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Thread: Raising a Child in a Doomed World

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    Raising a Child in a Doomed World

    Here's a fellow who took the occasion of his daughter's birth to whine about our inevitable destruction on a planet as overheated as his own rhetoric. He speaks disapprovingly of having children, which struck me as odd, given the circumstances. He speaks approvingly of a guy who doused himself with gas and set himself alight as a statement about fossil fuels. The term "snowflake" gets tossed around a lot, often unfairly. But in this case it seems to apply. Despair seems like a poor legacy for our children, even if we think it justified. I found myself wanting to shake this guy and tell him to Daddy up unless he wants to create a neurotic mess in his own image. We'd have never have made it through the Ice Age with guys like this around.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/o...parenting.html

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Well, interestingly, your post was next on my internet browse after reading an article about Trump's pulling back on Obama-era regulations on car emissions. So, I'm angry right now and very sympathetic to this author's ear. We have all fallen into two camps on this forum, and in general: those who believe climate change, unfettered capitalism, and the upset of the ecological web of life is a real problem, and those who don't.

    Is the author of this piece being hyperbolic? Maybe. His tone is a bit despairing.

    I didn't get that he disapproves of having children--he was stating a fact: increasing the burden of a human population that refuses to rein in practices and behaviors that are simply not sustainable is just going to make things worse faster.

    I am optimistically hoping that before it's too late, we can back-pedal on our mass-suicidal tendencies to gobble up all the resources that sustain us as part of the web of life. His best paragraph was toward the end:

    Living ethically means understanding that our actions have consequences, taking responsibility for how those consequences ripple out across the web of life in which each of us is irrevocably enmeshed and working every day to ease what suffering we can. Living ethically means limiting our desires, respecting the deep interdependence of all things in nature and honoring the fact that our existence on this planet is a gift that comes from nowhere and may be taken back at any time.

    I know some of us on this forum are in the first camp, and those who are in the second. I'm not going to disparage this author's fears. I share them, frankly. It's odd that it isn't enough to overfish, kill coral reefs, melt the Arctics, smog up cities and make people sick with asthma and cancer, drive to extinction millions of species, drive away the livelihoods of indigenous people in order to make profit, and deny the findings of 95% of scientists worldwide who say greenhouse gasses are creating havoc and will continue to do so, while we watch extreme weather flatten whole towns. That's not enough. Because we, in the first camp, are just a bunch of snowflakes.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Painful to read, so I stopped.
    One wonders how someone so gloomy ever managed to find someone to procreate with.
    I have my melancholy moments, but I'm a wellspring of joy next to this bloke.

    ETA: The world population is on track to contract; people across the board are having fewer children.
    Alternative fuel sources abound; moreso in civilized countries than in this one, but California and other areas are leading the way.
    I'm in neither camp; I see that we are mucking up the earth (which i believe will survive us), but also that we are slowly beginning to remediate the muck. I'm an optimist by nature, not a Kochist fossil fuel wastrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    We have all fallen into two camps on this forum, and in general: those who believe climate change, unfettered capitalism, and the upset of the ecological web of life is a real problem, and those who donít.
    Just the two camps? I donít agree itís as cartoon-simple as you suggest.

    I think thereís a whole spectrum of opinion, from hysterical despair to grave concern to hopeful optimism to complete indifference on the topic.

    Me, Iím a bit of a hopeful optimist. I think we can address the problem through a combination of adaptation, policy and technology. Iíve seem doomsday rescheduled too often in the past to succumb to overwrought handwringing.

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    It's odd that it isn't enough to overfish, kill coral reefs, melt the Arctics, smog up cities and make people sick with asthma and cancer, drive to extinction millions of species, drive away the livelihoods of indigenous people in order to make profit, and deny the findings of 95% of scientists worldwide who say greenhouse gasses are creating havoc and will continue to do so, while we watch extreme weather flatten whole towns. That's not enough. Because we, in the first camp, are just a bunch of snowflakes.
    those without the courage to face reality are the snowflakes. Btw snowflakes? Is that really the term to use in the face of global warming?

    Is it hopeless? Well ... *probably*, but not with absolutely certainty, but if we lack the courage to face reality then with certainty for sure, and the human race isn't very much into courage and facing harsh realities it seems to me - nor political organization and coordination unfortunately. It's not enough the whole world is on fire (not just California- 17 fires burning now, but also near the arctic circle), the whole world is breaking temperature records, the arctic was 50 degrees above normal in winter, the oceans are dying etc.. I think the world population is on track to hit 8 billion but maybe it will contract upon hitting 12 billion or so (ok really it will probably contract with a lot of people dying needlessly before then mostly poor people but ...). Geoengineering? Not against it in principle, but I have never seen any very convincing evidence it would *work*. If it would it should be being seriously considered now but ... it doesn't seem to be, which is another reason it seems dubious to me! Is denial a good legacy to leave future generations? It depends on if one finds any value in facing a reality, even a potentially doomed reality or not, but some have found value in it.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    The future world will need good leaders and smart scientists with a good sense of right and wrong to help whatever environmental challenges the future has in store for us. I would think that responsible parents can have the possibility of raising children with those qualities. It is the parents negligent of our future possibilities, or in third world countries with traditionally large families and few opportunities for education, that might be the better ones to consider limiting child birth. I suspect if the future is as dire as some predict, population may become self-limiting.

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    It's always fun to see the narcissism of first time parents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Just the two camps? I don’t agree it’s as cartoon-simple as you suggest.
    The two camps thing is actually pretty good shorthand.

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I think there’s a whole spectrum of opinion, from hysterical despair to grave concern to hopeful optimism to complete indifference on the topic.
    What about reasonable despair? What about idiotic optimism?

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Me, I’m a bit of a hopeful optimist. I think we can address the problem through a combination of adaptation, policy and technology. I’ve seem doomsday rescheduled too often in the past to succumb to overwrought handwringing.
    Is there anything about this doomsday that is different than the others?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    The two camps thing is actually pretty good shorthand.
    ďWith us or against usĒ is the black-and-white shorthand of limited thinking. You can agree that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, but disagree on the measures to take.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I see that a consortium is planning a new development in Arizona, set to house 180,000 people and employ myriad forward-looking technologies:
    https://www.techrepublic.com/article...ia-in-arizona/

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