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Why have kids when the world is ending?

Credit: ISTOCK (BOONYACHOAT)

Why plan for a future when it feels like the world is doomed?


Leandra Gumb | Interrobang | Opinion | September 6th, 2019




Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
For the longest time, I never wanted kids. Everyone said that would change as I age, and I really hate to admit they’re right. When I met my partner, I thought there would be nothing cooler than to have a small human being made of 50 per cent me and 50 per cent of them.

I had to get a couple of things sorted out first obviously. Will I have a career chosen that will allow me to support a family? Okay, check. Do I know what age I want to have it? After my career has been established hopefully by the end of twenties or early thirties, check. Will the planet I live on sustain my child’s life? That’s the breaking point.

I think by now we’ve all heard of the rumours. If we don’t get our act together and start having some compassion for the earth, climate change will become irreversible by 2050. In my lifetime, I’ll be alive for that moment and experience some of the tragedies humanity will have to deal with. I’ll be lucky to pass before stuff really starts going down.

My child will have a lifetime of environmental anxiety. From the moment they can absorb information, they’ll be dealing with warnings of an environmental apocalypse right around the corner. What if they want kids? They will be raising their child right around 2050 if they chose to have babies.

The main cause for extinction of planet species, animal species and the main cause of excessive carbon emissions is humans. Some of us don’t even care. We are so selfish to see forests on fire, ice caps melting extremely fast and species dying by the handful and not do anything about it.

You’ve seen that polar bears are endangered, and if you are trying to reverse that I applaud you. I’m sorry to tell you that at the rate the planet is heating up, they will become extinct regardless of our efforts. I try my best to be environmentally friendly, especially because the demise of planet Earth sounds terrifying and our planet deserves better.

It really pains me to see people not doing the simplest things to reduce their carbon footprint. We have so much power in the things we do every day, but we simply chose not to out of convenience. But I want to help, and I know others do too.

Get on your friends’ cases about not using reusable coffee mugs, water bottles or Tupperware. Stop using produce bags. Your vegetables and fruit make it just fine from the farm, the transport, and grocery store without a small plastic bag. They’ll be fine naked in your shopping cart.

Stop eating meat like it’s your lifeline. Agriculture is one of the leading industries for carbon emissions and water waste. I don’t understand how it isn’t obvious that it takes a boatload more of resources to raise, feed, kill and transport livestock than it does vegetables or fruit.

Do your research and try going meatless at least once a week. Ride your bike, say no to straws, eat less fish, stop using single use plastic, reduce your food and water waste; just do a little more each day. Open your eyes and realize that your future children rely on you to maintain our planet.
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