Birth strike - again

Nov 29, 2020

With the caveat that the sample of 600 people aged between 27 and 45 were mostly white, educated, liberalish and in the US, recently published research has shown 96% saying that the state of the climate crisis was a factor in deciding whether or not to have children. This was based a similar level of pessimism about the state of the planet with only 0.6% having an optimistic view of the future.

The levels of concern were greater in the 20s than those in their 40s. A smallish majority showed greater worry or fear about the difficulties children would experience in a climate change world over those concerned about the carbon footprint of growing their family (other than through adoption).

The apocalyptic views expressed about the effect of a warming planet do not need repeating, but the signals from about 1 degree of warming along the inexorable path towards 3 degrees and beyond appear to be having a very dramatic affect. These 'existential' decisions are intrinsic to families; partners having similar or divergent views about procreation, parents aspiring to become grandparents (or what was the point?), feelings of guilt and/or regret about already having children or being complicit in the damage to the planet and causing damage to (grand)children's life chances. So families should be preparing themselves to deal with these issues in open, sensitive and supportive ways.