Really want to save the world? Quit having kids
Nov 16th 2009 11:30AM
Updated Nov 17th 2009 7:54AM
But will doing all those things really help the environment? Yes. But ya know what will help mother nature a hell of a lot more?
According to a study conducted at Oregon State University, whether you have a child has a far greater impact on your carbon footprint than all other earth-saving measures combined. For example: A woman who switches to a fuel-efficient car, recycles, installs energy-efficient light bulbs, and replaces her refrigerator and windows with energy-saving models will, of course, reduce her carbon footprint. But if she then goes and has two children, her carbon legacy will rise to nearly 40 times the energy she saved with green-living sacrifices.
"Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle," the report states.It isn't SUVs and drafty windows that are ruining the planet. We have met the enemy and it is our children. We talk a lot about how we need to save the planet for our children, but the best way to do that is to not have children: or at least have fewer or, even better, adopt already existing ones.
Which brings me back to the tax code: If you can get tax credits for installing energy-efficient windows and light bulbs, why can't you get a tax credit for doing something that is 40 times more green-friendly? Instead of Cash For Clunkers, we should have done Cash For Tube Tying or Cash For Vasectomy. Sterilization can cost as little as $1,600 according to Planned Parenthood, and if we offered people a tax credit of three times the cost of the operation, we could do a lot to help the planet.
But it gets worse: Not only do we not offer tax credits to people who do the environmentally-friendly thing and don't reproduce, but we actually offer tax benefits to those planet destroyers who selfishly procreate.
I ran the numbers on H&R Block's Tax Calculator, and here's how it works out:
- A single head of household with three kids who earns $60,000 will pay $1,560 in taxes.
- A single person with no kids who earns $60,000 will pay $8,450 in taxes.