A British Vogue article caught the ire of the internet for asking the question, “Is having a baby in 2021 pure environmental vandalism?” The author suggested that people should consider the “current climate emergency” before procreating, despite that she had already given birth to a baby and saying that she would gladly bring another human being into the world.
“For the scientifically-engaged person, there are few questions more troubling when looking at the current climate emergency than that of having a baby,” Nell Frizzell wrote in the fashion magazine. “Whether your body throbs to reproduce, you passively believe that it is on the cards for you one day, or you actively seek to remain child-free, the declining health of the planet cannot help but factor in your thinking.”
Frizzell claimed that before she got pregnant that she “worried feverishly about the strain on the earth’s resources that another Western child would add,” including the food he ate and the electricity the baby would use. The writer also panicked over a possible dystopian future on a planet with no water and crops that her son would live in decades from now when he is an elderly man.
Despite her professed overwhelming fears, Frizzell got pregnant and brought another person into the world.
“And yet, like millions of others, I did it anyway,” Frizzell said. “I had a baby. I’d have another if my partner agreed.”
Frizzell attempted to justify her decision to have a child by stating that everyone who has a baby needs to be “learning to live within our environmental means, of turning away from the fever of consumerism and overturning a political system that rewards a tiny rich minority at the expense of everyone else.”
Frizzell’s Malthusian argument was challenged by Human Progress, an organization that presents evidence from individual scholars, academic institutions, and international organizations to show “dramatic improvements in human well-being throughout much of the world.”
“Children do not strain the world’s resources,” the Cato Institute-linked organization wrote on Twitter. “In fact, the opposite is true: each new child is correlated with an increase in resource abundance.”
Another dubious claim in the article: “Pollution now kills more people than tobacco – and three times as many as AI… https://t.co/YO1vIVW9ln
— HumanProgress.org (@HumanProgress.org)1619577611.0
There was backlash to the article questioning the morals of childbearing Westerners.
“The View” co-host Meghan McCain responded to the piece by saying, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
Insider columnist Josh Barro wrote, “These people are completely insane. This is an issue for your therapist, not for a major fashion magazine.”
Political commentator Liz Wheeler reacted by tweeting, “This is crazy. If you don’t have a baby, that won’t do a THING to impact the climate. But you’ll deprive yourself of the greatest joy you’ve ever known… & the world a new soul. Plant a tree. Go to church. Stop voting for Democrats. And have a baby.”
Emily Domenech, senior policy adviser for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, lampooned the article, “‘For the scientifically-engaged person, there are few questions more troubling when looking at the current climate emergency than that of having a baby.’ This is unscientific trash, much like the rest of this deeply silly article. If you are lucky enough to have a partner, have a baby! Don’t let them scare you — this beautiful planet full of innovative people will continue to survive and thrive. So many of us will never get this opportunity. Don’t waste your chance to be a parent because of unscientific fear-mongering.”
Ricochet editor Bethany S. Mandel tweeted, “The breeders will inherit the Earth.”
Turning Point media administrator Reagan Escudé Scott shot back, “Nothing motivates me to have children more than garbage takes like this. I can’t wait to have 10+ kids just to spite these loons.”
Evolutionary psychologist and professor Gad Saad responded with snark, “I apologize to @GretaThunberg, to @AOC, and to @JohnKerry for having had children. I will try to starve them to offset their carbon footprint. Again, my apologies. I’ll do better.”
Radio host Erick Erickson quipped, “Really alarming that Vogue would let a person write this piece and presume the gender of her child before the child could decide for itself.”
One Twitter user joked, “Did Thanos write this?”