By Hilary White

August 5, 2009 ( – A new study by statisticians at Oregon State University claims that one of the best ways for people to support the environmentalist cause is to refrain from having children. At the same time that the US fertility rate stands at 2.05 children born per woman, barely under the level necessary to maintain a steady population, researchers Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax maintain that having children is the most destructive thing that can be done to the environment.

The “basic principle” of the study, titled “Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals,” is that “a person is responsible for emissions of his descendents.” Because of the high-consuming American lifestyle, the study maintains, US children add tons more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than their parents, use more water and generate more waste. According to the study, the long-term impact of a child in China is one-fifth that of a child in the United States.

The study claims to be able to chart the total “carbon impact” of a single child and all his descendants. A media release from the researchers said, “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.”

By having two children, the study says, a woman will add 40 times the amount of carbon dioxide emissions than she would have saved with conventional “green” practices such as recycling.

Echoing the 18th century Thomas Malthus, who first proposed that human population growth would outstrip food production by 1890, Murtagh said that while carbon emissions are important, “an added challenge facing us is continuing population growth and increasing global consumption of resources.”

“Many people are unaware of the power of exponential population growth. Future growth amplifies the consequences of people's reproductive choices today, the same way that compound interest amplifies a bank balance.”

The anti-natal orientation of the environmentalist movement is gaining support in the scientific world. Last month the British Medical Journal published an article on the same theme as the Oregon report, saying that having fewer children is “analogous to avoiding patio heaters and high carbon cars.”

Recently, anti-child propaganda has been proliferating in the media and internet with websites titled “Happily Childfree” and “” “The Childfree Community” and “The Child Free Life” offering rationalisations and purporting to oppose the “kid-centric world.”

Late last month, Canada's Macleans magazine ran a piece by Anne Kingston extolling those who have chosen to remain “child-free,” a term that Kingston praised as helping to lift the “stigma” of avoiding parenthood. Such couples and single women, she said, are “a tiny but growing minority challenging the final frontier of reproductive freedom.”

Despite Canada's drastically low birth rate, Kingston calls the culture “pro-natalist” and quotes Vancouver-based journalist Elaine Lui who complains of a “pernicious retrograde swing back to the '50s in which motherhood was celebrated as women's highest calling.”

While fervently protesting that the decision to remain childless is not motivated by selfishness, Kingston cited women's largely material reasons. “Educated women,” she wrote, “…refuse to pay what economists call the 'motherhood premium' in which the salaries of university-educated women plateau after childbirth and then drop, while fathers' incomes are unaffected; they recognize that raising children is a sacrifice of time, money and freedom they're not willing to make; or they simply don't want to have children and are able to say no.”

Read more on the racist and anti-human origins of the population control movement here.