or Connect
Green Options › Forums › Sustainable Living Discussions › Babies & Kids › 'green kids' ??? is this is an oxymoron?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

'green kids' ??? is this is an oxymoron?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
surely the greenest kid is the one unborn?

www.vhemt.org/biobreed.htm#babies





www.ninapaley.com/silversnipaward.html
Edited by gerda - 8/7/09 at 7:40am
post #2 of 18
That article is extremely disrespectful. So anyone with kids is brainless, bible thumping, too stupid to use birth control, looking for race power, against abortion, or caught up in the hollywood romantic notion of kids? Real nice. This has to be one of the rudest arguments against kids I've seen. Without a more balanced argument this piece just alienated lots of people who already have kids or who have considered it.
post #3 of 18
I have not gone to the link. I considered the arguements for no children 40 years back and discarded them as being for people with interest in themselves only.

Since that time I have had (my ex-wife did anyway) three little ones. All three are great in their own way.

To me, bringing religion into a discussion precludes any potential for intelligent discussion. I will point out that I am a devout athiest and have been since the age of 15. When I started to think about how my religion was right and everyone else wrong it all went down the drain. Life is not so simple as that.

My brother-in-law here in Turkey was once asked by his mother (who is religious) why he couldn't just follow Islam. His answer. "I wish I could - that would be so easy". He is of the same persuasion as I.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
jennifer, let me quote back your reply in that thread;

"Overall I think having kids is the least of our eco-worries and maybe a solution, not a problem. For example, my son is way more eco-friendly than I was at his age, and he'll grow up (like other kids being raised green) to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It's like teaching language. It's hard to teach an adult, but easy to teach a kid. Maybe we should focus more on how we raise kids rather than if we have them or not."

now, to me that is not so very different from the last frame in this strip;




yes maybe that comic is disrespectful, and why not? you obviously didnt read the well thought out commentary that made up the rest of the page.

sure kids are lovely, but they turn into adults, and ones that will consume at least as much as their parents. we have 2 kids from 3 siblings, i am pretty proud of that, its a gently diminishing family instead of a growing one.


Russ, you are using the 'selfish' argument on me, how dare you!

a goodly dose of doublethink from both of you. shame.
Edited by gerda - 8/10/09 at 2:11pm
post #5 of 18
There are certainly pros and cons for having children.  Clearly population momentum is a big deal and the burden on the earth's resources is a big deal.  But there's a very broad spectrum of opinion on this planet.  I'm not sure telling people having kids is the worst thing you can ever do for the planet will win over any hearts or minds.  I think mostly it'll just put people off - people who might otherwise consider other foot-in-door eco-changes.

To play devil's advocate, some might say that these smaller changes don't mean squat and that it's only the big ones like not having kids or eliminating personal cars which will do anything to help the environment.  To a degree, maybe that's true.  Maybe it's not such a big deal to get people to change their incandescent bulbs to CFLs or get them using biodegradable dish soap.  But...I just think categorically telling people having kids is the a horrible, terrible, very bad thing will accomplish much other than putting up these divisive walls and turn a lot of people off.

Perhaps VHEMT has a good goal of reducing the burden on the earth. But I think any good that comes from their messaging gets lost in the extreme nature of it. 
post #6 of 18
Hi Gerda, Not really - just using 'straight think' - sorry but no Wiki reference - don't think it needs one. 

To me this is a 'green mafia' thing where the green mafia believe you are required to do as they think - just because they think it is good - rational or not. Let them spin this in Africa and Asia if the want - many countries could do with less population - nothing racist in that - just fact. 

Eli is correct in that the majority (the old 'silent majority') are generally turned off by extremist viewpoints.
post #7 of 18
I for one found it amusing.  Being environmental requires the ability to see both sides of an argument as best you can so that you can approach the debate more intelligently, but being eco-savvy also requires a bit of humor.  Honestly, anyone that doesn't see humor in that website has never seen the Colbert Report or has rejected it as being to0 off-colour to be worth viewing.

I am clearly happy that my parents decided to have me, I do want to make a difference and obviously couldn't do that without life, but they did only have 2, which in a broad sense is stable, but only if everyone else on the planet did the same!  I definitely see the humor in this but I also see the validity hidden underneath the sarcasm and hyperbole.  I have written on the other post that was about this subject and noted my opinion about some of the "excuses" people use these days to "justify" having children.  (I for one don't have children yet, my fiance and I have talked about it, and it is certainly not a decision that we will take lightly and I will certainly not allow my family or culture to coerce me --sorry Gran Gran)  The point is, most people have good intentions when they do anything, but that doesn't mean that those intentions actually come true.  Clearly you shouldn't avoid having children because your great grandmother died of cancer, or your grandfather was a mass murderer, but if there was a pattern that repeated itself, you might want to think about it.  And that is the case here, it isn't just a few people ruining the planet, it is the existence of each and every one of us, that is why the argument warrants some thought on both sides. 

Now that I've said all that, I understand this forum has largely become a debate about the method used in the message.  Although attacking method is an age old part of debate, I think we are all intelligent enough here not to get completely lost in that portion of the debate and to see deeper into the meaning of the debate. 

People were also offended by PETA's Go Vegetarian commercial that had a "porno" type theme.  They also said that if it had aired, that it would have left a bad taste in a lot of mouths and not just over the idea of eating broccoli. Offensive vs Humorous, I don't think we will ever learn that fine line, it is too relative to the viewer and the culture.  I know most of my friends found this stuff hilarious.
Edited by srj0385 - 8/11/09 at 9:09am
post #8 of 18
Gerda, so you're comparing me to someone with no brain basically. Nice. If green advocates for anything call another group of people or green advocates brainless, why would I even be compelled to read the rest of "the well thought out commentary". I hate extreme arguments like this - i.e. this is what people who have kids are like, it turns me off to anything you might say after that. If people advocating for population control want to make a better impact maybe they should learn not to insult other people who may care about eco-issues. You can make an argument without insulting people.
post #9 of 18
Speaking of humor...I was thinking about this topic last night and probably how heartless everyone must think I am, and of course that is everyone's right.  And I certainly don't condone the cessation of all breeding everywhere, I wanted to make that clear, simply that as long as so many people do not assume the responsibility of their lives, I plan not to create extra lives that will add to the problems, because, let's face it, everyone that is born has to eat and breath and make waste and even a small impact multiplied by 6 billion is a big one.

So on a funny note, I made that comment about the responsibility my parents took in only having 2 children and my thankfulness for my existence...well...my paternal grandmother was the 13th child!  And that was only the 13th to be born, 12 of which lived into adulthood and the countless other miscarriages as was customary in the early 20th century.  I just found the contradiction and thought it was somewhat amusing.  Granted the entire family was on a farm with no electricity or plumbing and they had to be self sustaining, but that all changed as soon as they got off the farm and started their own families in the "big cities" at which point one or two of them became extreme consumers to make up for their former simple lives while others continued the farm life.  (Big cities being located in Arkansas and having far less than 100,000 population each~ lol)

My, my the changes that occur in just two generations!
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
wot srj said (except the farm stuff, my nana was one of a mere 7 siblings).

jennifer, i'm sorry this is upsetting you. obviously, you are not really my target audience. i am not telling anyuone to do anything, just putting a rational argument. i have had so much pressue to breed in my life, i'm putting the case for all us ..... hmmmm... there doesnt even seem to be a word for it in english. that's fishy... you can describe yourself as a mother, what am i?
post #11 of 18
Well obviously this can be a rather touchy subject.  I think there are definitely pros and cons to environmentally conscious people reproducing.

Pro: you'll probably raise your kids to be environmentally conscious people too.  The article linked by gerda kind of pooh-poohs this argument, but I think it's a valid point.

Con: you're adding another consumer to the planet.  And a pretty big one, as a recent report showed

Quote:
Given the higher per-capita consumption of developed nations, the study found that the impact of a child born in the U.S., along with all his or her descendants, is more than 160 times that of a Bangladeshi child. And the long-term impact of a Chinese child is less than one-fifth the impact of a U.S.-born child...

Under current U.S. consumption patterns, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of CO2 to the carbon legacy of an average parent -- about 5.7 times a person's lifetime emissions, he calculates.

This is one of the reasons my wife and I aren't going to have any kids.  Plus frankly we just don't want to, which helps.  I guess I missed out on that biological reproduction urge.

Generally I would hope that most couples who do have kids would limit themselves to 1 or 2 so that they're not making their family's next generation larger than theirs.  And I hope people will consider adoption as an alternative to reproduction.  But when you're talking purely about environmental impact, I would have to agree that the greenest kid is no kid (or an adopted kid).
post #12 of 18
I agree, I think a lot of people feel pressured by others into parenthood, which obviously is no better than pressuring people into not having kids. I don't think either way - that everyone needs kids, or that we should all quit having them for eco-reasons. I agree that there's likely more pressure to have kids though, at least that's what it seems like once you reach a specific age.

I think the whole argument of kids vs. no kids is sort of a moot point in general though. I know single people and couples who are childless who are creating a much larger negative impact on the environment that my son and me and then I know couples with kids who aren't doing all that well either (i.e. not recycling, owning a ton of cars). I guess I think it's important to look at individual actions and individual family actions. Placing all the blame on people with kids (which I don't think anyone here has done - BUT which I have seen happen) is lame, just like placing blame on any other group of people would be. Anyone kids or not can have a negative or positive impact on the planet. Plus, obviously people are going to keep on having kids, so a better plan would be to push actions and goals that anyone, kids or not could accomplish. 
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
jennifer, thanks for that, if i come over a bit militant its from decades of being looked down on as 'not a proper woman'.

the formula is very simple;

emissions = consumption X population X efficiency (of appliance and generation).

yes i too know families (well, one, and driven by poverty rather than ideals) with several kids but frugal habits that emit less than single people with many gadgets, sports cars, etc. but mostly for a given country/class its a simple multiplier on the number of people.

dana and srj, it looks like you are my target audience, but already converted!




i saw the same study as dana posted above reported here;

Family Planning Has Major Environmental Impact

but he beat me too it (as usual) due to a messy internet connection problem here... wires all over the place....
Edited by gerda - 8/14/09 at 2:14pm
post #14 of 18
Okay, too funny.  I just said something about the humor of Colbert and the August 20th episode of The Colbert Report had a small segment about overpopulation and China beginning to encourage a second child in young families meaning the US is going to have to keep up by instituting a one child minimum.  Thought I would mention it www.colbertnation.com.
post #15 of 18
pretty much that

Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferChait View Post

That article is extremely disrespectful. So anyone with kids is brainless, bible thumping, too stupid to use birth control, looking for race power, against abortion, or caught up in the hollywood romantic notion of kids? Real nice. This has to be one of the rudest arguments against kids I've seen. Without a more balanced argument this piece just alienated lots of people who already have kids or who have considered it.
 
post #16 of 18
Someone should send this article to the families on TLC. Jon and Kate + 8, 18 kids and counting.  Even to the Octo mom. It is unfortunate that in this day we are awarding fertility and having lots of kids with fame and fortune.

I found the article amusing, but I am not easily offended. I try not to take life to seriously, otherwise I would be depressed all the time.

I have one little girl. and I love her so much! She is 5 and she has a better sense of the world and keeping the earth clean than I did when I was 5. So things are changing for the better.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonflies View Post

Someone should send this article to the families on TLC. Jon and Kate + 8, 18 kids and counting.  Even to the Octo mom. It is unfortunate that in this day we are awarding fertility and having lots of kids with fame and fortune.
 

Yeah totally.  I watch Supernanny every so often, and most of the time the parents having trouble have like 5 kids and say they can't keep up with so many kids.  I always think to myself 'well then maybe you shouldn't have had the 5 kids!'.  I don't understand why people in this day and age have more than 2-3 kids, particularly when considering our environmental impact.  It's not like we need a bunch of kids for manual labor on the farm anymore.
post #18 of 18
Not everyone with kids is not environmentally savvy but some people are just pigs.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Babies & Kids
Green Options › Forums › Sustainable Living Discussions › Babies & Kids › 'green kids' ??? is this is an oxymoron?