It's not a new argument, but an academic has taken the idea of curbing procreation to another level.
In an op-ed published by NBCNews.com, Travis Rieder, Ph.D. at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, says "science proves kids are bad for Earth ... morality suggests we stop having them." Reider writes:
"... [W]hile I recognize that this is an uncomfortable discussion, I believe that the seriousness of climate change justifies uncomfortable conversations. In this case, that means that we need to stop pretending the decision to have children doesn't have environmental and ethical consequences."
The idea or concern is that mankind is contributing to what people call "climate change" or "manmade global warming." Therefore, the argument goes, having fewer children means fewer people and fewer emissions of greenhouse gases that individuals, think tanks, and special-interest groups believe are driving up temperature and resulting in bigger, more powerful storms.
"I think it's probably one of the dumbest statements to come out of environmental activism in a long time – and that's really kind of saying something," responds Brittany M. Hughes of MRCtv, a division of the Media Research Center.
In a written rebuttal to Reider's column, Hughes offers up an example of his "inane, cultish drivel."
"One of the most extreme parts of this article is he actually compares his own daughter to a murderer!" she emphasizes to OneNewsNow. "He says that having children harms the planet the same way that letting a murderer out of prison would harm other people; that you are just as responsible if you have children for killing the planet and for dooming all of mankind as you are if you let a murderer out of prison."
OneNewsNow contacted Berman Institute of Bioethics to ask for Rieder's comment. Neither the Institute nor Rieder responded.
"Very few op-eds do I see arguing for 'let's have more children because man-made climate change is total bunk,'" says MRCtv's Hughes. "NBC doesn't run those op-eds, and they're never going to publish the rebuttal."