Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, obstetrician Barry Walters has proposed a $5,000 carbon tax on the birth of each baby, plus an $800 annual tax. “Far from showering financial booty on new mothers and thereby rewarding greenhouse-unfriendly behavior, a baby levy in the form of a carbon tax should apply in line with the polluter pays principle,” says Walters. He also suggests that contraceptives and sterilization procedures be offered to attract carbon credits that would offset income taxes for the user.
One cannot gainsay the sincerity of Dr. Walters. He is so devoted to protecting the environment that he advocates policies likely to harm his livelihood.
Making an even more personal sacrifice, forward-thinking Toni Vernelli in Brighton, England, arranged to have herself sterilized at age 27. “Having children is selfish. It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet,” says Vernelli, now 35.
The draconian birth control policies advocated by extreme environmentalists could have interesting political consequences. There is a strong correlation between genes and memes; eighty-percent of children adopt the political and religious views of their parents. Conservative pundits who compare left-wingers to dinosaurs may be more prescient than they know: there are only about two liberal babies born for every three conservative children. Like coastal cities in Vice President Gore’s apocalyptic visions, the Blue States will be inundated eventually by a Red tide. The earth will be inherited not by the environmentally devout but by proliferant non-progressives.
Environmentalism is not the first religion to proscribe procreation. Shakers also were forbidden to breed and had to rely on conversion to sustain their numbers. Note the past tense. Given current demographic trends in North America and western Europe, it is only a matter of time before liberals are declared endangered. Heroic efforts may be required to herd sufficient numbers of these scarce creatures into protected habitats to create a breeding population, lest they die out completely. Biosphere II may come in handy then.
Mother Nature tends to correct her own mistakes, but it is gratifying to see so many people eager to help. Godspeed, I say.
[The possibly cryptic title refers to the tongue-in-cheek Darwin Awards commemorating folks who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it in spectacularly stupid ways. Mark Steyn, who has often discussed the link between societal values and demographics, also noticed the two stories referred to above. You can read his take on the issue here.]