Kudos to Jedediah Britton-Purdy for his eloquent explanation of why he chose to have his young son, James, despite the climate crisis, as many others are forgoing parenting altogether as they take. Jedediah’s hope for the future, and for James’ future, shines through his writing.
But did he miss something crucial to protecting that future? Hope is not a strategy.
And if we want to, as Jed says, “build a world that is both safer and fairer,” we should start with the actual building blocks of the future and remember that having a small family is the most effective way to mitigate the climate crisis. It’s more effective on a magnitude of 20 times than things like changing one’s diet or transportation.
And that’s not taking into account the way better family planning can improve child welfare, reduce inequity, and perhaps most importantly, build democracies that are small and inclusive enough for each person’s voice to matter and to not be drowned out in a crowd.
Family Planning and the Environment
What matters most is that Jed just had James and that he exemplifies the evolved thinking true environmentalism requires by connecting his family planning behavior and its impact on the collective. We can go further and all realize that responsible decision-making like Jed’s can be promoted collectively through better family planning policies and laws that reflect the love Jed obviously has for nature, children, and democracy.