Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Save the earth with adoption?

While population arguments often pop up within environmental circles, NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" host Scott Simon raises more discussion of whether adoption could help assuage the much-debated effects of more babies on climate, waste, energy, production and consumption in an already crowded planet with millions of orphans.

After reviewing Simon's new book, "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, In Praise of Adoption," Grist.org's Lisa Hymas interviewed Simon and asked whether he felt parents should justify their adoption by environmental concerns.

Simon, rightfully, argues parents shouldn't be solely motivated by reducing their carbon footprint or eco-claim. Why? "Because I think you ought to have children out of joy, not out of sense of duty."

But nor should prospective parents be solely motivated by the fact they cannot conceive children themselves, which is often the case for parents who adopt children today.

"We've known people who have gone through so many rounds of assisted fertility, and that just strikes me as utterly useless when there are already children in the world," said Simon, who with his wife underwent fertility treatments before adopting. "If somehow you could connect the number of people in this world who want to have children and more of the youngsters out there who could use families, that's a kind of global warming we could all use."

The decision and act of raising children, of course, remains incredibly emotional, personal and difficult, thus it is tough to make many arguments in terms of any sort of public policy. Any thoughts on Simon's book and population arguments in terms of climate and environmental concerns?

Photo credit: BZO via Flickr

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