Babies: The Newest Environmental Plague

Children may be the next addition to the list of environmental threats. An astonishing article in a British newspaper reveals a new trend among young environmentalist couples: sterilizing themselves in an effort to save the planet. In their own words:

“Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population.”

“That’s why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of Earth.”

Many would dismiss such a position as a fanatical stretch of environmentalist ideas. But the conclusion that babies equal pollution is actually perfectly logical and consistent from the standpoint of environmentalism, which holds the sanctity of nature as the paramount moral value and human life as subordinate.

Notice the language used by the environmentalists quoted above. The victims of the harms they cite are not people, but parts of “nature” – forests, rivers, oceans, and wildlife. And it is not only pollution that they object to, but also to human consumption of basic life necessities like food, water and land.

Starting with the premise that nature is the paramount value, the logic follows easily. As human beings we need to change nature in order to live – we grow food, build homes, schools, and hospitals, use energy for heating, manufacturing, and communication. Even the simplest lifestyle requires some amount of intrusion upon our surroundings. Thus, human beings – even the most environmentally conscious – are by our nature a “detriment to the planet.”

Every child born contributes to this modification of nature inasmuch as he or she achieves a life full of the things that make modern life a pleasure to live: abundant food, warm homes, advanced healthcare and efficient transportation. Far from being outlandish, therefore, the conclusion that babies should be forsaken for the sake of nature is a consistent application of environmentalism. It serves as evidence of its hostility toward human life and as a reminder to those who value it that given the choice between human happiness and wilderness devoid of mankind, environmentalism chooses the latter.

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