Maggie Astor’s article on the thoughtful and caring people forgoing having kids because of climate change raises compelling questions. Should climate change (that even the Pentagon acknowledges) be a reason for the people most concerned about the future stop having kids? Should they do so while others, many of whom deny climate change, continue to have massive families? Do we want a future filled with people raised by those who cared the least about it? Are declining fertility rates an example of our species actually acting to protect itself, and our future, and as such should we be pursuing policies that promote that trend?
The underlying problem seems to be that our current model of family planning isolates parents in their decision-making, telling them that the act of having a child is nobody else’s business, and thereby preventing collective action and cooperative decision making. Climate change is a good reason, an existential reason about who we should become, to change all of that, and find a better way to work together to plan our families and protect our collective futures.