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Do Children Cause Global Warming?

Across all cultures, raising a child is considered one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Yet a chorus of campaigners, scientists, and journalists is suggesting that everyone should think twice before procreating.

COPENHAGEN – Across all cultures, raising a child is considered one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Yet a chorus of campaigners, scientists, and journalists suggest that everyone should think twice before procreating.

The United States’ public radio broadcaster NPR asks, “Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?” The Nation magazine wants to know, “How Do You Decide to Have a Baby When Climate Change Is Remaking Life on Earth?” The Guardian counsels readers: “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.” And the New York Times warns that having a child is the worst environmental action anyone could take.

By having two children, a hypothetical American woman who switches to a fuel-efficient car, drives less, recycles, installs efficient light bulbs and energy-saving windows, would do as much damage as “nearly 40 times what she had saved by those actions.” Last year, the US fertility rate hit a historic low.

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