Oregon State Study says Having Fewer Children is Best Way to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

no-us-kidsBy the Oregonian

Some people who are serious about wanting to reduce their “carbon footprint” on the Earth have one choice available to them that may yield a large long-term benefit – have one less child.

A recent 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 environmentally sensitive practices people might employ their entire lives – things like driving a high mileage car, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

The research also makes it clear that potential carbon impacts vary dramatically across countries. The average long-term carbon impact of a child born in the U.S. – along with all of its descendants – is more than 160 times the impact of a child born in Bangladesh.

“In discussions about climate change, we tend to focus on the carbon emissions of an individual over his or her lifetime,” said Paul Murtaugh, an OSU professor of statistics. “Those are important issues and it’s essential that they should be considered. But an added challenge facing us is continuing population growth and increasing global consumption of resources.”

In this debate, very little attention has been given to the overwhelming importance of reproductive choice, Murtaugh said. When an individual produces a child – and that child potentially produces more descendants in the future – the effect on the environment can be many times the impact produced by a person during their lifetime.

Under current conditions in the U.S., 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.

And even though some developing nations have much higher populations and rates of population growth than the U.S., their overall impact on the global equation is often reduced by shorter life spans and less consumption. 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 U.S., the study found.

Read the rest at Oregon Environmental News.

37 Responses to Oregon State Study says Having Fewer Children is Best Way to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

  1. Neil F. AGWD August 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    I wonder if Paul Erlich is a favorite of the authors of this “study”
    These people are insane.

  2. Paul Wenum August 5, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    My God! I came from a family of seven children! Thank God they didn’t have “Global Warmimg” back in the 50’s! Wonder why? I wouldn’t be here now would I. Of course some people would love that idea. Yes Neil, what a farse!

  3. Neil F. AGWD August 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    What a coincidence! I am the youngest of seven children.

  4. John E. Lyons August 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Nah Nah Nah!!! I’m 1 of 12 children. The reason I’m here is because of “Global Kooling” My parents had to stay warm at night, hence 12 children!
    Seriously, these people are “WACKOS”. This mental attitude must be exposed to as many people as possible.

  5. Neil F. AGWD August 6, 2009 at 6:23 am #

    What I would like to see is a statistical analysis on
    Not a computer simulation, but an actual analysis of recorded atmospheric CO2 levels and actual temperature records.
    This study is yet another example of people, scientists, and in this case statisticians, accepting the false premise that CO2 causes temperature rise.
    Here is an idea. Let’s ask Fred Singer, at the Minnesota Symposium on Climate Change, to do a meta-analysis of the records on the relationship of CO2 to global temperature increases.
    If any of you are going to go, and you have a chance to to talk to him, please ask.
    I have to work so I won’t be able to go.
    What do you think Dan?

  6. Tony August 6, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    This is a prime demonstration of the old science axiom “GIGO” (garbage in, garbage out). Where in all the statistical mumbo-gumbo is the basic evidence of the amount of carbon dioxide produced per capita and conversely the earth’s attenuation rate of that carbon dioxide? A review of the climate during the Carboniferous period indicates CO2 levels similar to present and the greatest diversity and highest population densities of flora and fauna ever witnessed on the planet. Of course time, ever changing climate and random astronomical and terrestrial events ended this population boom. Will the good doctor feel the same way when a Pinatubo size even occurs twice in a decade during a solar minimum period and global surface temperatures plummet? Grab your coats, I have a feeling history is repeating itself.

  7. Teri Srur August 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    China here we come!

  8. Paul Wenum August 6, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    Neil & John, I’ll bet we are all Lutherans? John is right. The nights were cold back then. On to the case at hand. I will attempt to go to the event. Will let you know what I find.

  9. Neil F. AGWD August 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Nope, my parents are Irish Catholics. I am not religious.

    Computer climate model projections are the only “proof” there is for AGW. Too bad the actual climate has other plans, eh!
    It did not say, but I am sure this was a computer model that the “study” is based on. They are basically trying to advance the same theory as Paul Erlich’s The Population Bomb. Which has been thouroghly destroyed by reality.
    There are no facts that they won’t ignore! They are luny.

  10. paul wenum August 7, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Neil, my comment made was “tongue in cheek.” You are religious in your pursuit to stop this insanity, that I must admit. We can all sit around stating statistical figures that the average layperson cannot comprehend until they read themselfs. I’m a layperson that does not profess anything other than what I observe, read etc. and then I make my own opinion based upon what I assume are supposed facts/observations/research/study. Finally we can have all the statistical studies by the top climatologists in the world but will they be read, published or in the media? I doubt it. Blogs are fine, however, inter-action (face to face ) is more effective. You can see in their eyes if they are true in their conviction or a schill. I should know, that’s my business. I find personal interaction interesting wherein you cut to the chase and find if it is fact or folly. Enough pontificating. Will let you know about the August 19th session.

  11. Neil F. AGWD August 8, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    That is an interesting analogy. I do believe there is a God, I suppose you could call me a Deist. I just have a hard time swollowing organized religions because each one thinks they have a monoply on the truth.
    I believe that no one knows anything about the nature of God. But truth is the primordial desire that is the foundation for all religions. I definately posess that desire.
    Conversely, I believe that there is evil in the world. And I think lying to people is an evil act. And I’m not talking about the little white lies we all tell, or the occasional embellishments we all add to our life stories. No, I am talking about lies that are deliberately made to manipulate, misdirect, and mislead people into making decisions that will effect the lives of one person, or all people.
    And AGW certainly fits that bill.
    If you define religion as a persuit of truth, then I geuss I am religious in that respect.

  12. paul wenum August 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    Neil, as I wrote in College in 66. “Never trust a man wearing a Brooks Brothers suit pushing his Sunday religion.” Religion is a personal matter. That said, I note the people pushing this issue wear some darn expensive suits! Soros, Gore et al. I was giving you a hard time. I didn’t ask if you were catholic did I? It was a dumb joke when I found we share the same number of brothers and sisters. Will let you know about the 9/19/2009 session.

  13. Neil F. AGWD August 8, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    I did not take it in offense. I liked the analogy.

  14. paul wenum August 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    Thank you!

  15. Neil F. AGWD August 8, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    Hey, back to population control.
    I wonder what the climate would be today if we stopped having children back in the 70’s.
    I have a feeling it would be remarkably similar to what we have today!

    “The mystery is why anyone takes these modern-day Chicken Littles seriously anymore. After all, every objective fact and environmental trend is running in precisely the opposite direction of what the widely acclaimed doomsayers of the 1960s – from Lester Brown to Paul Ehrlich to the Club of Rome – once predicted. Birth rates around the world are lower, not higher, today than at anytime in at least a century. Global per capita food production is 40 percent higher today than as recently as 1950. The “energy crisis” now is such a distant memory that these days oil is virtually the cheapest, not the most expensive, liquid on Earth. In sum, the population bomb propagandists have all the intellectual credibility of the Flat Earth Society.”

    Note the mention of the Club of Rome in this piece. No, I have not forgotten about Maurice Strong and his IPCC connections. The Club of Rome is also proponents of population control. Ted Turner, a member of the Club of Rome said:
    “mankind is breeding like “a plague of locusts” and urges couples all over the world to limit themselves to one child. Zero Population Growth laments that the population of the U.S. is about twice the size it should be in order to protect the environment.”
    I think it is a pertainant connection to this line of thinking.
    I am also wondering why an Oceanographer, and a Zoologist are doing a study on human population.
    How much you want to bet that they are worshipers of “mother earth” Guia? I don’t know that, but I suspect it.

  16. Neil F. AGWD August 9, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Here’s where I get frustrated with whole AGW thing.
    It has been established that since 1998 global temps have leveled and began declining. We see backpedleing in the AGW community with stories saying that global warming is going to pause for 15 years, or when the Sun becomes active once again global warming will come back at 115% of IPCC estimates, etc., etc. All bogus pap.
    Then I see this story:

    “The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.”

    Now if you know anything about strategic planning in the military, you know that they have such reports generated for all possible “worst case” scenarios. But the way the story is presented you would think this is the sole focus of the military right now. It’s not, but that’s the Times’ spin on it. Besides that, this story is years old. This is not “news”.
    So anyway, one of the things they mention as being a direct threat to national security is the melting off of glaciers. When I did a search for glaciers melting I found story after story of how all the glaciers are melting because of global warming.
    Well, being the diligent truth seeker that I am, I kept looking and finally found this:

    “The last major glacial period began about 2,000,000 years B.P. and is commonly known as the Pleistocene or Ice Age. During this glacial period, large glacial ice sheets covered much of North America, Europe, and Asia for long periods of time. The extent of the glacier ice during the Pleistocene, however, was not static. The Pleistocene had periods when the glaciers retreated (interglacial) because of mild temperatures, and advanced because of colder temperatures (glacial). Average global temperatures were probably 4 to 5° Celsius colder than they are today at the peak of the Pleistocene. The most recent glacial retreat began about 14,000 years B.P. and is still going on. We call this period the Holocene epoch.”

    This is why the glaciers are melting, not AGW.
    Thanks, I feel better now.

  17. Neil F. AGWD August 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Another interesting thing about melting glaciers:

    “The time it takes for a glacier to adjust to a climate shift is known as the response time. This typically varies from a few years to many decades, depending on the glacier size, steepness, flow rates, and other factors.”

    For all we know the glaciers are reacting to the peak of world temps in 1998. And 10-11 years from now they will be growing again in response to today’s lower temps.
    It is irresponsible of the scientific community to regard the current melting of glaciers as caused by AGW, without alluding to the response time of claciers to climatic changes.

  18. Neil F. AGWD August 9, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Found a new video on AGW. Watch it here:

  19. Neil F. AGWD August 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    Yup! That Arctic ice is melting…… slowly……… normally.

  20. Paul Wenum August 9, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    That’s what the locals I fish and kayak with tell me. One expands others contract. I quess satellites since sputnik and satellites/scientists thereafter tell a different story or are they showing nature at it’s finest doing what it does “naturally.”

  21. Neil F. AGWD August 9, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    That’s it in a nutshell!
    I can’t wait for someone to say that the swine flue is caused by AGW. I mean, what isn’t caused by AGW? According to the alarmists.

  22. Neil F. AGWD August 10, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    Just about a year ago I made a prediction that there would be a military draft enacted by now. This has not come to pass. I still think it may happen. But I can admit when I’m wrong, and in this case I’m glad I am.
    Now why can’t Al Gore and the IPCC do that?

  23. Rob N. Hood August 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    Be careful about what you think is fascism. Because the real thing could creep up while you’re being pointed in the other direction. Fascism lives and breathes propaganda.

    Although the ultra-right usually cringes at the comparison to Hitler, he is the ultimate fascist, and certainly, up to now, came closest to imposing the obscenity of fascism upon us. Hitler hated the working class and believed them to be mere tools, at best, and useless hindrances, at worst, to ubermensches such as himself. This disdain for the commoner found its ultimate expression in the ovens of Hitler’s own special little hell. If not for the widespread revulsion caused by the blowback from Germany’s failed attempt at fascism, we would be experiencing it right now (and many argue that we are, an argument seldom heard by the public since it is banned by the corporate controlled media), and if an equally vile current generation of uber-wannabees gets their way, we will again indeed.

    Deception is what got fascists into power in Germany, and remains their ultimate weapon. This is an essential element because the majority is despised by the worshippers of elitism and must not be allowed to catch on that there is nothing but exploitation and victimhood ahead for most of them. Fascism takes from the majority and lavishes ALL upon the minority of those identified as ubermensches by the ruling fascists. Deception requires control of the media, obviously, but is not limited to that since all statements to the public must be similarly carefully crafted to hide the real agenda, whether invading Poland for lebensraum or Iraq for oil.

    One of the Cold War deceptions is that we are forced to choose between a state owning everything or a few private individuals owning everything. Our republican (little “r”) democracy allows us to mold a far better system than either fascism or communism.

    -“Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.” (From Prof. Lawrence Britt’s “Characterisitics of Fascism”
    – “Sure we’ll have fascism in America, but it’ll come disguised as 100 percent Americanism.” – Sen. Huey P. Long
    – “Fascists are first and foremost illiberal and anti-liberal.” Mussolini
    – “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” (Benito Mussolini, Encyclopedia Italiana)

  24. paul wenum August 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    Rob, You never change. If you don’t like what’s happening simply vote them out! As stated, corporations are not bad. It is a piece of paper. It is the peope behind them, For an example, Al Gore, Goerge Soror . Do you really understand?? From your postings , you have no clue as to how the real world runs and has for over 200 years! Start your own business, then you will understand!! Later.

  25. Neil F. AGWD August 16, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Again, his has absolutely nothing to do with AGW. I don’t know why you insist on posting this kind of nonsense.
    You seem to think that Republicans, and Capitalits are fascists. I don’t know what makes you think that because if you compare the two dominant parties here to Nazism and Fascism, the one that is a closer fit is Liberal Socialism.

    n. pl. Na·zis
    1. A member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, founded in Germany in 1919 and brought to power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.
    2. often nazi An adherent or advocate of policies characteristic of Nazism; a fascist.

    1. often Fascism
    a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
    2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

    Word History: It is fitting that the name of an authoritarian political movement like Fascism, founded in 1919 by Benito Mussolini, should come from the name of a symbol of authority. The Italian name of the movement, fascismo, is derived from fascio, “bundle, (political) group,” but also refers to the movement’s emblem, the fasces, a bundle of rods bound around a projecting axe-head that was carried before an ancient Roman magistrate by an attendant as a symbol of authority and power. The name of Mussolini’s group of revolutionaries was soon used for similar nationalistic movements in other countries that sought to gain power through violence and ruthlessness, such as National Socialism.

    So get off of your high horse Rob. I think it is you that has been the victim of propaganda.
    AGW is a lie!

  26. Rob N. Hood August 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    If you really think Liberalism is closer to fascism than right-wing Republicanism, you are the one who is truly sadly very ignorant. It is simply literally impossible. Study it some more if you’d like. Because you can’t have it both ways- Socialism/communism (two different things by the way) are the complete opposite of Facism. You and Paul think you know it all, but you so obviously do not, that it is laughable. You and other right-wing yahoos like to describe Liberalism as BOTH fascist AND Socialist. THEY ARE THE OPPOSITE THINGS, and nobody, I mean NOBODY in the history of the world has ever described an entity as being both, not until now. Congrats on your ignorance- it has reached new levels.

  27. Neil F. AGWD August 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Liberal Democrats are not Liberals. They are Socialists. You can’t find an American Liberal Democrat that fits the description of Liberalism found below.

    1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
    2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

    1. A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.
    2. Communism
    a. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
    b. The Marxist-Leninist version of Communist doctrine that advocates the overthrow of capitalism by the revolution of the proletariat.

    1. often Fascism
    a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
    2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

    1. The state or quality of being liberal.
    a. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
    b. often Liberalism The tenets or policies of a Liberal party.
    3. An economic theory in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard.
    4. Liberalism
    a. A 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology.
    b. A 19th-century Roman Catholic movement that favored political democracy and ecclesiastical reform but was theologically orthodox.

    An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

    Now, if you look at the definition of Liberalism, this is not what Liberals in America are following today. If you are really a Liberal, you would be against the takeover of the auto and health industries by the government. But what are Liberals doing? Taking over private industries.
    What system above does that fall under? It’s not Liberalism, or Capitalism. No, that is Communism.
    And what about AGW? They want to regulate industries through centralized control. That is not Liberalism, or Capitalism either.
    So what do you call it?

    And what you think is not possible is exactly what happened in Germany in the 30’s and 40’s. Nazi is the term they used for National Socialism.
    So, what started out to be National Socialist policies brought a raving lunatic Fascist into power.
    I think you need to do some historical research before you call me ignorant. Because you have no idea what you’re talking about.
    AGW is a lie!

  28. Neil F. AGWD August 16, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Oh, Rob
    What exactly are the differences between Communism and Socialism?
    AGW is a lie!

  29. Paul Wenum August 16, 2009 at 10:53 pm #


    Sorry, but you have no trained thought. Hate of a republic that Neil, I and others stand for spews from your mouth. It’s either a conspiracy theory, or the “rich” people, republicans etc. are to blame. You have never defined “rich” by the way. Typical. You will never change. By the way, I’m a “commoner” as you call the little guy that we allegedly take advantage of.
    What are you? I came from nothing and made something and now I’m bad???? Rob, get a life!! As previously stated, you don’t know, nor have been throughout the world to see the other side. I have. Other than the left wing side propaganda, that’s all you really know. Please corect me if I’m wrong.
    Enough said about this entire issue.

    We have more important issues, such as “Global cooling”, not warming and Cap and Trade.

  30. Neil F. AGWD August 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    I apologize. We have put up with the Left comparing Bush to Hitler for years. I am sick of it. I won’t take it sitting down anymore. Rob is basically calling us Fascists when it is the American Left that is trying to bring American industry under government control, and are doing it as Authoritarians!
    I don’t know how advocating smaller government and less regulation can be compared to being Fascist! It can’t! It is inaccurate and, like I said, I won’t take it anymore.
    But your right.
    Let’s get back on track.

  31. Paul Wenum August 17, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    Thank you Neil. Yes, let’s cut to the chase and go forward. We dont need distractions with no substance, i.e. Rob, et al.

  32. Paul Wenum August 18, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    Neil and others out there. I just read Dan’s post from months ago regarding this alias Rob fellow. I’m not saying disregard him, consider what he states, quotes, chastises etc. and see if it is actually coming from him, or is it? (You must read all sides) I will leave that up to all of you. Think about it. Let’s all get back to the reason wht we are here. In our opinion based upon research that we believe is accurate, global warming is natural, not man made. It is as simple as that. Let’s all get back on point and see if others are in accord, OK? Later.

  33. Neil F. AGWD August 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    It has been a tactic of the Left to change the subject, demonize, and attack when they are losing the argument. Rob is a perfect example of that.

  34. Paul Wenum August 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Since the 60’s I unfortunately have to agree. Hopefully people will get back to normal discourse with or without agreement and still shake hands. That said, I have’t seen a change, other than when I get together with close freinds of mine that are Democrats, Reublicans, et al when we are all together having a general discussion on a varity of issues. My best friend is very left wing, however we both agree that climate change is natural and yes he has read ALL sides. I just can’t get him to get off the health care issue. Wonder why? Oh well, cannot win them all. Thanks Neil.

  35. Rob N. Hood October 7, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Actually a “tactic” of the Left is to use logic and reasoning which helps connect dots such as why some folks are so worried about a climate conspiracy so much. It’s all connected and your statements make that clearer all the time. I’m sorry that I’m not a simple as you guys, it’s hard not to be when you can see connections like that. I think it helps solve problems like this one. Just saying it’s black or white is just too simple for most problems… But yes I know you disagree with that.

  36. Paul Wenum October 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    I’m a simple man with simple works, with simple logic.

  37. vigo October 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    With emphasis on the ‘simple’.

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