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8/05/09 / Dark

Finally! Some vindication from the annals fo science for my unpopular view that the best way to save the planet is by not having (too many) kids.

A study by statisticians at Oregon State University concluded that in the United States, the carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of an extra child is almost 20 times more important than some of the other environment-friendly practices people might employ during their entire lives — things like driving a high mileage car, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

Under current conditions in the United States, for instance, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent – about 5.7 times the lifetime emissions for which, on average, a person is responsible.

The long-term impact of a child born to a family in China is less than one-fifth the impact of a child born in the United States, the study found.

The article goes on to state that, of course, the researchers aren’t advocating law to actually put into practice what their work found.

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