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….

    Me, I am having kid/s. 

    • Carol 2.1

      Ownership is nine tenths of the law?

        • Carol

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

          • TheContrarian

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

            • Carol

              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.


    • Thanks for the link to RationalWiki, TheContrarian. I’ve attempted to clear up their misunderstandings:

  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

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

          • Draco T Bastard

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

            • TheContrarian

              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.

      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.

      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

          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

          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!

    • 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


        • McFlock

          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

    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 …. 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

    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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    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    21 hours ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    3 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    3 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    3 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    4 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    4 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    5 days ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    5 days ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    5 days ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    5 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    6 days ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    6 days ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    7 days ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    7 days ago
  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
    Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies MNZM is the new Chief of Defence Force, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. The Chief of Defence Force commands the Navy, Army and Air Force and is the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister and other Ministers with relevant portfolio responsibilities in the defence ...
    7 days ago
  • Government puts children first by repealing 7AA
    Legislation to repeal section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has been introduced to Parliament. The Bill’s introduction reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the safety of children in care, says Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “While section 7AA was introduced with good intentions, it creates a conflict for Oranga ...
    7 days ago
  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
    Defence Minister Judith Collins will this week travel to the UK and Italy to meet with her defence counterparts, and to attend Battles of Cassino commemorations. “I am humbled to be able to represent the New Zealand Government in Italy at the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of what was ...
    7 days ago
  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
    The upcoming Budget will include funding for up to 50 charter schools to help lift declining educational performance, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today. $153 million in new funding will be provided over four years to establish and operate up to 15 new charter schools and convert 35 state ...
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference consultation results received
    “The results of the public consultation on the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons has now been received, with results indicating over 13,000 submissions were made from members of the public,” Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden says. “We heard feedback about the extended lockdowns in ...
    1 week ago
  • The Pacific family of nations – the changing security outlook
    Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, other Members of Parliament Acting Chief of Defence Force, Secretary of Defence Distinguished Guests  Defence and Diplomatic Colleagues  Ladies and Gentlemen,  Good afternoon, tēna koutou, apinun tru    It’s a pleasure to be back in Port Moresby today, and to speak here at the Kumul Leadership ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Papua New Guinea to work more closely together
    Health, infrastructure, renewable energy, and stability are among the themes of the current visit to Papua New Guinea by a New Zealand political delegation, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Papua New Guinea carries serious weight in the Pacific, and New Zealand deeply values our relationship with it,” Mr Peters ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving ahead with Roads of Regional Significance
    The coalition Government is launching Roads of Regional Significance to sit alongside Roads of National Significance as part of its plan to deliver priority roading projects across the country, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “The Roads of National Significance (RoNS) built by the previous National Government are some of New Zealand’s ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand congratulates new Solomon Islands government
    A high-level New Zealand political delegation in Honiara today congratulated the new Government of Solomon Islands, led by Jeremiah Manele, on taking office.    “We are privileged to meet the new Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet during his government’s first ten days in office,” Deputy Prime Minister and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand supports UN Palestine resolution
    New Zealand voted in favour of a resolution broadening Palestine’s participation at the United Nations General Assembly overnight, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The resolution enhances the rights of Palestine to participate in the work of the UN General Assembly while stopping short of admitting Palestine as a full ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the 2024 Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Good morning. It’s a great privilege to be here at the 2024 Infrastructure Symposium. I was extremely happy when the Prime Minister asked me to be his Minister for Infrastructure. It is one of the great barriers holding the New Zealand economy back from achieving its potential. Building high ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $571 million for Defence pay and projects
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today announced the upcoming Budget will include new funding of $571 million for Defence Force pay and projects. “Our servicemen and women do New Zealand proud throughout the world and this funding will help ensure we retain their services and expertise as we navigate an increasingly ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change – mitigating the risks and costs
    New Zealand’s ability to cope with climate change will be strengthened as part of the Government’s focus to build resilience as we rebuild the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “An enduring and long-term approach is needed to provide New Zealanders and the economy with certainty as the climate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting new job seekers on the pathway to work
    Jobseeker beneficiaries who have work obligations must now meet with MSD within two weeks of their benefit starting to determine their next step towards finding a job, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “A key part of the coalition Government’s plan to have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker ...
    2 weeks ago

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