Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Edwin Mora

10/20/2009 (4 years ago)

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

Revkin later told CNSNews.com that he was not endorsing the idea, just trying to provoke some thinking on the topic.

'So should there be, eventually you get, should 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. And obviously it's just a thought experiment, but it raises some interesting questions about all this...'

'So should there be, eventually you get, should 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. And obviously it's just a thought experiment, but it raises some interesting questions about all this...'

Highlights

By Edwin Mora

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

10/20/2009 (4 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


WASHINGTON, D.C. (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 participated via Web camera in an Oct. 14 panel discussion on “Covering Climate: What’s Population Got to Do With It” that was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. The other participants on the panel were Dennis Dimick, executive editor of National Geographic, and Emily Douglas, web editor for The Nation magazine.

At the event, Revkin said: “Well, some of the people have recently proposed: 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?

“And I have even proposed recently, I can't remember if it's in the blog, but just think about this: Should--probably 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," said Revkin.

“So should there be, eventually you get, should 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," said Revkin. "And obviously it's just a thought experiment, but it raises some interesting questions about all this.”

When CNSNews.com later followed up with questions about his comments, Revkin responded in an e-mail.

“I wasn't endorsing any of this, simply laying out the math and noting the reality that if one were serious about the population-climate intersection, it'd be hard to avoid asking hard questions about USA population growth,” wrote Revkin.

“By raising the notion of carbon credits for, say, single-child American families,” he continued, “I was aiming to provoke some thinking about where the brunt of emissions are still coming from on a per-capita basis.”

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.

The study was sponsored by the British activist group Optimum Population Trust, which advocates reduced population growth.

“More children equal more carbon dioxide emissions,” blogged Revkin. “And recent research has resulted in renewed coverage of the notion that one of the cheapest ways to curb emissions in coming decades would be to provide access to birth control for tens of millions of women around the world who say they desire it.

“I recently raised the question of whether this means we’ll soon see a market in baby-avoidance carbon credits similar to efforts to sell CO2 credits for avoiding deforestation,” he later added. “This is purely a thought experiment, not a proposal.”

Furthermore, he blogged: “But the issue is one that is rarely discussed in climate treaty talks or in debates over United States climate legislation. If anything, the population-climate question is more pressing in the United States than in developing countries, given the high per-capita carbon dioxide emissions here and the rate of population growth. If giving women a way to limit family size is such a cheap win for emissions, why isn’t it in the mix?”

Revkin earned a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a biology degree from Brown University.

Here is a transcript of that portin of Revkin’s remarks at the Oct. 14 panel discussion in which he suggested the possibility of giving people carbon credits for having fewer children:

“Well, some of the people have recently proposed: 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?

“And I have even proposed recently, I can't remember if it's in the blog, but just think about this: Should--probably 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.

“So should there be, eventually you get, should 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. And obviously it's just a thought experiment, but it raises some interesting questions about all this.”

---

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Like National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, CNSNews.com is able to provide its services and information to the public at no cost, thanks to the generous support of our thousands of donors and their tax-deductible contributions.This article is reprinted with permission.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

North Carolina's Tillis stumbles during televised debate Watch

Image of While Thom Tillis has a dominant lead among whites (50 percent to Kay Hagan's 37), he is getting trounced among black voters: just seven percent are in his camp, compared with 83 percent for Hagan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Congressional candidate State Legislature Speaker Thom Tillis stumbled badly during a televised debate with his Democratic rival Senator Kay Hagen earlier this month. During the televised debate on October 7, Tillis appeared at a loss for words when it came to ... continue reading


Houston: First Amendment Does not apply to Christian ministers? Interview with Keith Fournier Watch

Image of As at the tower of Babel, the confusion spreads until no progress is possible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Houston officials fired a shot across the bow of Christian ministers, pastors and priests who they think may be encouraging their congregations to oppose the city's controversial "bathroom bill." The request is chilling and violates the First Amendment, but it also ... continue reading


New York law strips 34,500 law-abiding citizens of their lawful right to bear arms with ZERO due process Watch

Image of A New York law could be too restrictive and features virtually no due process.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York law may be infringing on the rights of many Americans and undermining mental health efforts in that state. The law, known as the Safe Act, requires, as part of its implementation, for mental health professionals to report the names of any people who could be ... continue reading


Why build a school when you can buy a senator! North Carolina race tops $100 million

Image of America is no longer for sale, it has already been bought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation's most expensive Senate race in history is topping $100 million as the entire nation looks to a critical election in North Carolina. The money poured into the race reveals that elections are coming down to money and outside influencers have substantial ... continue reading


167,000 convicted criminal immigrants walk free within the United States Watch

Image of Deportations from the interior of the United States declined 34 percent this year from last.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With both Islamic State and Ebola posing an imminent threat to the United States through people entering the country illegally, it's distressing to note just how lax the nation's deportation laws have become. According to Breitbart, there remain nearly 167,000 ... continue reading


Obama is advancing 'brutal program' of forced abortions in China, lawmaker says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama and his administration are not only ignoring China's totalitarian edict of "one family, one child" policy but are advancing the "brutal program." That's the words of Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J., who) spoke at the Heritage ... continue reading


Four Kurdish terrorists slipped across Obama's open Mexican border, Homeland Security chief admits Watch

Image of Four members the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, were arrested in September trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The bad news: Four known Kurdish terrorists crossed into the United States. This has been confirmed by Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. The good news: Johnson says that the four were not affiliated with Islamic States. Which is good news, of a sort. ... continue reading


Evangelical tells faithful not to vote for politicians who support homosexual marriage, abortion Watch

Image of An outspoken evangelical, Pastor Jim Garlow played a major role in organizing Christian groups in support of California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California stood before his congregation of more than 2,000 and warned his audience against voting for a candidate in who supports gay marriage and abortion. This includes candidates who are republican, including Carl ... continue reading


Obama aides knew more than they let on in 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal Watch

Image of White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday that President Obama and his advisers did not interfere with the inspector general's investigation.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obama aides were given information that suggested that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member. The 2012 incident was quickly swept under the rug - but more details have since come to light. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


One in five Americans now on food stamps Watch

Image of For more than two years, the number of Americans receiving food stamps has remained above 46 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than a sixth of all Americans are on food stamps for the 35 straight month in a row, data from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Since September of 2011 through July 2014, more than 46 million Americans have ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter