What about here in the U.S.?
One Earth: When 35 percent of births in the United States are from unplanned pregnancies, it's just as important for Americans to have solid information and access to contraception. We need to pay much more attention to family planning. We've been stingy in ensuring money for contraception at home as well as in the underdeveloped countries. Bush Administration policies have been downright obstructionist.For a change, though, a bipartisan bill called the Ohio Prevention First Act, co-sponsored by state Rep. Jon Peterson (R-Delaware), is in committee in the General Assembly. Its purpose is to prevent unintended pregnancies. Let's hope it passes.
I.R.: But don't we love babies and want them?
One Earth: Of course! Every child should be wanted and loved, and every child deserves a chance at a happy life. As global warming unrolls, every day offers us choices that can improve the odds for all children on earth. Smaller family size is one of those choices.
I.R.: Imagine the difference if we can hold global population to 7.9 billion instead of 9.2 or 10.6 billion, and can cut our greenhouse gases, too!
One Earth: There would be less pollution, less disease, fewer waves of people driven from one place to another in search of food and water or hounded by weather catastrophes and wars.In other words, our choices can reduce epic human suffering. A population increase that doesn't happen could be our most compassionate and moral gift to the future of all life on earth, including our own.


Anonymous said...

I just can't believe someone would actually say that. When I read that this morning (in the email you sent me), I thought it must be a joke! I just don't know what to say. I'm so opposed to that way of thinking; I'm speechless.

Tracy said...

What warped thinking.