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[flagged] Is it still ok to have kids in face of climate change? (newsweek.com)
62 points by makerofspoons 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 128 comments



My ancestors thought it was okay to have kids during times in which many scholars where certain the apocalypse was due in the next 25 years, during periods in which the plague killed more than half of the population, during the 30 years war and in a time when there was a realistic chance of nuclear annihilation in the next 10 years.

I am glad they did.


Did any of those groups they have a scientific basis for believing that having kids would speed up the advent of the apocalypse or worsen its effects?

Let's not draw false parallels.


"The Population Bomb" was a pretty fashionable scientific prediction back in the 1960s which had a significant following in the academic and policymaker circles at the time.

It extrapolated from data about population growth, farmland capacity, etc, to reach the irrefutable conclusion that there is going to be mass starvation and famine in the 1970s. It led to calls for China-style population controls, to articles about whether it's ethical to have children, etc.

What happened instead is that population growth has slowed down quite a bit without government intervention, and that we've gotten a lot more efficient at growing food.

This does not prove anything when it comes to climate change, but is an interesting anecdote.


Thanks for bringing this up! An excellent book on this is: The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future by Paul Sabin


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusianism

So: yes. Many times. In fact it would be accurate to say that a portion of the population has believed this, now for hundreds of years.


Malthus lived in the 1700s. The 1970s neo-malthusianism (Limits to Growth, Club of Rome etc) didn't predict apocalypse in 25, rather "Given business as usual, i.e., no changes to historical growth trends, the limits to growth on earth would become evident by 2072" [1]. But they did indeed think population growth was a major problem and they were right of course.

The neomalthusian ideas didn't you should have no kids, but rather that you should not have a lot of kids.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth#Conclusio...


Well, sure, but Malthusianism has had many famous dates. Wasn't the first one 1870 ?


I’ve always believed that if you’re a smart, educated, motivated person (if your reading this than I’m assuming you are one) that probably the best thing you can do for the world is to have kids. Those kids will likely contribute to the world in all sorts of ways that we can’t imagine.


Furthermore, from my perspective I think that it is one's duty to have as many children as they think they can have within as long they it does not negatively effect the raising of their other children to a large degree, and it does not put one below the poverty line.

Raising children who are moral/ upright, and positively add to the economy adds to the world by an exponential factor.


You could always adopt kids and give them the benefit of your intelligence, education, and motivation.


The "adopt" kids usually are the kids of alcoholic parents, who gave them a subtle but unrepairable "drink" too much. You will not be informed about that by government- and you will go through hell trying to repair what alcohol made unrepairable.

Would advise that only if government guarantees no https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_spectrum_disorde...


Do you have any statistics on that, or is that just your personal bias?


Sorry its paywalled and german: http://www.spiegel.de/plus/alkoholgeschaedigte-adoptivkinder...

Summary of the story: Government knowingly passed retarded children - who destroyed several marriages and familys- simply because that sort of damage is not fixable with love and understanding. You can only tolerate it and adapt your lifestyle to the new member of the family.


I get your argument, but in terms of environmental impact on climate change, those ‘smart, educated, and motivated’ kids will likely have a greater negative impact on climate change than less educated kids.

It is the successful people who harm the environment the most.

I still don’t believe that we should stop having kids, but let’s not pretend that OUR kids won’t harm the environment.


Step 1. Move outside the US Step 2. Watch your kids's CO2 emissions get divided by 3 by pure magic.

The lifestyle the US society pushes on you and your children pushes you to have much higher CO2 emissions than really useful (airplanes to go everywhere, higher salaries and higher consumption, ...).


It's also the educated, motivated kids in the developed world that have the greatest chance of averting or remediating climate change.


Probably the best result would be a soft leveling off rather than abrupt stoppage in reproduction anywhere. Interestingly, some historians claim the Black Plague in Britain/England caused a disruption which later on cascaded in such way to allow the the transition from feudalism to more capital intensive economics (same wealth distributed among fewer heirs).


Some of the worst offenders, which are generally companies and governments, are led by educated, motivated kits in the developed world.


Yet the opposite is true, meaning that less educated people usually have more kids than vice-versa.

Hans Rosling actually talked about this, that a way of stopping over population is by investing more in education in poorer areas.


"...if your reading this than..." ouch


Are you implying kids of "smart, educated, motivated person" will contribute more than kids of people who don't fall into your arbitrary definition?


I think so. There isn't anything controversial being said here.

Children given education, good home lives, and goals are more likely to succeed than those without access to those opportunities. It isn't fair, but that doesn't mean we can't look for other ways to improve outcomes across the board.


So the key is giving more kids those opportunities. Not just some kids.


Obviously genetics and nurture play a massive role in a person's upbringing and largely determine what kind of person they will be. What is the issue here exactly?


If not, why have an education system at all?


Exactly? Education happens in school, college, friends, community and, partially, at home.

The concept that "my kids" are better than other people kids because they are like me is extremely silly on many levels. They might not share your ideals and even if they do, it promotes a single line of thinking.


The more we learn about iq the more heritable we believe it to be. Up to 80-85% in more recent studies


Which is why it’s weird so many kids from other countries want to come here for their higher studies, right?


Not sure I get your point. I don't think it's weird at all. Because:

- That happens to every country - One in three top US professors educated overseas https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/one-in-three-top-u... - Most of their classmates will be foreign students too https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/10/11/foreign...


> That happens to every country

Both your sources are for the US only. How did you get to 'every country'?


But other people and their children are not mentioned.


> the best thing you can do for the world is to have kids

...yet what is the best thing for the kids? That's a harder thing to know - you can't really compare "not existing" with "living in a world that has a ton of issues". You can debate how bad the issues will be, but that really dodges the inability to make that comparison.


> ...yet what is the best thing for the kids? That's a harder thing to know - you can't really compare "not existing" with "living in a world that has a ton of issues".

LOL! I certainly can 'compare "not existing" with "living in a world that has a ton of issues"'.

In the "don't exist" case, there is no possibility of anything good happening.

In the "exist" case, there is a possibility of something good happening.

Easy choice, and that's entirely outside my belief that the human race should continue, thrive, and expand across the stars. Climate change is likely not as severe as the alarmists portray, and is very likely to be solved by market forces. The future is bright!


See, this FEELS like a simple choice - but think of the implications of what you're saying.

If existing is flat out always better than not - and I want to note this is NOT about suicide (ending existence) but about creating the existence in the first place) - then you're saying the moral thing is to have as many children as possible. For everyone.

Taken to a hyperbolic extreme, this is clearly ridiculous. But this isn't a strawman argument - the point is not to say "I'm right", but to find what we're really valuing. If we can all agree that drowning the world in babies that live short lives of misery is laughably ridiculous, then where is the serious argument? Finding a happy medium where we should have as many people as we can sustainably?

Is creating distinct human existences REALLY something of inherent value? Are those of us choosing to be childless for whatever reason immoral?


I'm not sure you realize that the values that gets in one's mind and govern one's decision towards procreation is one form of current natural selection. It's funny to see some of the world's best and most promising getting bogged down by or getting utterly lost in some "smart people problem" instead of using their capacity to come ahead in the game of life.


> using their capacity to come ahead in the game of life

I, as an independent conscious entity, don't get a benefit from "coming ahead at the game of life".

If someone has a child that they love and cherish, that's great. I'd rather them have a child for that reason over having one because it represents the statistical viability of their collective genetic sequences.

I don't think the examined life is something to mock and put down...nor must it result in self-sterilization.


Most people would rather exist than not exist, and although it can sometimes seem like it, not everyone in the entire world is severely clinically depressed. Parents make decisions for their children all the time, and existence is one the the safest bets.


Do you have the maximum number of children biologically possible? If not ( and I assume you haven't ), then you've made choices that have prevented others from existing. Assuming you are okay with that ( and I assume you are ) then the decisions involved are not a simple as you portray.


>Do you have the maximum number of children biologically possible?

You can't reason about ethics from the standpoint that whatever you are doing right now is known to be ethical. If you did that, you'd just be constructing post-facto justifications for decisions you already made. There are plenty of things I should be doing from a utilitarian standpoint that I don't do (I'm not saving the maximum number of African children, for example).


> You can't reason about ethics from the standpoint that whatever you are doing right now is known to be ethical.

An excellent point...but we DO reason about ethics. We can draw parallels from our decisions in other areas to see if we are being consistent. Even if we can't achieve objectivity we can try for it and thus get closer.

And from this I find I feel bad about the good to other living creatures I COULD be doing and am not....but that I don't feel sorrow for the lack of of sorrow and joy from creatures that are merely potential.

Perhaps you feel differently. Others certainly do. I just want to point out that it's something worthy of thinking about rather than tossing out a facile "existence is always better".


Yes, let's die out! Let's not even let any kid get born that may invent the key to nuclear fusion. Sure, let's just choose some non-sentient animals and plants over ourselves killing any chance of betterment right here and now. Let's not even try to spread out over the stars, let's make sure that any life on our current planet dies as soon as this planet dies instead of taking it with us across the barren ocean that is the milky way.

If we take this seriously we don't even deserve to exist as a species.

You die out Alexandria, let your bloodline end. I for one want to my genome to explore the galaxy, to have it help preserve earth in the future. To boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before! And if you only point at my right to procreate I will defend it with everything I have!

How cynical do you have to be to only see humans as sources of CO2? And to completely neglect their potential. Honestly, if this piece is for real (and I'm not lacking any context) then I think this woman is dangerous.


You have no ownership over your descendants. Nothing about you as an individual will be exploring those galaxies.

In the end, it's all an arbitrary sort of stew.


It will be a stew with my optimistic DNA in it and none of those anti-procreation basepairs!


I seriously wrestled with whether having kids was moral. Indeed, it seems highly probable that they will just grow up to witness and suffer in the next great extinction event.


Seriously? Do you know what the earth has seen? How climate has been in the past? What we have survived? We are here because we are the culmination of an unbroken line of winners. But it seems your line is about to end because you seem to see it so much better than all your predecessors. This truly is the end time, wat a coincidence you will live to see it.


There already were plenty of "unbroken lines of winners" that eventually got broken.


Your reply could be more civil.

Many scientists warn that we are probably in one of the great extinction events. It's happened before, and past success is no guarantee of future success. I might add that our ancestors didn't have an abundance of nukes either.

I know a lot of what the Earth has seen. Huge glaciers, global hypoxia, mass extinctions, cataclysmic events...

your response ignores fact that there never has been 4.5 billion Homo sapiens sapiens living all at once before. What a coincidence that I should be here to see it!


I echo your sentiment. And I am mostly of the same opinion of you. It's just... if you look on a long enough timeline, there is no way that the humanity will not end in a dramatic and sad way. Preferably very very far in the future, but not necessarily.


You mean your great ... great grand kids will die in-silico while black hole farming the last black holes about 10^53 years after the last stars die out? ;) [0] Would we still call that humanity?

[0] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g


This is /r/im14andthisisdeep material. Life is inherently joyful, especially for children, even under challenging circumstances. The net happiness rating in Bangladesh is +74%--i.e. 74% more people report themselves happy than report themselves unhappy: https://www.globalresearch.ca/global-polling-which-nations-a.... Decreasing human population decreases the aggregate net happiness experienced by the world.

Also, almost nobody believes it would be better to not exist than to exist in challenging circumstances. That's why cancer patients fight through incredibly painful chemotherapy to get a few extra years of life. If you were offered a painless, consequence free death, would you take up that offer to avoid facing the upcoming uncertainties of climate change? Almost nobody would. Why do you think your potential kids would feel differently?


Imagine you were somehow able to choose: 1. Either never exist at all, or 2. Exist as a human in the world of 50 years from now

To me, the clear choice is #2. If the moral question is whether human life is worth it to continue in the future, it's obviously worth it.

If the moral question is whether our own domination of the planet harms too many wildlife animals, and is therefore immoral, that feels like a more reasonable tradeoff. However it feels odd to me to that the same people advocating stopping having children continue to eat meat.

I will advocate for continued human growth regardless. I feel like there are few "long, slow" problems we cannot overcome.


It's not about whether human life is still worth it, it's about whether we should have fewer children to lighten the cost.

There are plenty of people who are vegetarian who feel this way too. It isn't just meat eaters. Having a child is far more impactful than eating meat or driving electric cars.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-...


> it's about whether we should have fewer children to lighten the cost.

Most of the West has had sub-replacement-level fertility for several decades, so we already have fewer children.


> If the moral question is whether our own domination of the planet harms too many wildlife animals, and is therefore immoral, that feels like a more reasonable tradeoff.

We have already killed over 80% of all wild mammals and half of all plants on this planet. And brought hundreds of species to extinction (that we know of .. and an unknown number of those we don't know of).

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-ra...


#1 Ego cogito, ergo sum


It's pretty hard to predict exactly what's going to happen to society in the face of climate change. We know 100% that society will collapse if we stop having kids.


if we 100% stop having kids, sure. but how about slowly reducing to a total world steady state population of 1 billion. Will that necessarily lead to collapse? maybe with that many people a shift to fossil fuels would t matter so much. maybe we could all have good sized homes and yachts.


I have a 4 month old daughter and looking a the history I‘m pretty glad she is born today and not 50 or 100 years ago.


Yes, the question is in the context of climate change, not other variables.


At first I was afraid, i was petrified, kept thinking I could never live without stable climate by my side But then I spent so many nights thinking how my lifestyle did no wrong, and I grew strong, and I learned how to get along. And so they're back, from outer space -I just walked in to find them here with that nihilistic look upon their face. I should have avoided that foolish thread, I should have made those defeatists leave their key, if I'd known for just one second they'd be back from the eighties to bother me Go on now, go, walk out the door Just turn around now 'Cause you're not welcome anymore Weren't you the one who tried to hedonistically accept the long goodbye Do you think I'd crumble Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I, I will survive Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive I've got all my life to live And I've got all my love to give and I'll survive I will survive, hey, hey


> Yes, the question is in the context of climate change, not other variables.

I don't think you can just separate out climate change from everything else that's going on in the world—and even if you could, the result would be meaningless.


Well, that sentiment entirely misses the point of all of this!


I'm not so sure that it does. I would say the expected cost of climate change to the lives of children born today is still far far less then the expected cost in the past due to disease, war, famine (etc).

So the poster above is noting that if people were, or we would have, been okay with having kids in the past, then we still should today.


The question is phrased ambiguously, but the article makes it clearer that what is meant is:

"Is it still OK _for the planet_ to have kids...", not "Is it still OK _for the kids_ to have kids..."

EDIT: actually, I'm not sure which one of those the representative was getting at.


"Is it still OK _for the planet_ to have kids..."

That's a strange question. The planet doesn't have feelings, so it doesn't really care whether or not we have kids.

Other living organisms on the planet may care. But the rock we're on surely doesn't.


Thanks for clarifying.


>> I would say the expected cost of climate change to the lives of children born today is still far far less then the expected cost in the past due to disease, war, famine (etc).

This is exactly why it misses the point. Having kids is a significant contributor to carbon emissions, and therefore climate change.


More significant than cows? I would rather cut back on meat and dairy consumption than be forbidden from raising children.


I guess it depends if your kid is a vegetarian then :^)


what makes you so sure about that? We are only at the beginning of what could be a plastics apocalypse (among many other issues.) [0]

50 years ago was the golden age to be born in the West imo.

[0]https://www.gq.com/story/sperm-count-zero


> 50 years ago was the golden age to be born in the West imo.

I disagree. The western world was more violent, racist, and less tolerant of women/minorities 50 years ago. Average life expectancy was also ~10 years lower. None of these are 'perfect' today, but they are much better overall than they were during your 'golden age'.


Reminds me of the "Zero Population" scare of the 70s...

Zero Population was politically evangelized much like climate change for nearly a decade before the fears were proven to be unfounded and mass starvation just wasn't happening as predicted.

I'm not saying in any way climate change isn't real, but I am saying let's not jump to hasty conclusions. Raising kids is one of the greatest joys life offers, so we better be DARN sure that we aren't making a "premature optimization" here.


The people that don't care about Climate Change will still be having kids.

Raising kids and teaching them well is one of the best hopes humanity has.


Numbers of kids may also be relevant.

If you're choosing to have kids, it still seems more ecologically responsible to have two or fewer. If two adults have up to two children, that's an overall reduction in population (because not all children reproduce or reach reproductive age).

Fortunately this is already happening[0] which is why several Western countries populations are shrinking[1] often being propped up by immigration.

[0] PDF Warning: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/visualizat...

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2017/02/01/death-spi...


The thing I never understood that if entropy steadily marches on, and the sun's energy is finite, isn't this all going to end bad anyways? What will it matter to if we all voluntarily go extinct and add another millennia or two or three to the Earth? It will either overheat in a global warming or face eternal freezing when the sun burns out. Why not enjoy the ride while it lasts and allow others to as well.


One outcome happens in the next hundred years, another in the next few dozen billion years. I know which one I prefer...


> The thing I never understood that if entropy steadily marches on, and the sun's energy is finite, isn't this all going to end bad anyways?

Ha, well the current estimate is that things should be roughly OK for about another billion years, give or take.

It is interesting to reflect that the run of life on Earth is 3/4 (or so) done, though...

> What will it matter to if we all voluntarily go extinct and add another millennia or two or three to the Earth? It will either overheat in a global warming or face eternal freezing when the sun burns out. Why not enjoy the ride while it lasts and allow others to as well.

We'll be in other star systems long before the Earth is uninhabitable...


It's an interesting question. I think where it goes awry is that your choices directly impact the ability of others to enjoy it. So your voluntary choices (assuming they're detrimental) could mean billions of people don't even get that choice. So what gives you the right to make that choice for them?

Not arguing, just offering a counterpoint.


I thought this was an interesting point from the Gates' annual letter, the specific context is Africa but it's true globally.

> As more children survive to adulthood, women are having fewer kids than ever before. The result is a global population that’s creeping slowly toward middle age.

So people are _already_ having fewer children. Assuming we want to maintain the human species, _someone_ needs to be having children. For diversity everyone should be having _some_ amount of children.

Then of course, it depends on your climate change mindset.

If you think humanity is doomed and there's no way out of this: Don't have children because you think they'll die suffer through the apocalypse.

If you think humanity needs to continue and we will solve this problem: have children because we can avoid the apocalypse.

If you're unsure? Have children. Someone's bound to survive the apocalypse. Maybe it'll be your genetic material.

Personally I think we'll make it through. Life will be different, but we've got a better chance of surviving than humanity has ever had in the past. I think it's more likely that we'll get wiped out by a cosmic event that we don't even see coming.


>If you're unsure? Have children. Someone's bound to survive the apocalypse. Maybe it'll be your genetic material.

Huh? What?

... I don't really understand why I would care if my "genetic material" survives a future apocalypse vs some other rando's "genetic material?" or anyone's "genetic material" for that matter.

This is an especially bizarre reason for having children.


>This is an especially bizarre reason for having children.

This is basically why every species on the planet (with sexual reproduction) has children, whether you're aware of it or not. It's the instinctual drive to propagate. It's why sex feels good (for at least one party involved, for most species).


is vs ought is the distinction that needs to be made. the perogatives of natural selection needn't concord with moral behavior.


Right, but in this case if the deciding factor is climate change and you're ambivalent about the outcome of climate change and humanity... you might as well just roll the dice.


Former political staffer here to remind HN that this is political attention getting, period, and not intended to be a sincere proposal from AOC.

In politics donations (money) is e v e r y t h i n g and if your policies divert from typical donor interests then you have say things like this to expand and activate your donor base. This kind of signaling occurs across the political spectrum.


This kind of signaling occurs across the political spectrum.

Which doesn't justify her doing it, and thus should be shamed because of it.


Well imagine nobody had kids and then we managed to turn climate change around. Now we've got a bunch of old folks being cared for by clean energy powered robots, living a utopian dream but thinking, "wait a minute... Did we just win or lose here?"


The admittedly rather silly way I've framed this in my own mind is to ask if it was ok for, say, people living in Rome during the fall of the Roman Empire to have kids, living as they were through the total collapse of their civilization.

In retrospect it seems more silly (to me, anyway) to suggest that they shouldn't have had children because the children and their descendants would have had a hard time living through the collapse and ensuing "Dark Ages."

Their very distant descendants would have gone on to live through the most prosperous period in human history, which certainly wasn't foreseeable to the people living through the bad times.

Before anyone says that it's not comparable because the Roman Empire was just a small part of the world, and that we're destroying the whole world through climate change, I would suggest that for people living in Rome back then, Rome would have felt like the whole world and the vast majority of people were unlikely to uproot and move more than a few tens of miles, nevertheless, the population of Rome declined by, what, 99%?

In addition, most of the worst case scenarios for climate change seem to indicate the displacement of a few billion people at most, which would be terrible, to be sure. But the mere migration of a few billion people will probably be insignificant on the timescale of a thousand years.

More permanent destructive changes to the environment could cause massive human death, but I personally haven't seen predictions on the order of 99% of people dying (or anything remotely near that) and it seems like there's a pretty good chance that a new equilibrium would be reached at some point and the population of the Earth would surge again. Even the worst predictions seem like they could end up being inconsequential on long enough timescales.

And this doesn't even address the whole Idiocracy situation where arguably the best way to combat a dire future could be to raise kind, compassionate, conscientious children that will go on to steward the world onto a better path.

Needless to say at this point, I'm not convinced that it's remotely unethical to bring children into a difficult world. That's been the state of the world for basically all of human history.


Scott Adams talked a bit about this on Periscope. Essentially, if you believe the world is truly about to be brought to its knees with climate change, is it immoral to have children?


There's two perspectives:

1. The world will become a place of suffering. The assumption here is either that childhood is a terrible experience, or that suicide is immoral. Your children can decide for themselves if they don't think it's worth being alive in the future

2. Overpopulation is the cause of this doomsday. In that case, we're asserting that having children today means less children will be born in the future. This implies we need to reduce birthrates to more efficiently invest the planet. Unfortunately this line of thought can quickly devolve into eugenics. There are better ways to stabilize population. Relevant: Does saving kids’ lives lead to overpopulation? https://www.gatesnotes.com/2018-Annual-Letter?WT.mc_id=02_13...


That's just the exact same question as posed in the article.


I went to check this out and he spends around 20 seconds to misquote AOC on the issue, adding nothing, then goes on to talk about how he wants more transparency in government climate science, and he asserts without evidence that president Trump is genuinely concerned that he has the issue wrong. I’m not going to derail this conversation except to say he basically says nothing of substance on the matter .


Natural selection means that primarily those who think having kids is ok will propagate their genetic material. So in the long run, the answer is necessarily yes.


what if there is no longer run, because survival in the short term requires otherwise?

island mamnal populations can take wild periodic swings of explosion and collapse. not necessarily the ideal way of going about it.

in any case we shouldn't confusebindividual fitness with group level fitness


In the end, the only people remaining would still be those who thought it was ok to reproduce. Unless a world-wide authoritarian government implemented strict population control and decided who would reproduce or not. Scary thought.


I suspect that reproductive decisions are far less genetically deterministic than your account suggests.


> Is it still ok to have kids in face of climate change?

Yes

You might want to think hard about how many kids you want to have, though. We know that we need slightly more than 2 kids per couple to keep current population levels.

I think the best approach to answering this question has to do with how many children your siblings and friends have. If everyone you know is childless; have a large family, guilt-free. If everyone has large families, consider having only child. If everyone you know has 2.5 kids, then consider limiting yourself to 1-3 kids.

By the way, having children is awesome. If you really feel guilty about overpopulation, but want kids, please consider limiting yourself to one, or adoption. Raising children is such a wonderful experience that you shouldn't let something like climate change get in the way. Put the extra money towards building a net neutral home and driving an electric car.


It is an important speculative question, but also misses the fact right now that worldwide fertility is crashing[1].

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46118103


The global fertility rate is 2.4, well above the 2.1 needed to stabilize the population, which is already over the carrying capacity of the planet.


I think this misses what the question should be. It's not whether to have children. It's HOW MANY children.

FWIW I have two. My wife and I wanted kids. We also did not want to contribute to the population explosion. YMMV.


Thank you, it seems like everyone is interpreting it like humanity should stop existing.

The point is to slow down the population growth, by not having kids, and improve a bit the predicted future for those who do end up having kids.


Many countries, especially in the West, are not reproducing at replacement rate.

Also, there may be a scientific consensus about climate change, but that does not carry into economic predictions of collapse. Economic predictions are not the same thing as physical ones.

It's always been the case that the kids are responsible for what they do when it's their turn. Regardless of how hopeless it looked.


Yes.


Shameless yellow journalism!

The text of the article says the actual quote is "And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?". Which is sympathizing with an audience rather than contemplating decrees. But then it's written up as a strongly polarizing narrative, entirely tangential to the context of the original quote!

I'm not trying to defend Ocasio-Cortez here - in fact, I actually dislike her... but I'm willing to admit that my current opinion has been "informed" entirely by these baseless bullshit headlines! I am obviously not wed to this opinion, and I will have to do my own research some time - the point is that many won't.

It might be interesting if HN completely changed its policy on titles. What if rather than trying to be true to the "original" title (ie optimized to enrage), the goal was to make a passive description of the subject under discussion. Perhaps even one longer-lasting thread per topic. We sit here talking about the sorry state of online discourse, yet even here the clickbaiters get the substance of their bait directly embedded on the front page - and every time it's clicked-through, it validates the strategy.


The question was raised by a politician. Her motivation is to generate fear in the public in order for people to support her recently purposed legislation. Regardless of the validity of the question I have serious concerns about the context in which this discussion was created.


Yes. I don’t think ending the species is a good response to climate change.


Define "ok"

Our planet is just one of many... Technology is advancing at an incredible rate. Who knows where we will be in 50 years.


The most hostile conditions climate change can throw at us are still a walk in the park compared to those at another planet.


> "I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’m doing."

Results in the last thirty years don't really back that up.


We live in incredibly interesting times.


Assuming it was ok to have kids before it is still ok now. There may be some world where the chance your offspring will be subjected to suffering is high that it may not be the best idea.

Considering the primary purpose of life is to reproduce and continue existing I'd suggest that even in a world of guaranteed suffering that it is our obligation to continue our existence.


Do as you please. Thank you, next.


Of course it is, where else are we going to get the brains that will solve climate change?


The alternative being what?


The three questions: "At what cost? With what hard evidence? And _compared to what?_"


Consider watching First Reformed. Great movie, and relevant.


if it's the reason you are citing for not having kids, you are probably not ready to have kids


I really hope she is the one who practices this and doesn't have kids, and the others who think this way.


No


Yes.


No.


If you and your partner want to have kids then please do so and educate them and for God's sake please vaccinate them. Most importantly, when the time comes move out of their way (unlike the current set of politicians who only want to live in climate change denial.)


Anyone walking around with the idea that having kids is bad is a moron.


And anyone who down voted this comment is clicking the "I am a moron" button.


No, because nuclear exchange is going to kill them first.


The environment is in crisis. We have to save the Earth!

Save it for what?

Our kids.


> Is it still ok to have kids in face of climate change?

Yes.


No.


So what does she propose as ideal, everyone in the world just stop reproducing?

Only some countries should stop reproducing?

Who should stop reproducing?

Do we follow the Kyoto protocol and set a date back in time as the target goal? What can we afford, the year 2000, 1980, 1887?

This sound like it would be the perfect type of issue that could be addressed via a 5 year plan.




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