The other day, in this post on an article to help make families more green by our local paper, I observed that the paper seemed to be stopping short of the real CO2 remedies, and should have had this advice for the two families who collectively had nine kids between them:
In the next generation, no one is going to be having five and four kids. Certainly those green Europeans would never do something as damaging as having four or five kids. If you had aborted a few of the little darlings, just think how much CO2 you would have avoided?
Now of course I was being tongue-in-cheek, in that I would never give anyone such advice. My point was in part to demonstrate that cutesie little pieces of advice like getting the kids to recycle more helped to reinforce the false impression that CO2 rollbacks to 1990 levels would be relatively easy. But several readers wrote me that I was posting a straw man — that no one in the green movement was seriously talking about limiting children. WRONG! My father-in-law, as much as I loved the man, was a long-time greenie who believed having more than two children was close to immoral, and felt that population growth was the number one environmental problem in the world.
Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers – and a voice calling her Mummy.
But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.
Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.
Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.
He refused, but Toni – who works for an environmental charity – "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.
Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.
At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet". ….
"Having children is selfish. It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.
"Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population."