Hooray! Being An Only Child Means I’m Not Weird, And Saving Gaia From AGW!

Grist’s resident GINK (green inclinations, no kids) Lisa Hymas, who also is virulently against people having children, brings us the latest. After a discussion about Snooki (never thought I would actually mention that wacko) being wacko, and an only child, we get

This is just the sort of groundless prejudice that Bill McKibben set out to counter when he wrote the book Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families in 1998. McKibben and his wife decided to have just one child, inspired in part by their concern for the environment. But they wanted to know if their daughter would suffer from a lack of siblings, so McKibben delved into the research and found the answer: a resounding “no.”

I called up McKibben recently to chat about how Maybe One is just as relevant today as it was a dozen years ago. “The most common reason that people give for having a second child is so that their first child won’t be an only child,” McKibben told me. “There can be good reasons to have more than one kid, but that is not one of them. The most novel and interesting part of Maybe One was showing that only children are fine, indistinguishable, completely normal, not subject to the problems that people always diagnose, like being spoiled.”

In fact, only kids might actually be better off in key ways. Falbo’s research indicates that “only children tend to do better in school and get more education—college, medical or law degrees—than other kids.” And other researchers “have crunched the numbers from years of standardized tests like the National Merit Scholarship exam to measure verbal and mathematical abilities. In each category, only children performed better than children from larger families,” Sandler reports.

Perhaps. I’m still kinda weird, but, fun weird! But, the whole point of Lisa’s post is not to simply posit that being an only child, and people having only one child, is mentally OK for the child, but, to push for people to have no more than one child, if any

Recent research bears that out. According to a 2009 study published in Global Environmental Change [PDF], an American can prevent 20 times more carbon pollution by having one fewer kid than by adopting a number of eco-friendly habits (like driving less, switching to efficient windows and lightbulbs, etc.) for an entire lifetime. In the long term, the study authors determined, each child increases a parent’s carbon legacy by about 570 percent, because kids are likely to have kids of their own and so forth.

And, that’s the important part about whether a couple decides to have more than one child (or any): the carbon dioxide footprint of the snowflakes. And the climate morons wonder why their pet cult is dying out? Of course, crazy people usually don’t know that they are crazy.

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3 Responses to “Hooray! Being An Only Child Means I’m Not Weird, And Saving Gaia From AGW!”

  1. Dave says:

    Hmmm. This smacks of China’s One Child policy. Is there any doubt that the Greens are today’s Communists?

  2. Trish says:

    No doubt from me, it’s communism at it’s worst.
    I believe it’s a cult as well.

  3. mojo says:

    Ah yes, Bill “Crazy Eyes” McKibben. There’s a source you can TRUST!

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