Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baby tax needed to save planet?

Click here and read about a fascinating suggestion of a new, more "eco-friendly" policy:

"Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime.

Professor Walters called for condoms and "greenhouse-friendly" services such as sterilisation procedures to earn carbon credits."

The reason behind such an anti-child, anti-family idea?

"Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society."

Profligate consumption of resources. You mean the rampant consumerism that is driving our lives in a futile cycle of spending most of our waking hours slaving away at jobs that allow us to buy lots of things we don't really need? The idea that we must always have the best and latest, and we must have it now? Sad and frustrating, indeed. I suppose one of the options, and the most popular one these days, is to have as few people as possible so we can carry on with our wasteful lifestyle.

Limiting our drive for consumption and teaching our children to be wiser stewards of the earth's resources, to have just what they need and use just what they can't do without, is another option. This isn't something that can be done by legislations and campaigns; it's quiet, steady work that doesn't involve glamour, bonuses and promotions. And in the long run, I believe it's the only way to really help our planet, because greed is limitless and being fewer doesn't mean we will be any less consumption-driven.

It would also mean a great deal of discipline, self-control and sacrifice. I suppose that's why having fewer children is the more attractive option of being "eco-friendly". It just goes hand in hand with our current selfish, self-indulgent, get-it-now attitude. And I guess that's also why it's promoted by "professionals" aiming for quick headlines and cheap popularity.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. I've heard this argument before and it seems like the idea that we could all just consume less had never occurred to these people! :)

~Erica

Maggie said...

Oh the irony Anna!

Just a few years ago the Australian government was desperate for their citizens to produce babies that they were willing to pay 3K to each child born! And now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction to tax children who are born because of the carbon footprint they are possibly going to create.

I just have to shake my head and laugh at the silliness of it all.
Maggie
http://creativeportal.spaces.live.com

Green Eyes said...

You are right on with this one, Anna. You know I am the eco-friendly type, deeply, but many of the ideas coming out of the "green" movement just make me scratch my head. Like this one. You are completely correct, having fewer people does not mean we will consume fewer resources.

The funny thing is that many people will be taken aback by what this professor has suggested, but it's nothing new. Environment aside, he is saying that our lifestyles are more important than our children. And, frankly, that is a choice the majority of people in our society have already made, and live according to. "I'd rather have a new SUV than give up my car note so I can stay home and care for my children..." It's really, at heart, the exact same decision that professor has made.

UltraCrepidarian said...

There you go, the carbon-credit people, are not just stupid, they've now proved they are evil.

So, what, exactly, are we saving the planet FOR if not for CHILDREN? So let's just ALL stop having them. Let's let human life die out. So that the planet can be sterile and dead.

Because that, after all, was the point of saving it, wasn't it?

Warren

Mrs. Brigham said...

Consuming less seems to be a far brighter option than a baby tax. Frankly, taxing true overconsumption and perhaps plane rides for pleasure trips to exotic locales might make a bit more sense. ;o) Children should be taught to value the things that mean the most, treat the material possessions that they do have well, and make mindful choices in everything they do, including their consumer choices. Having less people will do nothing for a world where people strive for more, more, more!

It is funny that they do not mention the carbon emissions that must surely go into the manufacture of condoms and the items needed for sterilization procedures. Neither of these come without any "environmental cost" either.

Terry said...

Darkened minds will always propose solutions that require little self-sacrifice. After all, what would happened to our economy if those industries that have sprang up and thrive on our self-indulgent natures finally find themselves with no patrons? And don't forget, many of the more radical environmentalists hate children, indeed hate all humans and see us as parasites destroying the "mother earth's" natural beauty. Ther are always so many layers to these types of things that go so much deeper than the surface story. You're right, Anna. Wouldn't it make more sense to simply consume less and teach our children to do the same?

Karen said...

Sad as this is, it's certainly nothing new. The population councils have been wanting to rid the world of humans for decades. Thier goal is a world population with zero growth. In fact I think one of them was even named zero growth or something like that. It boggles the mind the type of arrogant pride they must have to feel that THEY should be the few people left on earth! Wow.

I don't know about green house gas, but someone is sure blowing a lot of hot air.

Rhonda Jean said...

Another good post, Anna. I'm sure this won't happen. It's just another silly idea that's been given space in the newspapers. Our government actually pays each mother $4200 on the birth of each baby. Our country needs all the babies it can get and this professor is the only person who takes this idea seriously.

Shannon said...

What a great post! It's rampant consumerism that is destroying our environment-but nobody wants to look at that.

PandaBean said...

I just had to laugh at the, um how can I put this politely, idiocy (that wasn't very polite, was it? :P ) of this idea. Thanks for a good chuckle!

People! *throws hands in air and rolls eyes*

God Bless!

Kristy said...

Wow... I never cease to be amazed at the extend liberals will go to fight against the family. The devil is obviously fighting tooth-and-nail, which only serves to prove that God is very pro-family!

~Kristy

Adlyn said...

"Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime." I hope this is a joke because I can't stop laughing. LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!
I plan on having a quiverful and I get stuff like like all the time along with "don't add freaks to our population!"; "your so selfish"; "ABSTEIN... GOD wants you to"; "you GOD fearing freaks" ect.. I've come to the fact that people really do hate children and it was not long ago I plan on having a career (lawyer) in Manhatten, NY and children was not even in the picture (I hated children too) untill I vistied the site ladiesagainstfeminism.com and seeing the Duggar family on t.v. which inspired me. I'm so glad I did see them anyway enough about my ramblings great post Anna can't waith for the dedicated daughters series Q&A!

xoxoxoxo,
Adlyn

Haus Frau said...

Oh for pity sake! This reminds me of back in the 80's and the movement stating that the elderly should willingly accept euthanasia to keep the earth's population reasonable. sigh....so very sick.

LisaM said...

I couldn't have replied better - well said!

Kelly said...

Oh my, that makes me ill. It's trying to (vainly and improperly) put a band-aid on a problem whose solution lies in being proactive on a daily basis, not in some far-fetching, ridiculous idea.

If everyone taught their children to care for the earth that God blessed us with, then we wouldn't have the environmental and ecological problems that we have today. In fact, the *more* children that a family had would equate to *more* stewards to not only care for, but prosper, this planet.

Coffee Catholic said...

Satan wants humanity to disapear - what better way to bring this about then to criminalize reproduction?!

Mrs W said...

It's not like Australia will be overpopulated any time soon...

There are so many anti-child things out there these days, even so called "natural" birth control...ugh. So instead of using pills we'll "naturally" make sure we don't conceive life? Nursing ought to be used as a food source, NOT birth control. There is absolutely no need to nurse a child for two years just so you won't get pregnant.

I got invited to an end of the year get together, but it said "no children please". Sorry, if you hate my children there's no way I want to hang around you...

Elizabeth said...

When I first heard this, I couldn't believe it was serious. Sadly, it is. Wow. It's SO sad and I hope and pray this appalling tax idea will NEVER become a reality. How much better to have the children God gives us and teach them to care for the beautiful world God has given us and make the best of the resources He has blessed is with.

tales_from_the_crib said...

great postables...
a question for anna:
what about people who can hardly afford more than one or two children? do you think they should have a number they can reasonably support and stop, or that they should continue having children and rely on God to supply for their needs, or maybe a third option i haven't mentioned?
my mom is very curious about this as she and dad are considering when/how many sibilings i should have.

Alicia M said...

" And in the long run, I believe it's the only way to really help our planet, because greed is limitless and being fewer doesn't mean we will be any less consumption-driven." Agree with you here 100%!
It's funny, back when my mom was in college she didn't think she wanted to have kids because there was a lot of propoganda going around about the problems of population growth. Fortunately, she quickly abandoned that idea and became a SAHM of 3.
I consider myself to be pretty "green", but it's junk like this that make me embarassed of that claim. If these people are really so concerned, why is it ok for them to still be alive and leaving a carbon footprint?

Rebekah S. said...

How outrageous!! That's just horrible! My science textbook last year addressed that issue, and completely blew it out of the water! It showed, so eloquently and brilliantly what a lie it is that too many children is damaging to the environment. I mean, come on, do we honestly think that God would command us to do something (Be fruitful and multiply; happy is the man who has his quiver full of children-psalm 127, etc) that would completely destroy the world that HE created?! I think not!!

Great post, Anna! Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

neuropoet3 said...

A "baby-tax" - that has to be one of the silliest ideas I've heard come from a "professor"(which implies some level of intelligence). What is the point of "saving a planet" if there are no children here to enjoy it? The problem is not the number of humans on our planet - it is their greed... It's not like we all have to leave a HUGE carbon-footprint just because we're born! A tiny baby doesn't leave much of any footprint at all if its parents know how to be good stewards of the planet. It is adults who have the big impact on the planet - not babies and children...

Rebekah S. said...

Wow, what great points, Warren!

I just adore the Duggar family, Adlyn!

Michelle said...

my hubby keeps saying that people who promote these asenine ideals ought to just off themselves - then, they've accompished their goal to "save the earth" and created less of a problem for the rest of us. Problem solved!

Anna S said...

Tales from the crib,

Psalm 127 tells us, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate"

And in Psalm 128, it says, "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table"

God LOVES children. God cherishes and treasures each child. And right at the beginning, in the book of Genesis, does He say, "be fruitful and multiply if you can afford it"? Or does He ever say, "children are a blessing, but only is you have only have a 'reasonable' number of children"? Not that I remember.

Therefore, I am convinced that in this area we are to do our best and let God take care of the rest. He WILL provide.

That is just my opinion of course. You asked for it, so there you have it ;)

You might also want to read a post I wrote earlier, called "Why we decided against contraception":
http://ccostello.blogspot.com/2007/07/why-we-decided-against-contraception.html

Jennifer K said...

Keep in mind that this is just one person's opinion. I seriously doubt the baby tax will be implemented next week. I'm more frightened that birth control will be outlawed. I won't get on anybody's case for having lots of kids, if they don't get on my case for not having any.

However, I do think all of us should try to implement "green" strategies in our daily lives. I use cloth bags when I go grocery shopping. My store even takes off some money from my bill for the bags I use. I also use public transportation. My sister uses cloth diapers on her kids, and makes her own baby food. We also try to recycle, re-use and reduce. Every little bit helps.

tales_from_the_crib said...

thanksable!

Jennifer K said...

I think when people say "God will provide," what they really mean is the taxpayers and charity will provide.

Anna S said...

JK, I'm not sure what *all* people who say "God will provide" mean; I, however, think mostly in the direction of cutting expenses and living a more simple, frugal life - and God will provide the creativity, resourcefulness, the ability not to feel deprived because you have less material things.

Sue said...

A tax because more children cause addtional resource consumption -- as most all you have ever said -- bah humbug!!! IMHO, the decision of the number and spacing of children is a personal matter between a wife, husband, and God. An affluent single person, or couple with no children at home could consume more resources than a couple of extra children if they are into conspicious consumption. What do two city dwellers need with 2 SUVs that each cost more than what my husband and I owe on our mortgage? Do people always have to have the latest fashions (and then ditch their "old" clothes), the coolest electronics, etc. All of these things take up precious natural resources by factories that need expensive equipment to prevent them from polluting our water and air.

I'm far from a conservative politically, but this is over the top, even for me.

--Sue

P.S. This will really date me, but I remember reading a book near the end of high school that said the world's population would increase so much that we would suffer worldwide famine by the year 2000. Not.

Liedeke said...

Hi there,

In the Netherlands, there's a political phenomenon dubbed 'proefballonnetje', meaning something like 'test balloon'. Some politician will mention a 'solution' to a 'problem', often without forethought or even consultation with his policy advisors. Then, when the press gets hold of it, they sit back and watch the public's reaction. If it's positive, they'll start looking into the proposed solution, if it's negative, they'll forget all about it. And so do we, the public.

This must be something like a proefballonnetje. I hope.

Anyway, what occurred to me when I read Neuropoet's response was that education or even a title, doesn't necessarily convey intelligence. QED :-).

~Liedeke

Rebekah S. said...

Amen, Anna! I couldn't have said it better myself. Children are indeed a tremendous blessing, and it's our job to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding!

Annajean the domestic klutz...I mean er goddess! said...

The whole idea of "zero population" outrages me! I pity those people in a way because they just don't understand God's great plan for His children.