Bioethicist: The climate crisis calls for fewer children

Bioethicist: The climate crisis calls for fewer children

Should a future parent consider the impact more people will have on the Earth? 

Travis N. Rieder

Research Scholar at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University

Earlier this summer, I found myself in the middle of a lively debate because of my work on climate change and the ethics of having children.

NPR correspondent Jennifer Ludden profiled some of my work in procreative ethics with an article entitled, “Should we be having kids in the age of climate change?,” which summarized my published views that we ought to consider adopting a “small family ethic” and even pursuing fertility reduction efforts in response to the threat from climate change. Although environmentalists for decades have worried about overpopulation for many good reasons, I suggest the fast-upcoming thresholds in climate change provide uniquely powerful reasons to consider taking real action to slow population growth. Read more.