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It’s downright jarring to see the New York Times report on the climate crisis and mass extinction with alarm but subtly treat low birthrates as similarly threatening to our future. Smaller families are the most effective way to mitigate the threat of the climate crisis and many other environmental and social dilemmas.

Lower birthrates might be a threat to unsustainable growth-based economics, where we see babies as free money in the form of new consumers, cheap future labor, and compliant taxpayers. But lower birthrates are a boon to shared values like investing more in each child and creating a safe and healthy environment. And they are a boon at the key moment in human development where those values matter most of all. 

What matters most is the people with whom we and our kids will share this planet as its ecology degrades. That is the most fundamental question of all.

Take action: Contact the Times at nytnews@nytimes.com and urge them to deal with the values at stake and not to promote unsustainable growth.

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