Sunday, March 16, 2008

Your baby is spoiling my Earth

During Joe Fontana's 2004 federal campaign, I recall an audience member at a debate at Central Library questioned 'Smokin' Joe' on the apparent contradiction in his claims to support both breeders/families and protecting the environment. Joe tried to weasel his way out of answering, calling the question ridiculous, and questioning the sobriety of the questioner. One could easily see that beneath Joe's slickly polished veneer he really didn't want to answer the question. Even some of the Greens in the audience cowered when this question arose. It seems not many people want to face this truth: babies and environmentalism are in conflict.

And babies are perennially popular. No matter how seemingly enlightened a woman appears these days, most still seem willing to sacrifice their bodies, lives and minds, and breed at some point.

In today's Free Press, Vivian Song admits to attending a Babypalooza - the very name of it sent shivers up my spine and forced me to withhold a choking burp over my keyboard.

This scenario is shameful not only for being so cliche, but it's also appalling for contravening a basic tenet of eco-consciousness: Stop breeding.

. . . Having children is selfish, environmentalists say, driven by the egotistical need to preserve the genetic line at the expense of the planet.

The world population is projected to grow from 6.7 billion in 2007 to 9.2 billion in 2050.

Humans are consuming the planet's resources faster than they can be renewed, says the WWF in its Living Planet Report published in 2006.

Our "Ecological Footprint" has more than tripled since 1961, and now exceeds the world's ability to regenerate by about 25%. But overpopulation is largely ignored among politicians because of what John Seager of the Population Connection calls CIA -- China, immigration and abortion -- three highly controversial issues.

. . . "We can drive hybrid cars and buy compact fluorescent light bulbs but we're not going to shop our way out of this," Seager says.
Fortunately, the hosts of the debate at Central insisted Joe had an obligation to explain the apparent contradiction of the various sides of his mouth. When he did answer, he admitted that he was most supportive of families. Joe was no fool: families vote; trees don't.