I knew I remembered this study from somewhere, now I finally found it- they're not talking about having no children at all, but the environmental benefit of just one less child per family. An official at our own NOAA made this point also, just last year.https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/arti ... the-planethttps://www.theguardian.com/environment ... CMP=twt_guhttps://www.un.org/development/desa/en/ ... -2017.html
So when a new study came out today suggesting that having fewer kids is the most effective way to reduce our carbon emissions—sparking media headlines like "Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children" in The Guardian—I had to stop what I was doing and read it. It notes that a US family choosing to have one fewer child would be responsible for the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teens who "adopt comprehensive recycling" for the rest of their lives.
With the global population projected to reach 11.2 billion by the year 2100, up from 7.6 billion today, there are urgent questions about how we'll feed, clothe, house, and provide medical care for so many people in the face of climate change and its accompanying threats, including sea level rise, ocean acidification, and desertification.
And, while the new paper doesn't go so far, I've heard it suggested before that having kids is environmentally unconscionable—that parents are selfish to bring more people onto an already overcrowded planet, to gobble up more of our resources. This study predictably re-ignited a long-simmering debate.https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/arti ... healthcarehttps://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ ... etwitterus
the paperhttp://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... 326/aa7541https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ ... the-planet
another studyhttp://www.biologicaldiversity.org/prog ... nStudy.pdf
Stefanie Weiss, a writer in her mid-40s based in New York City, also decided to be child-free out of concern for the environment."Years ago, there was a study I learned about," Weiss told Broadly, referencing a 2008 study from a pair of researchers at Oregon State University. "There's this number, 9,441. That's the amount of additional metric tons of carbon you add to the atmosphere for every child you have. You can never take it back. That stopped me in my tracks."
There's this number, 9,441. That's the amount of additional metric tons of carbon you add to the atmosphere for every child you have.
That same study put those 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide into perspective: If a typical American decided to recycle newspapers, magazines, glass, plastic, aluminum, and steel cans over the course of her entire life, she would save the environment from just 17 metric tons of carbon emissions.https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 69886.htmlhttp://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... a7541/meta
And the proliferating organisations arguing we should consider smaller families are being bolstered by recent reports. A major study last year concluded that not having children is one of the most effective ways of cutting our carbon footprint, and that a US family who chooses to have one fewer child would provide the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teenagers who recycle for the rest of their lives.
Last year researchers recommended four ways to contribute to lowering our emissions, including having one fewer child – the equivalent of 58.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. The other three suggestions – avoiding aeroplane travel, ditching the car and eating a plant-based diet – totalled a fraction of the emissions of having a child. https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 37961.html
Having children is the most destructive thing a person can to do to the environment, according to a new study.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden found having one fewer child per family can save “an average of 58.6 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year”.
Eating meat, driving a car and travelling by aeroplane made up the list of the most polluting things people can do to the planet.
But having children was top, according to the new study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
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“A US family who chooses to have one fewer child would provide the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teenagers who choose to adopt comprehensive recycling for the rest of their lives,” it said.
Lead author Seth Wynes told The Local: “We found there are four actions that could result in substantial decreases in an individual's carbon footprint: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car free and having smaller families.
“For example, living car-free saves about 2.4 tonnes of C02 equivalent per year, while eating a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes of C02 equivalent a year.”
The paper, which studied analysed 39-peer reviewed journals studying the environmental policies of several major economies, found most governments focused on incremental changes which have “much smaller potential to reduce emissions”.https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... r-childrenhttp://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/ ... -you-about
Recycling and using public transit are all fine and good if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, but to truly make a difference you should have fewer children. That’s the conclusion of a new study in which researchers looked at 39 peer-reviewed papers, government reports, and web-based programs that assess how an individual’s lifestyle choices might shrink their personal share of emissions.
Many commonly promoted options, such as washing clothes in cold water or swapping incandescent bulbs for light-emitting diodes, have only a moderate impact (see chart, below), the team reports today in Environmental Research Letters. But four lifestyle choices had a major impact: Become a vegetarian, forego air travel, ditch your car, and—most significantly—have fewer children.http://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541
Eating no meat cuts an individual’s carbon footprint by 820 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, on average, about four times the reduction they’d get by recycling as much as possible. (Emissions generated by eating meat result, in large part, from the large amounts of energy needed to grow, harvest, and process feed crops.) Foregoing one round-trip transatlantic flight each year would cut a person’s emissions of CO2 by 1600 kilograms. Getting rid of their car would reduce emissions by 2400 kilograms, or 2.4 metric tons. And by choosing to have one fewer child in their family, a person would trim their carbon footprint by a whopping 58.6 metric tons—about the same emissions savings as having nearly 700 teenagers recycle as much as possible for the rest of their lives.https://slate.com/technology/2007/09/sh ... nment.htmlhttps://globalnews.ca/news/3595511/clim ... -children/http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... rlaa7541s1https://www.sciencealert.com/the-best-w ... s-childrenhttps://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541https://www.sciencealert.com/the-best-w ... s-childrenhttps://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541https://www.kinder-world.org/articles/y ... rint-19883https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... t-on-earthhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -less-meat
Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.
The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.
The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tists-warnhttps://www.theguardian.com/environment ... mals-studyhttp://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1711842115http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg3/ ... hp?idp=115
Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet.
The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.
The new work is the first comprehensive estimate of the weight of every class of living creature and overturns some long-held assumptions. Bacteria are indeed a major life form – 13% of everything – but plants overshadow everything, representing 82% of all living matter. All other creatures, from insects to fungi, to fish and animals, make up just 5% of the world’s biomass.
Another surprise is that the teeming life revealed in the oceans by the recent BBC television series Blue Planet II turns out to represent just 1% of all biomass. The vast majority of life is land-based and a large chunk – an eighth – is bacteria buried deep below the surface.
“I was shocked to find there wasn’t already a comprehensive, holistic estimate of all the different components of biomass,” said Prof Ron Milo, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, who led the work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I would hope this gives people a perspective on the very dominant role that humanity now plays on Earth,” he said, adding that he now chooses to eat less meat due to the huge environmental impact of livestock.http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1704949114
A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.
Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost. They blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act.
The study, , eschews the normally sober tone of scientific papers and calls the massive loss of wildlife a “biological annihilation” that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation”.
Prof Gerardo Ceballos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who led the work, said: “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language.”
Previous studies have shown species are becoming extinct at a significantly faster rate than for millions of years before, but even so extinctions remain relatively rare giving the impression of a gradual loss of biodiversity. The new work instead takes a broader view, assessing many common species which are losing populations all over the world as their ranges shrink, but remain present elsewhere.
The scientists found that a third of the thousands of species losing populations are not currently considered endangered and that up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades. Detailed data is available for land mammals, and almost half of these have lost 80% of their range in the last century. The scientists found billions of populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians have been lost all over the planet, leading them to say a sixth mass extinction has already progressed further than was thought.https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tists-warnhttps://www.theguardian.com/environment ... scientistshttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... population
The human population has grown so large that roughly 40% of the Earth’s land surface is now farmed to feed people – and none too well at that. Largely due to persistent problems with distribution, almost 800 million people go to bed hungry, and between one and two billion suffer from malnutrition. As a consequence of its booming population, Homo sapiens has taken much of the most fertile land to grow plants for its own consumption. But guess what? That cropland is generally not rich in food plants suitable for the caterpillars of the 15,000 butterfly species with which we share the planet. Few butterflies require the wheat, corn or rice on which humans largely depend. From the viewpoint of most of the Earth’s wildlife, farming can be viewed as “habitat destruction”. And, unsurprisingly, few species of wildlife have evolved to live on highways, or in strip malls, office buildings, kitchens or sewers – unless you count Norway rats, house mice, European starlings and German roaches. Virtually everything humanity constructs provides an example of habitat destruction.
The more people there are, the more products of nature they demand to meet their needs and wants: timber, seafood, meat, gas, oil, metal ores, rare earths and rare animals to eat or to use for medicinal purposes. Human demands cause both habitat destruction and outright extermination of wildlife. So when you watch the expansion of the human enterprise; when you see buildings springing up; when you settle down to dinner at home or in a restaurant; you are observing (and often participating in) the sixth mass extinction.
The expanding human population not only outright destroys habitats, it also alters them to the detriment of wildlife (and often people themselves). The more people there are, the more greenhouse gases flow into the atmosphere, and the greater the impacts on wildlife that require specific temperature ranges.
And the more people there are, the more cities, roads, farm fields, fences and other barriers preventing wildlife from moving to areas of more favourable temperature or humidity in a rapidly changing climate. Less recognised, but perhaps even more dangerous to both people and wildlife, is the increasing toxification of the entire planet with synthetic chemicals. Growing populations want myriad more items of plastic that often leak toxic chemicals: more cosmetics, cleansing compounds, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and industrial chemicals. Many of these novel chemicals mimic natural hormones, and in tiny quantities can alter the development of animals or human children, with potentially catastrophic consequences. As with climate disruption, this is one more case of human overpopulation threatening civilisation.http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2018053 ... es-to-live
Generally speaking, evidence suggests that green spaces are good for those of us who live in urban areas. Those who reside near parks or trees tend to enjoy lower levels of ambient air pollution, reduced manmade noise pollution and more cooling effects (something that will become increasingly useful as the planet warms).
Natural spaces are conducive to physical and social activities– both of which are associated with myriad benefits of their own.
Time in nature has been linked to reduced physical markers of stress. When we are out for a stroll or just sitting beneath the trees, our heart rate and blood pressure both tend to go down. We also release more natural ‘killer cells’: lymphocytes that roam throughout the body, hunting down cancerous and virus-infected cells.
Researchers are still trying to determine why this is so, although they do have a number of hypotheses. “One predominate theory is that natural spaces act as a calming backdrop to the busy stimuli of the city,” says Amber Pearson, a health geographer at Michigan State University. “From an evolutionary perspective, we also associate natural things as key resources for survival, so we favour them.”
City residents tend to suffer from more asthma, allergies and depression – but they also tend to be less obese, at a lower suicide risk and are less likely to get killed in an accidenthttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 4611003665http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180531-where-are-the-worlds-healthiest-places-to-livehttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204611003665http://www.ecehh.org/research-projects/urban-green-space/