Ethics and children

As sensitive as the topic is, we need to look it straight in the eyes. An environmental research paper published in 2017 evaluated factors that contribute the most to personal CO2 emissions. Based on the data, researchers concluded that having one more child will produce additionally 58.6 tons CO2-equivalent per year[1]. This is more than annual car emissions per household. Hence, we can’t just walk away from discussing the topic simply because of ethical considerations. 

Children born in wealthy societies will be provided for by caring parents, who will be getting out of love many toys and outfits every month. If these resources were re-used (e.g., after grown children of other family members or community), the impact would be smaller. But most parents see getting brand new stuff for their kids as an act of care and love. Maybe it is for children (after they develop consciousness), but it isn’t for the environment.

Moreover, as the children grow up in consumerism world, they adopt this attitude and start contributing even more, since marketers will be ready to encourage buying more, playing with emotions. This creates even more pressure on the resources, straining them because of the demand in the developed (and not developing) world. Food scarcity becomes coupled with altered emissions.


[1] https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541

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