Will having children solve climate change?

Fifty-three Republican Senators voted unanimously against holding hearings on climate change. Let’s listen in as the key Senator explains his reasons:

Since this is in GD, I guess I’m obligated to start the debate. I think Lee and the other Gopsters are wrong — why will having kids stop climate change? — but don’t understand his argument well enough to argue in detail.

There are Republican Dopers. Can any help flesh out Lee’s argument?

Non-Republican WAG: He has no idea what he’s talking about, so he’s just pulling the old Republican standby “family values” talking point out of his ass.

In fact, what will help reduce our carbon footprint is fewer people having kids, especially those of us in developed countries with extravagant resource use.

Senator Mike Lee is a reminder that democratic means are utterly insufficient to the scope of the problem we’re faced with. Look at this shit. Seriously - look at this shit! He’s not even trying to form a coherent response to what amounts to a world-defining problem. This is as if a congressman had responded to Russia aiming nukes at the US with, “Eh, just have more kids, there’s no real problem here, your proposal for a disarmament treaty is totally unserious.” It speaks poorly to Mike Lee’s constituents that he holds office, and it speaks poorly to congress as a whole that he wasn’t laughed and/or bodily thrown out of the room. This isn’t a serious argument. He’s not making a serious argument. The point is not for it to be a serious argument. He’s laughing in the face of anyone who gives a damn about the single most pressing issue facing humanity. He is spitting in the faces of our children. Do you have a child under the age of, say, 30? He is spitting in that child’s face and laughing. Treat it as such.

What we are facing amounts to nothing less than gross institutionalized violence. Even if we get our shit together, our inaction to date will lead to suffering beyond measure. If we don’t get our shit together now, it’s only going to get worse. The clock is fucking ticking, and these dirtbags cannot and will not do anything about it. Direct action - taking whatever steps necessary, legal or not, to remove people like Mike Lee, James Inhofe, and Mitch McConnell from positions of power - is necessary. I wish I knew how to pursue such an agenda in a useful manner. These people are aiding and abetting making the world uninhabitable for our children. They cannot be allowed to continue, and as has been shown over the past two decades, just expecting the American people to wake up and vote them out isn’t fucking good enough.

Let me be clear.

In a sane world, the response following a presentation like Mike Lee’s would be, in order:

  • Shocked silence
  • Angry shouting
  • Mike Lee running from the room bleeding chased by an angry mob, because anyone in the caucus under the age of 40 jumped his fat, ugly, rich, oil-money-bloated ass and started beating the shit out of him
  • An immediate and successful campaign to recall him and replace him with a congressperson who isn’t scientifically illiterate and horribly corrupt

Now, granted, we don’t live in a sane world, and Mike Lee is far from the worst offender. But the blase way that even the people who otherwise know to take this shit seriously are responding to this goddamn insult is just… What? What?! You’re going to sit there and let this asshole just piss on your face like that?

Even if we cannot expect such a response forthcoming from congress, we could at least expect it the next time he goes to a town hall meeting. Make this fucker feel as afraid as the people who will suffer because of his denialism.

I sort of agree with the statement. Sort of…

As I do believe in humanity and we are learning to become a species that learns to live in harmony and oneness with the planet, and universe, not in the sense of devolving ourselves, but by going forth with technology and even use terraforming in positive ways instead of the negative way we accidentally discovered via the burning of fossil fuels. But there is more in achieving this…

Loved and well raised children will carry forth that ideal, and that required generations of children raised and refining this harmony of love and acceptance and getting the bigger picture. Even realizing the spirit of Love in the spirit of Mother Earth and other habitable places and places with life.

So he has part of it correct, we need children, but the part he misses is he doesn’t want open minded and accepting of others children

Sounds like meaningless garbage to me.

I don’t think direct advocation of violence is the proper response to an aqua man drawing.

How about to encouraging, abetting, and enabling crimes against humanity? :slight_smile:

The problem is not that the Abrahamic God told his follower to “be fruitful and multiply” and fill the Earth, the problem is that he failed to tell them what to do after they had accomplished that goal.

Guys, we were fruitful and multiplied. Now we need to do something before we become a bipedal locust swarm.

Sheesh, do I have to do all the thinking around here? You failed to connect the dots. He said " fall in love, get married, and have some kids," The GND is being pushed by a presumably fertile female on the floor of Congress, where she happens to be employed. Not from where she and her swollen with child belly should be cooking dinner for her ol’ man and their gaggle of youngsters.

For the record, I tried watching Lee’s argument to the end but I couldn’t - because it was ridiculous and stupid, yes ; but mostly because he was egregiously and deliberately misrepresenting AOC’s plan. The fuckwit spent over 10 minutes showing how the US would be worse off if air travel was banned overnight (FTR, I’m being generous about the thesis of the arguments, in that I posit that there was, in fact, a thesis) ; entirely ignoring that the whole POINT of her plan is to replace the majority of (BUT NOT ALL. She happens to be aware Hawai’i exists, you buffoon) air travel with green-friendlier rail.

So that was 10 minutes of solid straw man I’ll never get back. The worst part is, I legit think he thought he was being clever and funny. And that’s really depressing.

OTOH, good news : AOC is now at Gandhicon 2 and halfway to 3. Progress !

No. It’s a ridiculous argument put forth by a ridiculous side of politics. “Gee, we can’t solve climate change now so let’s have lots of white, US children and hope some of them can…derp derp.”

Indirectly, this is definitely true if you view democrats as the saviors of the world. Republicans have 41% more children than democrats do, and 80% of people vote like their parents.


The common wisdom (or wish) that Republicans are just going to die out is very specious. You know those MAGA-hatted teens? Those aren’t the only ones.

He’s campaigning for office in a state where religious doctrine is an element of politics, and it will work.


You know how smart the average guy is? Well, half of them are not that smart.

Babies are probably not the best way to sequester carbon, even if you immediately land fill them.

There are two ways to fight global warming, sacrifice and technology.

Sacrifice means using less electricity, steel, concrete, meat, gasoline, etc. In order to be effective sacrifice must be world wide. The US emits 15% of global emissions and that is shrinking. Completely eliminating US carbon emissions alone would not be enough to make a dent in global warming.

Technology means using new breakthroughs to use less carbon or reduce existing carbon.
According to the Solow model, more population means more economic growth, and more economic growth means more technology. Countrieswith higher population have more technology. If the US develops new technology for reducing or eliminating carbon then that can be used around the world to and can have a huge impact on global warming. An example, is the technology of fracking which allows new sources of natural gas to replace coal and thus reduce carbon emissions. It was developed in the US and is being used around the world.

Ah! This explains the meaningless garbagosity of his little dog-and-seahorse show.

Avoid any semblance of a call for violence.


A nonsensical response which fails to address the question.

Lee’s diatrabe is meaningless even by Mormon standards. At least Joseph Smith had a narrative; Lee’s presentation was as if someone mashed an old copy of Unearthed Arcana into a Thomas Kinkade as his entry into the science fair, which tells you everything you need to know about the GOP response to climate change, e.g. they are determined to ignore it whenever possible, and ridicule it in all ways subtle and otherwise.

You may agree or disagree with the principles set forth in the “Green New Deal” (which, as a resolution with a broad statement of goals hardly qualifies as any kind of policy statement the costs of which can be assessed) but the fact is that the effects of global climate change, along with automation of intellectual labor, aging populations of industrialized nations, and the need to transition away from natural hydrocarbon “fossil” fuels into energy sources that are ultimately sustainable will require radical changes to energy and economic policies. The people on both sides of the aisle arguing that they shouldn’t even consider the ideas of the Green New Deal because they are politically infeasible are ignoring the fact that change will happen whether we prepare for or will it, and nature cares not one wit for ‘rational politics’ or economics. Interestingly, the Department of Defense is going all in on sustainability and renewable energy, not because they’ve turned into tree-hugging hippies but because energy security is necessary for the military to function. It is interesting that such a conservative institution recognizes the reality and gravity of the effects of climate change while “Conservatives” blather on about Reagan in a dragon-jousting contest.


Yes. Immediately. Well, nine months from now, anyway.