The question of the week is one of the main "sustainability" questions that gets asked. This weeks ecotrain question of the week sounds so straightforward, but so much goes into it. I try to be as clear as I can be.
is it good for the children?
Even my mother said to me " if I knew it would be such a world, I am not sure I would have had children" and apologized for putting me onto this world...I think it is fairly negative emotion, that comes from disillusion; having lived through a time where the two major paradigms of our agehave failed:
After the second world war there was massive growth: in population, in income, in welfare. This has not led to the utopia people were promised and it looks like it is reaching its end in Western Europe, whilst in growing and emerging countries it puts a strain an health and resources.
As a counter movement and I mainly mean the social movements from the 1960ies and 70ies, it presented an alternative to capitalism. It never really made a lasting change in Western Europe and failed( or just was superseded by capitalism) in the former socialist states in Eastern Europe and China.
This collapse of ideology left people in the maelstrom of apathy; nothing worked and people still try to sell the same solutions for the last century. It just means we need change.
It is not worse than during the black plague, the Mongol invasion or the world wars. People have suffered and endured the worst hardships imaginable.
We just think "it should be better by now".
Today is not worse than yesterday, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago. There is and always will be suffering and strife; we can only work towards being better humans
is it good for the planet?
The other thing I tend to hear is that the world is too crowded already. I believe that is not completely true: I think the main problem is no so much a surplus population, as surplus consumption. Our consumption is hurting the planet and negatively impacting animals, plants and especially humans. Humans exploit each other in a manner not found anywhere else on this earth. Our behaviour as a collective will mainly decide if we destroy ourselves or not. I strongly believe we would exterminate ourselves before we destroy the planet beyond its resilience.
Having children now is the same as a hundred years ago or in the future
I do not think now is a worse or better time to be alive or to bring children into this world. I do think it is time we, as a species, as a collective, move towards a future built on *"implotation" *( word made up by the brilliant philospher Alexander Bard) the opposite of exploitation.
We can no longer believe the lie that we make a positive change through war, through sacrificing wellbeing, through lying ( advertising, politics, entertainment). We have to grow up and take responsibility.
my vision of the future
A stateless world were individuals are part of a tribe that peacefully cooperates with other tribes. An excistence were ethics have supplanted laws, were humans lead a balanced life with others.
Can we have this future without children? No.
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