Sunday, February 01, 2009

UK Government Official Says Having More Than 2 Children "Irresponsible"; Catholics Respond

Soon to be a meme heard round the world:
Couples who have more than two children are putting an 'irresponsible' burden on the environment, the Government's leading green advisor has warned.

Jonathon Porritt called on ministers to divert money away from curing illnesses towards contraception and abortion services to limit the country's population and help in the fight against global warming.

And he criticised fellow green campaigners for dodging the issue of population growth and its effect on the environment because it is too 'controversial'.

It came as Catholic bishops in England and Wales lambasted environmentalism as an ideology every bit as dangerous as communism.
[ED.: Yep.]

In a booklet, they say worshippers should be deeply sceptical of claims the green movement makes on global warming. [ED.: Yep.]

Mr Porritt, who has two children himself, added: 'I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate.

'I think we will work our way towards a position that says having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don't really hear anyone say the P-word.

A spokeswoman for the Pro-life Alliance said: 'Yet again we hear an expert calling for more contraception and abortion: but our high abortion figures are the fruit of that kind of approach.

'The unpleasant aspect of this statement is the idea that how many children you have should be down to the state. Wherever we have seen such policies being imposed, such as in China, we have seen a preference for male children and a rise in infanticide.'
[ED.: Yep.]

The views expressed by Mr Porritt came under attack from the Catholic Church, which views contraception as 'intrinsically evil'.

A booklet by the London-based Catholic Truth Society, a charity under the patronage of Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Cardiff, said there was a proven tendency among the environmental lobby to exaggerate the threat of global warming to vindicate their calls for radical Government measures to 'forcibly' move the world down a 'sustainable' path.
[ED.: Yep.]

The book, Global Warming: How Should we Respond, says: 'Just as Marxism advocated Communism as the only solution to the world's ills, so Greens warn us of major catastrophe if we do not adopt their calls for radical change.'

It says the ideology of the Green movement ran counter to Christian beliefs, because it saw 'mankind as just one species among many'.
[ED.: Yep.]

The book says that population programmes targeting the 'supposedly feckless breeding' of the poor, especially in developing countries, were the result of racist and unfounded prejudices. [ED.: Yep.]

'Environmental campaigns which demand that the natural world should be treated with greater respect imply that this is the only issue that matters, ignoring the plight of humanity or any spiritual values,' it said. [ED.: Yep.]

(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

UPDATE (3 February)
Fr. Finigan notes that large families are greener:
The Sunday Times last weekend reported on a GP who discourages families from having more than two children. (See: Green GP refuses to help women have large families.) Dr Pippa Hayes is a member of the Optimum Population Trust whose motto is "stop at two". Essentially, the OPT believes that having more children is not eco friendly. This is an old idea dressed up in green language; human beings are seen as a kind of pollution.

The article does give space to an alternative assessment - that in fact large families often lead more environmentally friendly lives. To take one example, they certainly don't use air travel to the same degree because with a large family, package holidays in the sun are prohibitively expensive. The active outdoor alternatives are not only very beneficial for children but also, in fact, tend to waste fewer natural resources. The photo shows one family making the most of our current weather.

The large families I know also tend to make economies of scale at home, passing on clothes and other things, cooking with fresh ingredients, growing stuff in the garden, keeping chickens, enjoying games with things that have been made, not bought, and generally getting out into the environment rather than just talking about it.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Rich Leonardi on the "Obnoxiousness" of the Concept of "Carbon Footprints"

Malthusian Nonsense Alert: "Save the Planet — Have Fewer Kids"

Deacon Fournier Reviews Population Controllers

Malthusian Nonsense Alert: Babies a Drag on the Economy, Report Says

Darwin Catholic: "Want Sustainable? Try a Family"

Malthusian Nonsense in the Extreme: "When Should You Die?"

Population Control Movement is "Number One Violator of Human Rights," Author Claims

USAToday Columnist: Religion is Killing the Planet

The Pitter-Patter of Carbon Footprints ...

Cardinal Pell Criticizes Australian Medical Ass'n for Publishing Letter Advocating Carbon Tax on Children

Professor Solves Global Warming: Let’s Tax Reproduction

Global Alarming Update: Focus on So-Called "Carbon Footprint" Anti-Family

Malthusian Nonsense from "Global Warming" Alarmists

Cardinal Pell on Global Warming Alarmists: "Scaremongers" and "Zealots"

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At 2/01/2009 4:50 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

People always need a substitute for religion if they are unwilling to worship God. Communism and Fascism filled the bill in the last century. Radical environmentalism is merely the latest ism-substitute-religion to come rolling down the pike, but an especially nasty one with an increasingly open get rid of people to preserve the environment agenda. I can only imagine what unprintable language Teddy Roosevelt would have used at this perversion of his simple idea to preserve some of the wilderness for future generations.

At 2/01/2009 10:48 PM, Anonymous Rick said...

Recently in a post I listed all 50 European countries and their fertility rates. Not a one had a fertility rate of 2.1, which is the replacement rate. The average for Europe is 1.53. The rate keeps on falling such that Europe is going to be in a dire situation if it is not turned around. It is the height of irresponsibility for Mr Porritt to suggest limiting families. If he would just open his eyes he would see that the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare. That is, if it weren't for governments forever interfering.


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