Home

Any child born now could, by midlife, see massive storms inundate coastal cities and the Great Plains turn to dust. Could I have one, knowing I might not be able to keep her safe?

By Madeline Ostrander

My husband and I had made a home in Seattle for several years, and my friends of childbearing age tended to be writers and activists, scientists and scholars. When considering kids, they weighed not only their desires and finances but the state of the world. Many of them had read grim prognoses of what climate change would do to life on Earth. Even in the restrained language of science, the future holds unprecedented difficulties and disasters. For many people, these problems were an abstraction, but as an environmental journalist, I knew enough to imagine them in front of me. Driving across the bridge to my house, I pictured city beaches drowned by the rising sea. Watching the news, I wondered when the next colossal hurricane would strike the Gulf of Mexico or the mid-Atlantic. These thoughts are not paranoid. According to scientists’ predictions, if society keeps pumping out carbon dioxide at current rates, any child born now could, by midlife, watch Superstorm Sandy–size disasters regularly inundate New York City. She could see the wheat fields of the Great Plains turn to dust and parts of California gripped by decades of drought. She may see world food prices soar and water in the American West become even scarcer. By 2050, when still in her 30s, she could witness global wars waged over food and land. “It does make me wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have kids,” one of my friends whispered to me. A year later, she was pregnant. What had changed her mind?

Continue reading:  How Do You Decide to Have a Baby When Climate Change Is Remaking Life on Earth?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “How Do You Decide to Have a Baby When Climate Change Is Remaking Life on Earth?

    • Yeah, the reproductive drive is irrepressible. Although, some of us have made more thoughtful choices. I decided in the late 1980s not to have any children. My reasoning doesn’t seem so paranoid now as it did back then. As a student of climatology since the late 1960s, when climate change/global warming was called “the greenhouse effect,” I realized very early on that big trouble was ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s