Most effective way to fight climate change is to have fewer children: Study

Those who want to get serious about tackling climate change should forget about recycling and have fewer babies, based on the results of a newly released study.

A paper published Wednesday in Environmental Research Letters found that the most effective “lifestyle choice” for reducing personal greenhouse-gas emissions is having “one fewer child,” followed by living car-free, avoiding airline travel, and eating a plant-based diet.

More widespread strategies such as recycling, driving hybrid vehicles and switching to reusable shopping bags didn’t even come close to achieving the same carbon reduction.

“We recognize these are deeply personal choices. But we can’t ignore the climate effect our lifestyle actually has,” study co-author Kimberly Nicholas of Lund University in Sweden told Phys.org.

“Personally, I’ve found it really positive to make many of these changes,” she said.

“It’s especially important for young people establishing lifelong patterns to be aware which choices have the biggest impact,” Ms. Nicholas said. “We hope this information sparks discussion and empowers individuals.”

One dilemma for the climate-conscious is that the average birth rate in the countries studied — the United States, Australia, Europe and Canada — is already below two children per woman, which means that for many women, bearing “one fewer child” would mean having no kids.

The average birth rate per woman in the United States and Australia is 1.86, followed by Canada with 1.61 and the European Union with 1.6, based on 2014 data.

“The most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren’t being discussed,” Phys.org said.

There may be a reason for that. “Want more people to join your cause? Don’t say stuff like this,” tweeted energy consultant Steve Everley.

Of the four “high-impact actions” identified in the study, having fewer children easily had the most dramatic impact on emissions, with an estimated reduction of 58.6 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, versus 2.4 tons for the second-best option, not owning a car.

The study also recommended that schools spread the word by promoting such “high-impact actions” to students in adolescence.

Read more at The Washington Times

Comments (7)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    What we realy need is fewer enviromentalists wackos and green nuts running loose

  • Avatar

    rakooi

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    Rapidly transitioning from a KILLER COAL ELECTRIC MONOPOLY into a Much more diversified selection of electric generation forms….
    SOLAR
    WIND
    Natural Gas
    are all ( WITHOUT SUBSIDIES ) FAR less expensive than electricity produced by Killer Coal.

    Never added into the cost of Coal Electric:
    Mining disasters that kill hundreds/yr.
    Black Lung Disease…an agonizing death with decades of costly treatments
    1 MILLION new Cases of Asthma per year in the US…23 die for every 100,000 cases per year.
    2000+ EARTH PITS & PONDS for storing BILLIONS OF GALLONS of toxic coal ash…with Earthen dams….they LEACH toxins into our drinking water, they leak toxins into creeks, streams, rivers….THEY periodically SPILL Hundreds OF Billions of Gallons of Toxic waste directly into rivers, towns, farm land and school yards.

    WE NEED to transition away from KILLER COAL as soon as possible…and we will save Billions of Dollars on our electric bills.

    Wind & Solar

    • Avatar

      Steve

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      RAKOOI – I think youre a 20 something who has swallowed the green kool aid and dont know enough about life to know you have been completely conned by the whole climate chnage movement……
      Aditionally, unless you want tolive in mud huts and have a very short and brutal , sick life, you need energy, lots of it, from some source, thats reliable 24 x 7. Renewables from an engineering persepctive, just dont cut it. Sorry.

      Engineers & common sense say no.

      2/10 – must try harder….

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    Komrad Donkey, please explain China and India’s appetite for new coal-fired generators. You should go there and protest those construction sites. Your message of concern has found no traction here .

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Well at least the eco – wacho agenda is out in the open .
    Population declining is not going to set the climate in any direction
    other than what natural variables drive.
    Who is going to take care of the Eco -wacko’s when they are in depends ? They won’t have family if they follow their preaching
    and nothing at all is stopping them from completely stopping the use of fossil fuels themselves now . Doesn’t happen .

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    While most of us like to hear song about coal miners like 16 TONS,BIG BAD JOHN and COAL MINERS DUAGHTER(Also a Movie)Rakooi listens to dumb songs like Muskrat Love,Big Yellow TaxiDog & Butterfly Etc and watches junk like FERNGULLY,AVATAR,A INCONVENT TRUTH,THE 11th HOUR and BEFORE THE FLOOD and turns on their TV to watch those mindless Captian Planet marathons

  • Avatar

    Steve

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    Eco nutters are communists first and foremost.

    They can have as few kids as they want ( which is good as there will be less of them long term ), whereas the rest of sane folks just love our kids and realize there is no eco-crisis.

    They can prise my free will from my cold dead hands….and FYI those who value freedom will fight for freedom from these lunatics every inch of the way…..

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