No Children – The New Green Radical

  • If climate change is real (which it is) then the prospect of a millennial seeing their grandchildren is very slim.
  • Many millennial’s are starting to question whether it is right to have children in an increasingly ‘short life world’.

“We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said at the end of last year. He was speaking at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Katowice in Poland.

“It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation,” he said. “Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.”

It is obvious that we have not been living the way we should be living. So if parents, teachers and political leaders have not passed the correct ‘way of living’ on to a generation of millennial’s, then what motivation do they have to have a family and raise children?

Tradition dictates we should have hope in the next generation but millennia’ls do not see it that way. There are too many global issues to contemplate. If climate change is real (which it is) then the prospect of a millennial seeing their grandchildren is very slim. Many are starting to question whether it is right to have children in an increasingly ‘short life world’.

In the United States last week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out about how young people are choosing not to have children due to fears over climate change. Ocasio-Cortez is leading a climate changed focussed Green New Deal for the Democratic Party in that country. The Green New Deal is radical; 100% Clean and Renewable Electricity by 2035, Zero Net Emissions from Energy by 2050 and Zero Waste by 2040. It even implies a nation’s change in diet away from dairy and red meat.

During a recent Instagram Livestream, the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez said “Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don’t turn this ship around … there’s a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And even if you don’t have kids, there are still children here in the world, and we have a moral obligation to leave a better world for them. And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question: Is it okay to still have children?”

It is also interesting to note that the birth rate in the US has had a run on record lows for the past few years. Read more

The most recent United Nations report has established that unless carbon emissions are reined in over the next 12 years the effects of climate change will be irreversible.

If you are a millennial living in Africa and there is a chance that the world will be massively and irreversibly compromised in 12 years unless the climate change problem is addressed, would you have children?

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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