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Green and you have kids? Really?

Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, May 10th, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: babies, Environment, sustainability - Tags:

Here’s a quick way to reduce your carbon footprint: don’t have kids and save 80 years worth of human greenhouse gas output per child…

I said earlier in the week I’d have a post pushing the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement* (VHEM), and how to be truly green you need to seriously consider not reproducing ourselves.

Particularly in wealthier countries. We currently have over 7 billion people, while the world can only sustain around 4.4 billion people (and dropping as we over-use resources) – that’s with most people having a far worse standard of living than we’re comfortable with.  It’s more around 3 billion at first world standards – and that’s the very limit.

The New Zealand Institute‘s last presentation before merging with the Business Roundtable was recognising this fact.  We’re actually well-placed in New Zealand – our environment can sustain 9 million of us – but a world of truly scarce resources is still going to be a great challenge.

As countries deplete their resources they’re going to want to source them elsewhere – or move there.  How do we handle this?

And we’re also part of the climate change problem: 2 degrees worth of weather and climate chaos is now unavoidable, but what can we limit it to? We need to be part of the solution…

Apart from saving the planet – with all its biodiversity, rather than just viewing it as a human resource pool – VHEM see some good economic outcomes from reducing our numbers:

Our current economic system only seems to be dependent on an ever-increasing population. Actually, with increased density, some people benefit while others suffer. All non-human life suffers from human increase, but economic systems ignore that cost since it doesn’t have a price tag. So, let’s look at economics only as it affects the humans it’s meant to serve.

A large, expendable work force benefits owners, but it places labor at a disadvantage. Workers with dependents can’t afford to hold out on strike, or take chances on being permanently replaced. High unemployment reduces wages, while high demand for workers increases wages and benefits.

New housing provides jobs for construction workers and gains investors more capital for further development. However, much of the cost of increasing human habitat is borne by those who already live in the area: their taxes must increase to subsidize population growth. With a shift in priorities, maintaining and improving existing buildings could provide as many jobs as new construction provides.

Landlords fare better when population increases because higher demand for rental units equals higher rent payments. Tenants benefit from a shrinking population as housing becomes more affordable.

Real estate speculators make money from rising property values, which are driven by demand for that property. Homeowners who wish to stay where they are must pay more in taxes when their homes are worth more on the market. [ … ]

Systems dependent on growth eventually fail, as pyramid scams and empires always have.

When our population density begins to improve, and sensible adjustments are made, economic systems as a whole will become more sustainable and potentially more just.

With technological improvements suffering from Jevon’s paradox and unlikely to save us, and every 10% efficiency gain soaked up by a decade or so’s population increase (before we consider massively increasing resource use to justly give the rest of the world our standard of living) it certainly leads you to ask:

Is the government giving free long-term contraception to just beneficiaries really enough?

* to be fair I’m personally more comfortable with the “no more than replace yourselves” school of thought. We may need more urgent action than that, but it’s a lot to ask of people.

73 comments on “Green and you have kids? Really?”

  1. Carol 1

    I’m personally more comfortable with the “no more than replace yourselves” school of thought. We may need more urgent action than that, but it’s a lot to ask of people.
    Agreed.  We don’t need extinction just a sustainable level of population.
    But I’m happy to see a movement validating my aging childless state.  Too often in my life, I had comments (usually from women), made in a critical tone, asking if and/or why I haven’t had children. 
    I actually never had wanted children, but have enjoyed spending many years educating and supporting other people’s children.  I have always seen children as the future of society, and feel they all need an equal chance to succeed, regardless of how well-off their parents are.

  2. here is a critique of the VHEM….
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Voluntary_Human_Extinction_Movement

    Me, I am having kid/s. 

    • Carol 2.1

      Ownership is nine tenths of the law?

        • Carol 2.1.1.1

          Your comment was all about your ownership of children and nothing about what’s in it for the kids or society at large.

          • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1.1

            Umm, what?
            Where in my comment did I say any of that? 

            • Carol 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It was as much in what you didn’t say as what you did say.  It would have helped if you had supplemented your comment with some explanation as to how it relates to the topic in hand.
              Instead your comment was all about you and what you like “to have”.

              • “I would like to have a family”, “my wife is having a baby”, “we’d love to have a child” are all common phrases used to denote the biological urge to procreate. There is no deeper meaning to what is merely sentence in ordinary language. 

                There is nothing to suggest ownership of anything or anything to do with society. I merely expressed my plan to at some stage make my wife pregnant though the act of sexual intercourse and produce a child

                What you said Carol, sorry, but that was crazy talk. 

                • Not to mention when the topic is about “not having children” then expressing my desire to have children shouldn’t need any further explanation of why it is relevant. 

                  • Carol

                    The topic is overpopulation of the planet, and nowhere in Bunji’s post does it talk about the biological urge to have children. His use of the VHEMovement was a little tongue in cheek – the extreme used to highlight the problem.

                    The wiki link merely discounts the VHE Movement on the grounds of impracticality and not achieving a desirable outcome for the planet. You still don’t say anything about how your having “kid/s” is a solution to the problem in question.

                    It’s hard to know exactly how much the desire to have children is a biological one, and how much is influenced by society – often people treat children as possession – this is almost the default position these days. It is too often about living though their children and establishing heirs in a surrogate bid for immortality.

                    Any biological “drive” is usually related to survival of the species, not individual desires, and yet this individualism is where you seem to focus.

                    • I am not suggesting a solution to the problem nor did I make any suggestions about “possession”, “living through my children” or “a surrogate bid for immortality”.

                      In the conversation about reducing our population or voluntary extinction I was expressing my desire to raise a child or children using a standard, often used, entirely appropriate use of English language: “I am having kid/s.”  

                      Your strange comments have little to do with anything I said, suggested or implied. Nor do I understand your comment about my individualism
                       

                    • Lanthanide

                      Seems pretty straightforward to me, Contrarian.

                      In ‘having’ children, you are causing them to come into existence, where they otherwise might not. Are you doing this to safeguard the future of the species, or just because you personally want a child?

                      More to the point, do you really want to bring a child into such a shithole world that’s almost certainly doomed to a dismal future?

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      More to the point, do you really want to bring a child into such a shithole world that’s almost certainly doomed to a dismal future?

                      Except this belief flies in the face of the reality of the data. Over the last fifty years lots has changed positively; life expectancies have risen dramatically globally and now average in the high 60s, birth rates have fallen dramatically as inflation adjusted incomes have risen, living standards have risen, freedom indices have risen, population growth is expected to top out then decline in the next century, etc, etc.

                      I see a lot to be hopeful and thankful for.

                    • “do you really want to bring a child into such a shithole world that’s almost certainly doomed to a dismal future?”

                      Yes, because if I raise them right and teach them what a wonderful world this can be then they can affect change (hopefully). The attitude that the world is fucked so why bother is too defeatist for me.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Except this belief flies in the face of the reality of the data. Over the last fifty years lots has changed positively;

                      The biggest and most successful doubling of a bacteria population in a petri dish occurs one turn before they hit overcrowd and wipe themselves out.

                      Up until that final turn of overcrowding, bacteria politicians were heard reassuring their populace “don’t worry, we’ve always been able to achieve our growth targets, and in fact, there’s nothing to fear as our most recent growth has been the fastest in history with no signs of slowing down!”

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      Quite clearly CV you missed the part where I pointed out that almost all population projections have our population topping out at about 11 billion in 2100 and then declining, not because of any “limits to growth” or other eco-loon nonsense but because living standards, vaccinations, medical care, education, life expectancies, etc will have risen enough on the global level to let free people make the sensible decision to have 1 or 2 kids and not worry about infant mortality or rampant old age poverty, etc.

                      When combined with accidents, infertility, those who choose not to have kids etc. it equals a leveling out, then decrease of global population. The biggest obstacle to this is Islam, not environmental limits.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Hey Jeremy, I suggest you read this. You won’t like it though because it shows you delusion of no limits to be wrong.

                    • muzza

                      @ Jeeremy HArris – “The biggest obstacle to this is Islam”…

                      —Any chance you could explain this one Jeremy, not sure I am seeing it!

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      @DTB, I’m not really interested in any of your links, you are, as far as I can tell, an adherent of Communism. Something so discredited it makes Phrenology look positively progressive.

                      We are transistioning from Industrial economy to Information economy, management is changing, efficiency is growing massively and accelerating, companies like KiOR, Solazyme are showing that traditional fuels are in the last phase, hyper competition and consumer Capitalism is raising global incomes and billions out of poverty, I could go on all day – and it isn’t optimism, just reality (unless you get most of your information from The Standard).

                      @ Jeeremy HArris – “The biggest obstacle to this is Islam”…

                      —Any chance you could explain this one Jeremy, not sure I am seeing it!

                      Much of the projected population growth over the next century is going to come from Islamic countries, part of this is social and economic but much is doctrine (many Imams preach that contraception is a tool of the Infidel West), they also talk about victory over the West “via the womb”.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Capitalism is raising global incomes and billions out of poverty,

                      No, really, it’s not. The top 1% are getting richer, everyone else is getting poorer. Capitalism is the discredited ideology but you won’t accept that despite 5000 years of evidence proving it.

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      No, really, it’s not. The top 1% are getting richer, everyone else is getting poorer. Capitalism is the discredited ideology but you won’t accept that despite 5000 years of evidence proving it.

                      You actually have to live in a fantasy land to believe this. In Chile alone poverty rates have dropped from 37% to 17% since economic liberalisation.

                  • Vicky32

                    Not to mention when the topic is about “not having children” then expressing my desire to have children shouldn’t need any further explanation of why it is relevant.

                    Agreed – for once! (I usually don’t agree with you Contrarian). I have had 3 children, and exactly none of them was ‘planned’, but all were wanted. None of them has ‘harmed the planet’, as only one of them has a child, his next brother down never will (he can’t, but would if he could) and the youngest is yet too young. I am glad to have had them, and will not allow any one to foist guilt on me for doing what I wanted to do.

                    • Carol

                      I don’t think this topic is about guilt-tripping about what is uncontrollable, or what has happened in the past. It’s about thinking for the future about what can be controlled.

                      As JH points out above, birth rates tend to come down when there is general prosperity. This would be an argument for more equality of living conditions, incomes, education and opportunities across societies and the globe.

                      As Bunji ended with in his post, aiming for population replacement rather than growth would be desirable. This would mean 2 children per couple on average. So the tendency in “developed” countries in recent years to have 2-3 children per per couple, on average, seems helpful.

                    • Glad we could find something to agree on 🙂

                    • Ben

                      With the greatest of respect, I think you’re missing the point here: Every human, whether they have yet to breed or have an army of sprogs, consumes resources. In our society, each and every one of us consumes more resources than we need. Very few of us make up the difference by planting trees (etc) and so for the vast majority the net impact on the environment is negative.

                      And so for your children, and all your friends’ children. And me, and my parents / cousins / friends…you name it.

                      So it’s not a personal thing. But unless you’re in a very minute group of people – maybe 0.001% of the total population – you’re harming the planet, simply by your very existence.

                      It would be a little different, of course, if the population were lower overall, and there were more resources available. But it’s not, and they’re not.

                      Personally (as touched on by others in this thread), I’ve only ever been able to see having children as a selfish choice*: The only people who have anything to gain from it, in the vast majority of cases, are the parents. People often then say things like “well if I don’t have them, they can’t cure cancer”, which has a very obvious response: “if you don’t have them, they can’t instigate another holocaust.” They’re just as likely to do either of those things.

                      I completely understand the desire for meaning in life, and the fear of being alone in old age, and all that stuff. But I don’t think it’s fair to address any of those problems by inflicting life upon another being: a life that you can neither predict nor control.

                      And if life is intrinsically meaningless, which it appears to be, then adding more intrinsically meaningless things to the world doesn’t change that: it only creates the illusion of meaning. I couldn’t kid myself like that.

                      “I am glad to have had them, and will not allow any one to foist guilt on me for doing what I wanted to do.”
                      Wouldn’t dream of it, but the facts are the facts and they don’t care for your feelings.

                      May we live long and die out.

                      * We can debate whether it’s a choice all we like. Truth is, in most cases, it is a choice.

                    • Bunji

                      Carol I’m actually advocating slightly more than “2 children per couple on average” – I’d advocate no couple having more than 2 children, which will result in population decline. We need 2.1 children to replace ourselves (to cover deaths before reproduction), and some people won’t have children (the planet should thank them).

                      There’s more bioversity in a troop of chimpanzees than there is across the entire human race (which makes our petty race squabbles all the more silly). Going by that measure there should only be about 100,000 humans on the planet to allow the planet’s biodiversity to recover.

                      Our resource use is currently stripping the planet, we’re unsustainable. Low income countries, middle income countries, wealthy countries – we’re all consuming more than the planet puts out (just wealthy countries a _lot_ more). We need to reduce population, but then how can we do that the least painful way?

                      Kids are fabulous, and bring far more to society than people give them credit for – particularly in how they cause us to view life. I wouldn’t want to ban them, but there’s still an insoluble problem of how we get down to a sustainable population, let alone one that’s actually good for the planet.

    • Jeremy Harris 2.2

      Some ecological disaster independent of humans wouldn’t wreck the planet anyway after our absence. It’s kind of pointless for people to become voluntarily extinct if some big-ass meteor on a collision course with Earth appears in the next ten thousand years anyway. What if the ecological disaster can only be stopped by humans? Would you rather have the surface of the planet look like the area surrounding a swamp-parked meth lab in a rusty trailer or like Venus? The dinosaurs could not be reached for comment on this.

      Lol

    • Thanks for the link to RationalWiki, TheContrarian. I’ve attempted to clear up their misunderstandings: http://vhemt.org/rationalwiki.htm

  3. dd 3

    I like the option of adoption. Although I hear it’s expensive.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Someone mentioned Jevon’s Paradox on the Standard. That’s progress 🙂

  5. vto 5

    I don’t see how anything can be gained by suggesting that people could save one life effect on the planet by not being alive.

  6. ianmac 6

    Two Questions:
    1. Why do we have children? I mean that seriously. We have four and I love them dearly and would hate to be without them. But at an abstract level – why?

    2. At what point does NZ say “Enough?” We aim apparently at increasing our population by 3-4% per year by importing more but will it be 5 million, 7 million, 10 million, 20 million, 50 million? When is enough for NZ?

    • “But at an abstract level – why?”

      Biology.  We have children for the same reason dogs have puppies, Cat’s have kittens etc etc. 

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        We’re supposed to be intelligent and thus be able to override base instinct.

        • TheContrarian 6.1.1.1

          Which we do, every day. Which is why most of try our hand at family planning.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            That’s not what you said in your previous comment.

            • TheContrarian 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, what are you talking about? There was nothing in my previous comment like that.
              ianmac asked why we have children and I replied that it was biology, the same reason other animals have offspring.
              You said we should be able to override that instinct to which I replied we can which is why many of us choose to wait.

              So, what are you talking about?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Dogs and cats have pups/kits due to instinct thus your implication in your previous comment was that it was purely instinctual and not planned.

                • OK, humans are animals. Like all other animals we breed for the same reasons, biology is the main driver of this and is instinctual
                  Because we are intelligent, like you say, we can actually override this and use contraception.

                  What is the problem?

                  • Carol

                    I think the problem may be that you don’t fully explain the reasoning behind the points you are making. You make a short statement and assume we will understand where you are coming from.

                    • Well, what is it you/Draco are having trouble understanding?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The fact that you hold two mutually exclusive positions at the same time.

                    • There is nothing mutually exclusive about these positions.

                      Humans, like all animals, have biological instinct to breed.
                      Humans can control this instinct and choose to have children when the time is right (or not at all).

                      How are these positions, in your opinion, mutually exclusive? 

    • Carol 6.2

      To perpetuate the species. But it usually hasn’t been necessary for all humans to have children to achieve that. And it doesn’t always depend on each adult having lots of children.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_imperative#Reproduction

      The drive to reproduce can sometimes conflict with other drives for survival.

      Also, the birth rate generally seems to drop when infant mortality is low & vice versa – so this indicates that when there is a high chance of babies not living to adulthood in a society, people tend to have more children…. and vice versa.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_rate#Factors_affecting_birth_rate

      So it indicates humans adjust to social and environmental circumstances in their reproductive patterns…. thus, supporting the argument for a lower birth rate when the population threatens to exceed the available resources to sustain that population.

      • ianmac 6.2.1

        During pre-20th Century it was vital to have an extended family to care for aging family members. But now inside nuclear families, Superannuation, property acquisition, investments we don’t seem to have that same need. Curious things happen to couples once their children leave home and they face reality. Apart from the urge to procreate, (fun trying!) not sure what the answer is.
        Maybe an urge for immortality?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      2.) Under the current economic situation which requires infinite growth there will never be enough people in the country.

      • ianmac 6.3.1

        And yet DTB, on the graph above at the white circle, a tipping point is reached. Should we plan to stop before the circle is reached?

        • Bunji 6.3.1.1

          The graph is for the world and it has been reached… That’s in the early 2000s – we are above the sustainable world as a resource and degrading it.

          NZ – we’re not quite there yet, but your question is good – how close do we want to get to it?

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.2

          Of course we should be but the politicians that we have won’t as the economic system that they perpetuate requires growth. Time for some new politicians – ones connected to reality.

  7. prism 7

    Without being a bit negative about the future, I’ll just pass on a warning about possible world wipeout if there is another earthquake affecting Japan’s nuclear stations. AHEM!
    Catastrophe

    • McFlock 7.1

      possible world wipeout

      ??

      Actually, for the hemp-sack shirt brigade it would be okay – significant cut to life expectancy of humans, but the negative impacts on other animals are somewhat longer-term than their lifespans. 
           
      apparently wolves are coming back to chernobyl. 

      • prism 7.1.1

        McFlock Have a look at the link it’s through to the Guardian. I think its in full on audio but there’s enough print to get a quick idea. And do you think it’s scary? I do. But a pithy saying I read applies – ‘Our minds can’t comprehend infinity, so instead we sit down and eat toasted cheese sandwiches.’ That’s what I’m going to do!

        • ianmac 7.1.1.1

          Gulp!

        • McFlock 7.1.1.2

          I missed the bit that said “world wipeout” or “extinction of the human species”.
                     
          I don’t tend to get scared when someone says “ten times Chernobyl”. That is very bad, no mistake, but it does not equal a total world wipeout. The latter to me says “we’re all dead, no more humans ever”, not “shitloads of deformities and cancers, but still muddling through”. But then I smoke, drink and have fun in life. 

  8. geoff 8

    Woah! I was planning on eventually having a family but now that I’ve read an
    article by someone called BUNJI I think I’m going to do a complete 180 on my life
    goals!

    Hey guess what?! You sound like a fuckin looney!
    Love this one:

    “I said earlier in the week I’d have a post pushing the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement* (VHEM), and how to be truly green you need to seriously consider not reproducing ourselves.”

    Ook well I guess I dont want to be ‘truly green’ then!

    About the only good thing about this post is that I can take heart in the thought
    that at least the nut-bars who buy into this sort of crap probably won’t
    be breeding.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Thanks for not addressing the core problem here – too many people, too few resources.

  9. Jenny 9

    The world has enough for our need.

    But not for our greed.

    Most developed countries actually already have a declining birth rate. Some countries consider it a serious problem. The falling birthrate, leading to a greying of the demographic.

    Even in the third world, population growth may be reaching a peak as education standards rise and the empowerment of women spreads.

    Yet Bunji is calling for some sort of completely unrealisable, depressing nilistic and negative abnegation.

    Bunji’s post as well as being negative is defeatist.

    Is Bunji just to gutless to advocate for the policies that could really make a difference?

    Is it really to much to challenge the neo-liberal agenda that takes the exploitation of the environment to the absolute limits and beyond.

    Why is this such a hard ask?

    • Carol 9.1

      Why do you think neoliberalism, environmental degradation and population growth are mutually exclusive?

      Surely if the birthrate is falling in more prosperous countries and communities, it’s an argument for a more egalitarian society, and an end to the increasing wealth gap?

      In spite of declining birthrates in wealthier countries/communities, the world population keeps growing exponentially.

      And if one of the outcomes of such discussions is to move away from demonising those of us, especially women, who choose not to have children, that’s fine by me. Remember all those snide “barren woman” smears against Helen Clark?

      One of the issues related to sustainable living and environmental degradation is whether we have the resources to support an increasing world population.

  10. Johnm 11

    Eventually the following reverse self-reinforcing feedback loop will happen if not already:

    Declining fossil fuel extraction——declining available energy——declining extraction of other resources, declining food supply (Hopefully as in Cuba replaced by localised organic production) Declining supply of goods and services,——-declining population levels from the high afforded by the fossil fuel undustrialised system plus a degraded environment which has been well overshot by reckless exploitation——declining energy demand. The end of the globalised system of trade and the new reality of environmental blowback such as Climate change and dead oceans and denuded landscapes causing our numbers to diminish further.

    The exponential increase in human numbers came with the exponential increase in energy primarily of oil. Our numbers will plummet once oil seriously goes into terminal supply decline.

    With the right policies NZ will be perhaps the best place to live in this civilisational collapse to a simpler level unsupported by fossil fuels.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Yes, essentially.

      But saying anything like this is the death knell for any politician, even a Green Party one, so nobody is going to go anywhere near it.

  11. Carol 12

    Bunji @8.40am

    Well, I’d still go for 2 children per couple on average because of the inability for humans to totally control conception. Sticking it at 2 per couple gets into compulsion, guilt-tripping etc.

    Also, as well as many of us opting not to reproduce (and that includes some long term heterosexual couple friends of mine), some couples will only have one child and some humans in every age group will die, many at quite a young age.

  12. Kotahi Tane Huna 13

    Our movement is too scattered to make an impact. If we are to truly save the Earth we must come together. I invite you all to join me in Jonestown.

    What? That’s been done? Doomsday cults are nothing new apparently. Perhaps there’a a political solution.

    The one child policy hasn’t worked out at all well. Neoliberalism however, with its attendant preventable third-world diseases and deliberate victimisation of citizens, is ideally suited to achieving the goal of population decline.

    Vote National to save the planet.

  13. Rosie 14

    Environmental concern was just one reason out of many that we (husband and me) decided not have kids. It wasn’t the driving factor in our decision making but in hindsight we feel in our small way we haven’t contributed to an increasing burden on resources. We have always lived our lives in an ecologically minded way so not having kids fitted our approach.

    I do think that couples need to carefully consider their family planning or whether they are having one or not, hence my spiel on open mike the other day suggesting free contraception of a persons choosing for everyone regardless of income.

    For us there was no burning desire to have children so why have them? Pretty straight forward really. Choosing to be childfree has meant we have faced some societal backlash and he have sometimes been lablled as being selfish which is just absurd given that we’ve heard so many parents talk of”their need and their want” to have children. It’s all about fulfilling their emotional need without any thought given to the needs of their child or children and the life they will live. There are many other sterotypes about child free couples too. Theresa Riley, a PHD student from Waikato has written an entire book about it, called “Being childfree in New Zealand:How couples who choose not to have children are perceived”

  14. jaymam 16

    I saw graphs like that in the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth, which made all kinds of assumptions that didn’t turn out to be true. And why on earth should we try to minimise our “carbon footprint”? That’s just a crock as 97% of us know.

    So, Bunji is advocating that intelligent educated people don’t have kids, and that we leave it up to 3rd world countries and solo mothers with multiple partners to keep the world supplied with kids? Of course some of those kids may turn out to be exceptionally talented*. But surely it would be best to have plenty of kids brought up by intelligent parents who can afford to do that.

    * I’m thinking of one in particular!

  15. One of the first sites I went to was vhemt, (even got Les on with Kim Hill for 7 min) it lead me onto dieoff.org …. nek minute it is 12 years later and we are way way deeper in the shit.
    I changed my middle name to Thankyoufornotbreeding … just as a sort of publicity stunt, and to make it clear I was at least ‘telling you so’
    I have always been convinced that not having children will do nothing to stop what is already in motion, the only thing it does is reduce human suffering, and only because one less child is one less human, the suffering the rest of us are going to ‘live’ through is already in motion.
    We are going through the bottle neck of peak resource at the moment, alas the survivors will come smack up against the cork of climate change, and nuclear melt down, and with Fukushima #4 on a knife edge we may not have to wait that long for the melt down)
    Why would any thinking person want to wish this hell hole of a future on something they ‘profess’ to love?
    As we all can see we are utter fuckwits, you only have to look at the amount of clowns that vote.
    And the 1.3 million Kiwisavers, and the politicians that promote the bullshit.

    This is great http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-2bq0bxjMU

    But in the end, as a lot of the above posts show, it is all fucking pointless, we are dumber than yeast, the faster this system hits the wall, the less people will be around to suffer. The fastest way to crash this system is to use it, so maybe banging out a couple of kids is the best thing to do?

  16. Craig 19

    Maybe you folks who think that endless growth of human population is sustainable should consider the fate of a place called Easter island.
    The earth is a closed loop system and unless something is done very soon, though I fear it may be too late, we will go the way of the original Easter Island people

  17. Joan Philips 20

    Here’s my plan…

    First of all, let’s make safe reliable affordable contraceptives available to every person on the planet. Having kids on purpose is bad enough, but having kids that you don’t even want is just criminal!

    Second, no more subsidizing procreation. If you want to have kids, fine, but it’s on your dime. If you want them bad enough, you should be the one to make the sacrifices, not me.

    These two things would dramatically decrease the birthrate, without any arbitrary limits or laws.

    The third thing to do is to denounce any religion that promotes procreation. Religion has been used to promote all sorts of awful things, like slavery, oppression of women, racism… and promoting procreation should be lumped in together with those things that civilized beings do not tolerate.

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    17 hours ago
  • PM comments on Auckland COVID-19 case
    After 102 days we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of a Managed Isolation or Quarantine facility in New Zealand. Shortly I will ask Dr Bloomfield to set out the details of the case. While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned ...
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    1 day ago
  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
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    2 days ago
  • Manawatū Gorge replacement highway drives forward
    Site work is soon to begin on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, the project to replace the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Phil Twyford was today in Woodville at the signing of a formal agreement by members of the Alliance ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
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    2 days ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
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    2 days ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
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    2 days ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
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    2 days ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
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    2 days ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
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    2 days ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
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    3 days ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
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    3 days ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
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    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
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    5 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
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    5 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
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    5 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
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    5 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
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    5 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
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    6 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
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    6 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
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    6 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
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    6 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
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    6 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
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    6 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
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    7 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago