There's a little renaissance of plastic conservation (mostly about not using straws). Reading these clap-myself-on-the-back posts reminds me that we seem to be missing the point when it comes to being earth friendly.
I have no problem with recycling, conservation, etc. Quite the opposite. But let's be real: there is one thing you can do to reduce pollution that NO ONE ever talks about. We all realize this obvious solution on some level, but no one seems to be willing to articulate it.
The best thing you can do for the planet is to NOT REPRODUCE.
If we assign an arbitrary score of 100 to each person, representing an average amount of garbage, CO2 emissions, environmental damage, we all go through life causing 100 pollution. Then let's say that rampant personal polluters and environmentalists can have lower or higher scores. Maybe I don't give a shit, and hurl McDonalds bags of trash from my F350 into a Sea Turtle colony my whole life, and my score goes to 133. Or maybe I'm a recycling nut who drives a bicycle who rates a 67. A third higher or lower - that represents a huge change in personal behavior, yes?
Now let's consider the impact of kids. A normal (in terms of environmental damage) person who has one normal child increases that damage to 150 (the other half goes on the tab of the other parent). Two kids is 200. Three is 250. The impact of placing two kids on the planet should roughly double the environmental impact of your life. In other words, I should be able to do whatever the fuck I want and still be much more ecological than anyone who poops out a couple of grunions. This single decision moves the needle more than anything else you have control over.
So there it is, environmentalists: don't have a fucking kid. That one act will do more for the planet than (probably) a lifetime of activism. To look at this a different way, anything you do might take some of the sting out of your decision to put another resource-sucking mouth on planet earth. Know what they call an environmentalist with a big family? A hypocrite.
Perhaps some of you are uncomfortable reading this. Perhaps you've glanced over at your kids and done the math, or perhaps you've already determined that my numbers are wrong or that personal responsibility doesn't matter (it's the corporations, right?) or initiated some other form of obfuscation of the point here. Do yourself a favor and try and suppress your gut reaction. As a species, we're filling up this planet with people who, we all agree, do huge amounts of damage, yet we have no serious traction for (modern) laws on population control. Why is this? I'll tell you - it's because people enjoy shitting out kids more than being responsible on a time horizon that none of us will be around to see the end of.
I'm not saying this unkindly. Most, maybe all, of us are full of shit when it comes to our ideals. We're pro-life until our 15-year-old daughter gets knocked up. We're anti-porn until we realize that hardcore muslim countries (and Utah here in the US) consume the majority of internet porn behind closed doors. When we understand that we're really just tailoring our moralities to what is convenient for us. This is a huge liability to common sense, and one of my emerging themes in this blog is to point these things out when I see them. Maybe it'll do some good. Maybe we can have a reasonable debate, free from (or at least only acknowledging) emotion.
Noah's Inner Monologue
Scribblings of a man who can barely operate an idiotproof website.