| July 31, 2019 05:52 PM
There are lots of reasons not to have more kids. Climate change is not one of them.
No one seems to have informed Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, though. The couple appear to be the latest high-profile figures jumping on the “no kids till climate revolution” bandwagon.
During a discussion with Jane Goodall, the primatologist and anthropologist best known for her work with chimpanzees, Harry expressed concern over the environment and its relation to the next generation.
Their Q&A was published on Tuesday by British Vogue, and the Duke of Sussex said climate worries have been on his mind since he’s had his first child and has been considering more.
“Not too many!” Goodall joked.
To which Harry responded, apparently in all seriousness, “Two, maximum!”
It’s not uncommon for royals to have small families, and Harry himself grew up with just one brother. But Harry seems to imply that thanks to climate change, he wouldn’t plague the beleaguered world with more than one more baby.
This is an impoverished conception of children and families, and of human ingenuity, but it’s a sadly common one. Several celebrities and politicians have recently followed this trend, saying that the world is in such a dire state that it would be irresponsible to bring more people into it.
"There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, said in February, arguing that asking if we should still have children in this environment is a “legitimate question.”
Miley Cyrus, who is recently married, echoed the same sentiment earlier this month.
"Until I feel like my kid would live on an earth with fish in the water,” she said, “I’m not bringing in another person to deal with that."
The tragedy of this line of thinking is it pairs the real issue of climate change with a false solution. The answer to ending rising global temperatures is not fewer humans; it’s better use of resources and innovation.
It is both dumb and misanthropic to treat children as an extravagance in which we are to indulge only in good times. (Plus: When, exactly, would those times be?)
Goodall says the next generation of children makes her hopeful, but there won’t be much of a next generation if people like her keep preaching against bringing them into the world.