Thursday, June 11, 2009

As if they don't have enough issues

I have intentionally never commented on the Jon & Kate plus Eight circus. At the urging of a friend, I watched once and was so nauseated from listening to the parents whining about how hard their lives were, I never watched again. Raising eight kids takes a lot of effort? Who knew? Well, I knew and no one follows me around with a camera to capture the complaining because we don't. We know and we knew how challenging having eight kids is and we feel blessed to have a big family and not because we get a TV contract for exploiting them.

But you can't miss the constant news coverage ranging from marital problems to general unpleasantness to allegations of child labor law violations. Turns out though that all of that is not the biggest problem. Their biggest problem is that they are not a "green" enough family. Despite their efforts to recycle and such, they find themselves on the receiving end of the ire of environmentalists for having a large family:

Yet while there was much fanfare about the eco-move in the media, some environmental experts see big families and going green as mutually exclusive.

"A family with eight children could be green in the short term, if they lived at such a low standard of living that they didn't consume more than a family with two children, or if they existed in extreme poverty — which isn't an acceptable way of going green," says Rosamund McDougall, policy director of the U.K.-based Optimum Population Organization (

"In the long term, though, it is almost impossible for large families not to increase overall environmental impacts."

One of the reasons for the lack of green-ness is the emission of carbon dioxide.

If the eight children depicted in the show lived in Britain, they would each emit about 750 tons of carbon dioxide over a lifetime, McDougall explains. (American carbon-dioxide emissions per capita are about double that of Britain's.)

"What's more, if the eight children each had eight children, not taking into account the fact that eight husbands or wives would be absorbed from other families, there would be 64 grandchildren, each emitting 750 [metric tons] over a lifetime," says McDougall.

"Compare this with the total emissions of the two children who go on to have two children each, and you see only too clearly how the impact multiplies over time.

The different worldviews are starkly on display there. Christians see (or should see) children as "a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward" (Psalm 127). Eco-types see kids as carbon dioxide generators, merely consumers of resources and producers of pollution. What a sick worldview that sees the blessing of children as nothing more than spewers of carbon dioxide and large families as mini- Exxon Valdez wrecks.


Josh Gelatt said...

It's hard to imagine that someone could be so far to the left that little children running around a playground inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide (which plants need, btw) would be offensive to them.

Right, how dare those selfish kids actually breathe!

(of course, note that such individuals seem to have no problem with their own carbon dioxide output).

Bean said...

The Green Party in England does not value human life, rather it views humans as a blight on face of the earth. The majority of British people no longer go to church, no longer get married, more children are born out of wedlock than in, child abuse is rampant, and human dignity is no longer valued. And yes, it is sad, that the greenies only see human life in regards to the carbon footprint it might leave behind. If the greenies are so concerned about over population maybe they should do us all a favor and be the first to end their carbon footprint on the earth!

gloria said...

The sad thing about this couple is that they profess to be christians. At least they did in their book I read. I find that sad, because their witness is stained before the world, when it could have been a beautiful witness for Jesus.

In any case, I feel badly for the children.. they will ultimately pay the price.

God bless,