Washington (CNSNews.com) – Andrew Revkin, who reports on environmental issues for The New York Times, floated an idea last week for combating global warming: Give carbon credits to couples that limit themselves to having one child.
Revkin later told CNSNews.com that he was not endorsing the idea, just trying to provoke some thinking on the topic.
Revkin calls it a "thought experiment".
Well, isn't that special.
Around my office, we have a few running jokes. Well, more than a few actually; we have 947 of them, to be precise.
One of the all time faves is based on truth: during a brainstorming session, a young professional prefaced his contribution with his remarks by saying, "Now, I'm not thinkin' this, I'm just sayin' it."
"Not thinkin', just sayin'" serves to absolve the "sayer" of the logical consequences of whatever words follow. Yeah, right.
Revkin goes on to not think, just say:
Well, should there be carbon credits for a family planning program in Africa let's say? Should that be monetized as a part of something that, you know, if you, if you can measurably somehow divert fertility rate, say toward an accelerating decline in a place with a high fertility rate, shouldn't there be a carbon value to that?
... [P]robably the single-most concrete and substantive thing an American, young American, could do to lower our carbon footprint is not turning off the lights or driving a Prius, it's having fewer kids, having fewer children. ... [E]ventually you get ... credit--If we're going to become carbon-centric--for having a one-child family when you could have had two or three."
In a Sept. 19, 2009 blog entry, “Are Condoms the Ultimate Green-Technology?” Revkin cited an August 2009 study by the London School of Economics that highlighted having fewer children as a solution to diminishing our carbon footprint.
[emphasis added throughout]
I've warned in these pages of the dangers of carbon credits as new "funny money" -- off-balance-sheet financing for whatever hare-brained idea strikes the Congress's fancy.
This proposal would let them play the role of the Chinese Politburo. Since it's only a "thought experiment", wouldn't the most efficient use of those valuable carbon credits would be to pay for the, um, negating of children who've already been conceived ... or to pay for voluntary sterilizations ... hmmm?
H/T Doug Bandow, of the American Spectator blog, who comments:
Heck, if Congress votes to wreck the economy with cap and trade, and nationalize the health care system, who is going to want to have kids? Maybe that's the Obama administration's secret plan. Make us so miserable that population growth will drop to zero!