The View From Here – “Voluntary Extinction” group see remaining childless as beneficial to the environment

Tom Henihan

There are people opting not to have children in order to “save the planet.”

The reasoning behind this curiously named “Voluntary Extinction” movement is that we ought not to create more people and by default create more strife for the planet and ourselves.

The environmental movement seems to have an underlying dislike of humankind, seeing humanity as intruders on mother earth.

The environmental devotee is not satisfied with curbing carbon emissions and prohibiting pipeline expansion but they also want to curb human procreation.

When we are advocating some kind of cull of humanity, it changes our sense of our place in the world. We have now reached a place where sex is not the sin, procreation is.

The mindset promoted by these “Voluntary Extinction” disciples turns our entire ethos upside down and runs contrary to how humanity experiences its place in the world, as in to “ be fruitful and multiply.

Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.”

And of course, to rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the air and every living creature comes with responsibilities that the plants and animals of the world are not destroyed by wanton behavior and greed.

I trust that the majority of people don’t’ support destroying the environment through recklessness or greed, but they also believe we must consider all aspects of addressing environmental issues, including the economy and the people whose livelihoods are affected.

If protecting the environment is something one is serious about they should do something constructive, make a contribution that is meaningful, that is neither symbolic nor token but something real.

Volunteering not to have children is fine, but to attach a matter of such insignificance to a larger cause such as global warming is a bit too florid and grandiose.

Instead of self-aggrandizing, token statements like electing not to have children, maybe these same people should think about those who have or wish to have children and whose circumstances could be gravely affected by the actions of the environmental movement.

It is remarkable how environmentalists express no concern for these people. They show such apparent empathy for the “planet’ but they demonstrate no empathy for others.

And now, if the “Voluntary Extinction” wing of the movement have their way, the ideal outcome will see the environment returned to a pristine state and no one here to inherit the earth.


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