Public Enemy No. 1
Forget about saving the planet for the children. The greenies say it’s all their damned fault:
Having large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a 4×4 car and failing to reuse plastic bags, according to a report to be published tomorrow by a green think tank.
The paper by the Optimum Population Trust (OPT) will say that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family’s carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.
John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: “The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. An extra child is the equivalent of a lot of flights across the planet.
“The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”
Mark Steyn cracks: “In those terms, surely the greatest thing everyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to reduce his carbon footprint to zero by killing himself. The United Kingdom’s present fertility rate is not three children or even two but 1.6 or 1.7, and the British will be extinct long before the polar bear.”
Tim Worstall notes eco-hypocrisy:
Now you might think that this would be a gross invasion of the highly personal decisions of others and you’d be right. But just to convince of the moral purity of the exercise, we should consider the following:
Al Gore, environmental campaigner, four children.
Zac Goldsmith, environmental activist, editor of The Ecologist, three children.
What fun, eh? Any others?
Al Gore’s “eco-misdemeanors:”