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Some choose to not have kids to protect earth

Some choose to not have kids to protect earth thumbnail

Jessica Cupp does what she can to protect the environment. She recycles, re-purposes and reuses whatever she can. She has a garden, raises chickens and tries to be as self-sustaining as possible.

And although she can’t afford a Prius or solar panels, the 28-year-old Springfield woman is doing something big to help the planet: she chooses not to have children.

“The most impact I can do is not create an impact, not have kids,” she said. “Because they’ll have kids, and those kids will have kids. And before you know it, in 100 years there can be 100 people created from you.”

Cupp is right, according to a 2009 Oregon State University study. The study found that not having children is the choice that yields the largest long-term benefit to the environment.

The study concluded that in the United States the carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of an extra child will have 20 times more impact than some of the other environmentally sensitive practices people might do their entire lives — like recycling or driving a high mileage vehicle.

Researchers also found that potential carbon impacts vary dramatically across nations. The average long-term impact of a child born in the U.S. — along with that child’s descendants — is more than 160 times the impact of a child born in Bangladesh, according to the study.

“It’s our lifestyle and our standard of living,” explained Janice Greene, a Missouri State University biology professor. “Most of our homes have one car per person of driving age or more. The trend is bigger homes, so to heat and cool and build bigger homes increases our carbon footprint. We travel a lot more.

“When I was growing up, a vacation was anywhere you could drive to. Now, it’s getting on a plane and go.”

And unfortunately, folks in other developing countries are beginning to behave more like Americans in terms of consuming more resources, she added.

Greene said she knows a handful of people who choose not to have kids in an effort to protect the environment.

“Is it futile? No,” she added. “But a lot of people could choose to have the same affect just by reducing their carbon footprint. … It’s just a different way of wanting to help the environment.”

According to Greene, the growing population is key to most every environmental issue there is — from resource consumption to development and deforestation.

To make sure Cupp and her husband don’t add to the problems, she had a 10-year contraceptive device implanted. She said most doctors won’t sterilize a woman of childbearing age unless the woman has had a child.

“A lot of religious people think it’s our duty to reproduce and procreate because that’s what it says in the Bible,” Cupp said. “But the Bible was written thousands of years ago when we didn’t have the size of population we do now.”

John Greenler, a retired environmental science teacher, also does not want to have children because of the environmental impact.

“At a certain time period in history, there was a reason to have a lot of kids,” Greenler said.

“With the social systems we have now, I don’t need kids to bring in the harvest. I have machinery for that,” he said. “I don’t need my kids to take care of me because there is modern medicine. I will live longer. …. Look at all the social services wrapping their arms around us.”

Greenler made his decision years ago. And though he says he’s had plenty of opportunities to reproduce, he’s never regretted his decision.

“We need to be taking great care of the few offspring we have, loving them and treating our planet like a finite resource,” Greenler said.

Greenler’s wife, Karla, has a grown child from before they met.

When asked what shaped his thinking, Greenler shrugged.

“I go to my favorite fishing hole. It used to be open and free and wild. And now it’s condos. I go to my favorite camping spot. It’s a mini mall,” he said. “It’s progressive. So how do you get that back? You don’t.”

Cupp’s husband of four years, Robert, thinks she’ll eventually change her mind. But he is not ready to have a child right now either, according to his wife.

“If I do want children, I can always adopt. There are lots of kids that need homes,” she said firmly.

It’s getting more crowded here on Earth!

• Since 1970 the population of the planet Earth has doubled.

• Tremendous population growth started with the Industrial Revolution. It took all of human history for the world’s population to reach one billion in around 1800; the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930); the third billion in less than 30 years (1959); the fourth billion in 15 years (1974); the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987); the sixth billion in 12 years (1999); and the seventh billion in 12 years (2011).

• Current world population is 7.3 billion. It is expected to reach 8 billion by 2024.

• There have been about 91 million births and 37 million deaths so far this year.

• During the 20th century alone, the world population grew from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.

Did you know?

• Americans constitute less than 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 21 percent of the world’s annual energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as two Germans, 11 Colombians or 308 Ethiopians.

• The U.S. leads in annual per capita carbon dioxide emissions.

• A person in an industrialized country consumes twice as much grain, three times as much meat, nine times as much paper and 11 times as much gasoline as someone in a developing country.

New Leader

38 Comments on "Some choose to not have kids to protect earth"

  1. Makati1 on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 8:32 pm 

    “… Americans constitute less than 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 21 percent of the world’s annual energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as two Germans, 11 Colombians or 308 Ethiopians…”

    Obvious who is killing the planet…

  2. Davy on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 9:22 pm 

    Half the world population in an area less then America and Mexico with 63% of world coal usage among other exploding resource consumption. An exploding population with an exploding consumptive trend. That is the end of the world in a nut shell. There is no hope when we have such a situation. Asia is the world’s endgame.

  3. rockman on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 9:45 pm 

    If it makes her feel good and that she thinks she’s helping to solve the problem that’s fine. But she isn’t: her having children isn’t going to make the situation worse so not having children won’t improve it. If 1 million women didn’t have children for the same reason this year it wouldn’t have a noticeable positive impact: a reduction of just 0.8% of the current annual average births. And please don’t come back with the lame response that “if XX million women did likewise it would have a big impact”. Her deciding to not have children isn’t going to change the decisions of those millions of women. It only decreases the 131 million annual births by just one per year. Also don’t toss in the factor of her children having children: by the time her daughter reached childbearing age 2 billion other children would have been born.

    Now if she were out there causing tens of millions of women to make her same choice then she would have something to brag about. Changing her life choices is meaningless to the system. Significantly changing the system is another matter entirely.

    The word is “scalability”. If the “solution” can’t be supplied in massive doses it isn’t a solution.

  4. clueless on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 10:23 pm 

    Had it not for America’s dangerous precedent of wasteful consumption,exploitation and destruction…the world would have been a better place.

    Wishing to God to expedite the demise of the government this nuisance nation.

  5. steve on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 11:20 pm 

    Clue look up Jevon’s paradox…if it had not been the U.S it would have been another country…..

  6. noobtube on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 11:28 pm 

    So, the entire 100 million population of Ethiopia uses less energy than Raleigh, North Carolina.

    I’d hate to think how much energy cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York waste compared to Africa.

    New York City alone probably wastes more energy than Ethiopia and Nigeria combined (the two largest countries in Africa).

    Yet, Americans are constantly screaming about overpopulation in Africa?

    Americans are fat, thieving, energy hogs that the Earth needs to lead to the energy slaughterhouse.

  7. steve on Fri, 29th Aug 2014 11:49 pm 

    I am dealing with idiots here nootube I am talking to you …..look up Jevons Pardox….get a brain or stop wasting time with your diarrhea mouth

  8. Norm on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 12:54 am 

    Could somebody please nuke this stupid article off of ‘peak oil’ ?? People blathering about not having kids has nothing to do with the purpose of this website.

    Its at the level of some stupid religious debate with a nuclear physicist vs a TV preacher.

    Smart people choosing to not have kids so that dumb people who can’t spell their own name can krap out 12 kids and be on welfare, do you really think that is an intelligent topic? Put it out of its misery, c’mon you smart people with no kids show me you can hit ‘erase’ and make this whole stupid article disappear from ‘peak oil’. Spare us the lecture.

  9. MSN Fanboy on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 2:53 am 

    “Smart people choosing to not have kids so that dumb people who can’t spell their own name can krap out 12 kids and be on welfare, do you really think that is an intelligent topic?”

    Thats the issue, the kind of people that “care” about the earth are ironically making the situation worse by not passing on their learnt experience.

    But an idiotic moron can have twelve, and pass on ever increasing stupidity.

    So the planet gets more retards who “drill baby drill” great.

  10. Norm on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 3:29 am 

    Sarah Palin? That creature shouting ‘drill baby drill’ is a female Einstein compared to the kinda welfare Section 8 dope heads that I would say increase the head-count. Ya it was 3.5 Billion and now its 8 Billion people and what’s the occupation of all the newbies? Smoking pot, playing video games, cooking meth and collecting food stamps. At least Sarah Palin is ambitious enough to give paid speeches to cheering crowds of trailer-trash losers.

  11. Kenz300` on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 4:59 am 

    Every year the world adds 80 million more mouths to feed, clothe, house and provide energy for. That endless population growth is not sustainable.

    Around the world we have a food crisis, a water crisis, a declining fish stocks crisis, an energy crisis, a Climate Change crisis, an unemployment crisis and an OVER POPULATION crisis.

    The worlds poorest people are having the most children. They have not figured out the connection between their poverty and family size. If you can not provide for yourself you can not provide for a child.


    Overpopulation facts – the problem no one will discuss: Alexandra Paul at TEDxTopanga – YouTube

  12. Makati1 on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 7:15 am 

    Interesting that Asia is always the reason for the end of the world. The 100 million Filipinos use 5% of the energy that the US consumes. No, the leeches are the USSA and the Western countries. Average out the world’s consumption of resources and everyone could live a decent lifestyle with a few luxuries and not strain the earth’s resources any more than they currently are.

    It’s fun to watch the Democratic Capitalist System disappear in the tsunami of Western greed.

  13. Davy on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 7:46 am 

    The naked truth is 4BIL people is not a responsible number of people in such a small area. The Asian population levels per land area is grotesque and obscene ethically and morally per an ecological footprint. The same is true of the consumption in the developed world. The two contribute to the same earth destruction ultimately. To say it is OK for a 4BIL population to consume the equivalent to 1BIL is besides the point. People that try to talk per capita resource usage are lost in the doctrine of fairness which has no meaning in a population overshoot to carrying capacity. Overshoot is overshoot and levels of consumption per capita have no meaning. People must be able to live locally within ecological limits. Asians cannot at that level of population live sustainably at the local level. Asians are destroying the earth and particularly Asia itself. These Asian chose high populations the West is gravitating toward lower populations with lower consumption. Asia is following the other path of more population with more consumption. When contraction sets in the West will reduce consumption but Asian population will continue to explode dangerously until we have a die off event that most likely will happen in Africa and Asia where carrying capacity has been breached many times over. It is showing stupidity to say a 4BIL population in a very small area can have such a large population and consume more and the west with a vastly smaller population must consume less. The naked truth is Asia must drastically lower consumption in line with its huge population and the West must correspondingly lower consumption with a much small population.

  14. JuanP on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 8:40 am 

    This article is very good.
    I wish I could say that I am disappointed with the comments on the thread, but I am neither surprised nor disappointed by them. Most men can’t have a grwownup talk about this subject.
    As most people here already know, I had a Vasectomy and no children. My main reason to do that was to do my part in helping the world, but I did not think for a moment that it made any difference to people who don’t know me, or the world in general. It was understanding as a child that there was nothing any person could about this uncontrolled human breeding issue that made me get that Vasectomy later on to begin with.
    I understood as a child that men are not up to it, and I gave up on humanity decades ago. Human animals are hopeless breeders.
    I didn’t want my child growing up in this horrible mess we’ve made of our beautiful planet. I guess I had higher ambitions for my children than most people do.
    This world is not good enough for my children, so they will never visit it.
    I hope your children don’t have to live to regret your choices.

  15. Davy on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 8:54 am 

    Juan, I got fixed myself. I have three kids. Two are twins. I don’t want to populate the earth anymore. Unfortunately I have my children’s wellbeing to cause me anxiety otherwise I could ride the descent down with fascination. I have lived a good life and I am prepared for death having had multiple near death experiences already. Yet, nothing can prepare me for the loss of my kids.

  16. MSN Fanboy on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 8:58 am 

    I really dont understand you JuanP, you understand youre act was a drop in the ocean lol yet went along with it anyway.

    It will not stop the horror show of humanity: its endless pursuit of its nihilistic destruction. But you did your bit.

    It must be a moral issue right?

    Funny really, you exist to pass on your favourable traits to your children, then its the same favourable traits that made you look around at the breeders and have a vasectomy. Thus ensuring the destruction of more like minded people such as yourself.

    Leaving the earth with idiots to consume breed and destroy each other lol thanks juanP

    yes: your descision was very noble, but your the wrong kind of guy doing it and secondly it wont make a difference. ???

    And there is something we can do about the uncontrolled breeding issue: eugenics along with a fascist goverement that works for the nation not the people.

    Unfortunately humanity had its chance and in the war that followed, the irony is, the right bad guys lost, and the wrong good guys won. Surprise.

  17. JuanP on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:05 am 

    Davy, I already knew you are a smart guy, so I am not surprised.
    There is no joy in being childfree. Most people who make this choice consider themselves to have been forced by predicaments beyond anyone’s control. I know I fit that description.
    I suffer with every child and young person in this world every moment of my life. My heart goes out to all parents, I can’t even imagine how much the loving, level headed ones worry about their children’s future. I love children and they love me back. They are the only humans I like. It is a pity we have to grow up.

  18. dashster on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:06 am 

    For every American couple that decides to forego children to save the planet, there are 6 million Mexican couples having children who would love to come to the United States and benefit from the next amnesty.

  19. JuanP on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:12 am 

    MSN, For me, it is about personal responsibility. I am responsible for my personal actions and inactions, not other people’s. I felt this was the right choice for me. Other people are responsible for their actions, and have to make their own choices. I have fulfilled my obligations to life, as far as I am concerned. I do everything I can to help achieve a better outcome, even knowing on the first round that I am fighting a lost fight.
    What else could I do? Give up?
    Not many people understand me, so you are not alone there. I have always been an unusual freak. 😉

  20. JuanP on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:17 am 

    Dash, six million to one, really? There must be gazillions of Mexicans then! 😉

  21. dashster on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:23 am 

    One benefit though, of not having kids today though is you spend no time worrying about what life will be like for them and their kids decades from now.

  22. Tiny Radioactive Tree on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:32 am 

    You just wait for it, I can see it already, a new article, for a new extreme.

    Become Sustainable, Kill children, Save the environment.

  23. penury on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:34 am 

    Let me see, Humans (of one sort or another) have been talking concerns of over population for a couple of years or so and of course we have done what we do with all predicaments. Talk, blather, read studies done by others supporting our view (whatever it is)and after discussing the dire news go back to life as we know it. Eventually the solution will appear and of course will not be the solution anyone approves of. But we humans will not make the decisions because there are 7.5 billion plus of us, and getting three humans together to make a decision requires that at least political, territorial, religious, financial and educational differences will mitigate against any agreement even on the shape of the table. Animals (and I include all specie) have as a prime directive to reproduce as much as we would like to change humans to responsible custodians of the planet fugget about it.

  24. JuanP on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:39 am 

    Tiny, Infanticide has existed throughout human history. It is a natural animal behavior observed in many species, not just humans. Remember God’s challenge to Abraham?
    I would say that infanticide is as old as dirt, if this weren’t a place so full of dirt people who might take it personally. 😉

  25. dashster on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 9:44 am 

    “You just wait for it, I can see it already, a new article, for a new extreme.
    Become Sustainable, Kill children, Save the environment.”

    Funny how people will do junk like this. You talk about population control and they will have to spout some nonsense to try and head it off (for whatever crazy reason lurks in their soul), for instance, “who decides who gets killed?” as if we are all immortal.

  26. clueless on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 11:36 pm 

    Steve, copy.. It could have been a different story altogether (?). Thanks.

  27. Makati1 on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 4:06 am 

    Population reduction is coming, big time!

    “…Any US-Russian war is likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear war, since neither the US nor Russia would be willing to admit defeat, both have many thousands of nuclear weapons ready for instant use, and both rely upon Counterforce military doctrine that tasks their military, in the event of war, to preemptively destroy the nuclear forces of the enemy…A US/NATO-Russian war would instantly put US and Russian nuclear forces at peak alert, with both sides anticipating a nuclear first-strike from the other. Both the US and Russia have changed their nuclear war-fighting plans to include the use of preemptive nuclear first-strikes; both nations have “tactical” nuclear weapons designed for battlefield use…In May, the increasing tensions in Ukraine led both nations to almost simultaneously conduct large nuclear war games. Long-range Russian nuclear bombers tested US air defenses16 times in a ten day period (July 29 – August 7). US and Russian leaders are either unaware or choose to ignore the fact that such “games” and “tests” are a dress rehearsal for human extinction…Nuclear war is suicide for humans, but our leaders still have their fingers on the nuclear triggers. There seems to be absolutely no awareness, either in our Federal government or in the American public, of the existential danger posed by nuclear war. Such ignorance is embodied by The Russian Aggression Prevention Act, which if enacted will put us on a direct course for nuclear war with Russia.”

  28. Boat on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 6:12 am 

    Makati, only a handful of nukes are needed for human extinction. There is no such thing as a preemptive strike with Russia or the US.

  29. Kenz300` on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 10:51 am 

    Too many people and too few resources…….

    Birth Control Pictures: Types, Side Effects & Effectiveness

  30. Vietnam Vet on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 12:18 pm 

    This is like Jevon’s paradox in a way, intelligent people breed less and stupid people more than take up the slack, with inevitable results.

  31. kervennic on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 5:04 pm 

    I will get two kids if i can, one is on the way and will survive if it is nature will.
    I think we, who care for other species should not sacrifice. We are also here to fight and defend the bit of space we have in custody about those many other who do not give a shit.

    Two is a good number. In a tough world crowded, having three kids is too much.It will cost too much personal investment to raise them and the final survival rate will be lower.
    2 or 1 is a much wiser option.

    Getting less than three is enough to make a rapid fall of population in the future.

  32. kervennic on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 5:12 pm 

    It is not jevon paradox in the sense that having fewer kids but investing a lot in them will result in a much higher survivak rate.

    If you can prduce food to raise one kid with high mental and physical capacity and have 10 instead, you will probaby loose all of them whereas the onethat had one only will make a succesfull choice.

    Some statistic seems to show that todays england is disproportionnaly populated by descendant of wealthy families. Poor families had many kids,but most of them did not survive.

    Even in survival term, having fewer kids can be reasonable (having none can also be if you invest in your kins kids education).

  33. Makati1 on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 7:45 pm 

    Boat, you are very naive, if you really believe that. Before 9/11, few would have believed that the US would preform a ‘false flag’ in the US that would kill thousands of Americans. But they did. As they have killed hundreds of Americans in various other locations, with false flags, to start their plundering wars. Some even believe that Pearl Harbor was known about and allowed to happen. It was a very successful act that allowed the US to go to war with Japan. Many trillions were made in profit by the MIC/Banksters in WW2.

    The world is running out of resources. The US needs those resources to maintain hegemony over the world and finish their “total dominance” plans. The powers that really control the US are being blocked by Russia, China and others. Desperation will push the button. And in a few hours, it will all be over…

  34. Makati1 on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 8:21 pm 

    Boat: “…In a recent speech by Putin, he stated that those forces who are lining up against Russia should remember that Russia is a nuclear power [15]. Washington believes it can win a nuclear conflict with Russia. It no longer regards nuclear weapons as a last resort but part of a convention theatre of war and is willing to use them for pre-emptive strikes [16]…If Russia does decide to intervene to protect ethnic Russians, NATO/the US and Moscow could come face to face on the battlefield. The strength of Russia’s conventional forces in its own back yard would surely place NATO on the back foot. Staring defeat in the face, the US could well resort to the nuclear option.”

  35. Davy on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 8:29 pm 

    Boat, I am with you and get tired of the NUK obsessions of some commentators here. Especially the ones that are looking forward to nuclear war. Anyone looking forward to NUK war is sick.

  36. Welch on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 9:19 pm 

    ANY article that helps to move us toward an honest discussion of population is a good one. Virtually every major issue we face–war, famine, disease,loss of biodiversity, environmental degradation, climate change–is collateral to overpopulation. So good for her for doing it, and good on the author for writing about it. Drop in the bucket? Sure. But it moves the issue further into our collective social conscience. Ask Rosa Parks.

    PS – I’m aware of the Gulf of Tonkin etc, but seriously, are there really people on this board that believe 9/11 was orchestrated by the government? For the simple reason that hundreds (if not thousands) of humans cannot keep a secret, I think you’re nuts. MNSHO

  37. J on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 9:47 pm 

    Kill religion. Then you would “kill” hundreds of millions – who would not be born.

    Religion is a cancer. It breeds ignornace, stupidity, fear, manipulation, superstition and irresponsibility.

    Americunts deny their responsibility and contribution to planetary destruction. They simply do not care how much energy they connedsumed, or how much meat they eat, or how many kids they have.

    Examine this article for an example:

    While “living on less then $2 a day”, they’re obviously STILL BREEDING (like rats).

    1.65 million – with 3.55 million children.

    The world needs to use less, do less (people, energy, resources). Not having children is a GREAT answer to these “needs”.

    MASSIVE population reduction is way overdue. The worst contributers to planetary destruction are 1st world kountries (like Amerikaka). We rank as the highest and worst planetary polluters / destroyers the world has EVER seen.

    It’s got to stop. Choosing the “no children” option is a fantastic and wise choice.

  38. Kenz300 on Mon, 1st Sep 2014 12:30 pm 

    Endless population growth is not sustainable and only leads to more poverty, suffering and despair.

    Birth Control Permanent Methods: Learn About Effectiveness

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