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Young people worry that having a baby is ‘morally wrong’, Earth Day research shows

Global warming and climate change are having a big impact on family planning.

Young people say concerns about climate change and uncertainty about the future of the planet influence their fertility decision-making, according to a report. New research by the University of Arizona is published on Earth Day.

The peer-reviewed report interviewed 24 adults 18 to 35 years old who said climate change, also known as substantial, large-scale variation in moderate weather patterns For example, conditions that get warmer, wetter or drier for decades or more actually play a major role in deciding whether or not to have children. And while this is a small sample size, larger studies have found similar results. A recent poll of Morning Consult with 4,400 Americans found that One in four adults does not have children say that climate change affects their fertility decisions.

The most common concern in the new University of Arizona report is overconsumption, with respondents of Generation Z and younger generation worried about how their children will contribute to climate change by adding carbon emissions, as well as future misuse of resources such as scarce food and water. Real, The World Health Organization warned last July that nearly 690 million people went hungry in 2019 – an increase of 10 million from 2018 and nearly 60 million from five years ago. And that was before last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, which could put an additional 130 million people into constant hunger.

Overpopulation is another common concern of those surveyed in the new report, with some youth saying they feel having more than two children would be selfish as they would “over-replace. “Yourself and your partner. Furthermore, many have considered adopting a “low carbon alternative” to start a family.

Finally, many young people who choose not to have children say that uncertainty about the future also discourages marriage. Many people express guilt, as if they would do something “morally or morally wrong” if they brought babies into a world that could have such a bleak future, quote for more. But some subjects have expressed optimism that future generations can make things better, even though it will be a burden on the next generation.

Lead author of the study, Sabrina Helm, an associate professor of home and consumer sciences, writes: “Many people are currently severely affected by mental health due to climate change concerns. . “Then you add this very important decision about having children, which very few people take lightly, and this is an important topic from a public health perspective. It is all related to this larger theme of how climate change affects people beyond the immediate effects of weather phenomena ”.

The US fertility rate plummeted to its lowest level in 35 years 1.7 births per woman in 2019, much lower than the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. And although millions of Americans have taken refuge in place without much work to do in the past year, locking the doors did not lead to the infant COVID explosion. Actually, one report from the Brookings Institution is calling the past 12 months the “COVID infant bankruptcy,” which predicts fewer than 300,000 to 500,000 births by 2021. And some companies and economists are preparing for a long-term digital impact babies less.

Opinion: Why the COVID-19 ‘child bust’ case could affect stock prices for the next 30 years

Related: Reduced US birth rates threaten the diaper business

Giving birth or not giving birth is a question that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) infamously raised in an Instagram live stream in 2019. There is a scientific consensus that children’s lives are going to be very difficult, ”she said. “And I think it leads young people to have the plausible question: Is it okay to still have children?”

Her comments sparked backlash, especially among conservative pundits such as Fox News host Steve Hilton, who called it a “childless policy” and called it “Disturbing authoritarianism, even fascist”.

But in reality, economic and environmental factors are both weighing on some adults’ decisions to start a family – or not.

Most millennials have no children (almost three-fifths) say one reason they don’t have children is because it’s simply too expensive to raise, according to a survey by Morning Consult out of 4,400 adults last fall, this includes 1,287 millennials. But a third (34%) also noted that concerns about climate change Another reason to choose not to have children. And among adults of all ages, a quarter (26%) also said that climate change influenced their fertility decisions.

And that matches an earlier poll A morning consultation is conducted for the New York Times in 2018. It surveyed 1,858 people between the ages of 20 and 45, and 11% of respondents said they “don’t want to have children or are unsure” because they are “worried about climate change”. And a third (33%) said they had fewer children than expected because of concerns about climate change.



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