Opinions and representations herein are
solely those of The Amalgamated Good Foundation.
They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Planned Parenthood, or any other author, person, or entity whose work is cited, quoted, or otherwise used herein.
MAKING ANOTHER PERSON
WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE WAYS:
• They are very small at first, also noisy and smelly. So you have to tend them a lot, to the exclusion of most else. This will affect most every aspect of your day-to-day life. After a few years, they get larger, and sometimes less noisy (until they are teenagers); the smell usually subsides by the time they're 18, depending.
• You can pretty much forget about having a good night's sleep for the next two years -- maybe more.
• Schedules, timetables, and shared duties. Best to pencil these out, before you start to make another person. There are, after all, only 24 hours in a day; so best to see, ahead of time, how it all fits together. Don't forget job hours, commuting, and time for sleep, and try to leave some leeway for emergencies that, with a child, will occur.
• Travel plans? Put them on hold for about 18 years. "Family vacation" is an oxymoron -- a contradiction in terms.
• No more romantic evenings out on the town -- dining, dancing, movies, etc. -- with your spouse, unless you're willing to pay a sitter about $40 (assuming you come home fairly early). Oh, and don't forget the tip.
• Far less romance at home with your spouse. You'll both be too tired from tending the kid(s), and won't have much privacy, anyway.
• If your lifestyle calls for both spouses to work, day care will probably make this no longer cost-effective. So one income will be gone, or consumed by day-care expenses.
• If one spouse (or partner in sin) was planning to continue their education, well, that probably won't be happening either; if it does, it will be far more difficult, and it is likely that they won't be able to do it as well.
• The times, they
are a-changing.* Some people are old enough to remember when parents
could go on with their lives, recreation, jobs, and education with less
impediment. Those were the days when day care was available reasonably,
and the "girl down the street" did babysitting, maybe while doing her homework,
for 50 cents an hour. Nowadays, though, the girl down the street is on
the street; and, in Minnesota, in 2014, rates for care of one child approached
$8 an hour. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has reported that child care for
an infant, in Minnesota, can cost more than a year of tuition at a state
* phrase adapted from a well-known work authored by Bob Dylan
• Biological effects. A woman's figure will usually not ever be the same afterwards. And her "fun zone" certainly won't. Further, have you ever noticed that a lot of women, who have had children, have to take frequent washroom breaks? That's because it is not uncommon for pregnancy to result in damage to the bladder. Interruption of blood circulation, due to the carrying of the unborn child, may cause part of the organ to become dead tissue, and the bladder actually becomes smaller. This damage is usually permanent. In some cases, a degree of incontinence can also result.
• How certain is your marriage or unholy union? Present law actually encourages divorce or separation by making it financially advantageous for the custodial parent, usually the woman. This has caused divorce and single-parenting rates to reach epic proportion. As the saying goes, "If you can get the cream, why put up with the bull?" If your spouse, or partner in sin, decides to separate, and gets custody, say goodbye to about 25% of your paycheck for the next 18 years.
• Some think that making a person will hold their union together. This is a myth. If anything, it will strain it more, and give the prospective custodial spouse (usually the woman) the ability to walk out and still retain financial security (see the above paragraph). If someone thinks that they need a kid to hold their union together, that union is probably on pretty shaky ground to begin with; those people should not even consider making another person. It usually only worsens things -- and, ultimately, will be very expensive to the person who eventually becomes the non-custodial parent.
• You may not be able to raise your kids the way you want to. Nowadays, the government thinks that's their business. When planning children, most future parents envision well-behaved and civilized ones. Present law, however, doesn't support that. If you use healthy discipline in the home to teach kids, when necessary, which end is up, well, these days, you may end up spending a lot of time talking with the "Human Services" people, or in court (and the schools are not your allies in child-rearing like they used to be -- they may actually be the ones that cause you problems with the agencies). As you might not dare to use healthy discipline in your own home, your kids may run wild in it. And then, when they get a little older, there'll be the costs of bail bonds, fines, lawyers, foster care (yes, the parents sometimes have to pay for this -- and it's not cheap), etc.
• A man's home is his Castle. If you like being respected in your own home, today's kids may not be for you. The Fifth Commandment is often thought out-of-fashion these days, and if you think you can insist on it in your home, well, we covered the discipline matter. So, in many instances, what one ends up with is having a person, or persons, in their home, over whose conduct the parent and homeowner has little or no control. (This can extend to damage, violence, bringing drugs into the home, etc.) Some of these things can cause the parent to be held criminally responsible for things of which they weren't even aware. And, sometimes, the parent can't have these people (their severely misbehaving children) removed from their home, for many years, without incurring substantial expense, including costs of out-of-home placement.
• If you have belongings (including good china, microwave or other appliances, knickknacks, TV, electronics, objects d'art, antiques, lamps, etc.) in your home that you value, best put them in a safe deposit box, or they'll be broken or gone. Forget about buying and using nice stuff for a while.
• These days, a lot of environmentally-conscious (discussed post, this page) men and women are choosing to be child-free families of two. These can be as valid, devoted, productive, and strong as any other family; maybe more so than some.
AND YOU MAY WANT TO ALSO CONSIDER:
• With baby dolls, other girls' toys, and subtle suggestion, in contemporary American society, young females are indoctrinated, almost from birth, to believe that that they are supposed to produce offspring. That's what they are for. This would be true if one was a cow. Cows are for producing offspring, producing milk, and finally, when too old for those purposes, becoming part of your hamburger. It is not true for a woman. Her destiny may be to become a devoted and well cared for wife in a fulfilling marriage; but not necessarily to produce offspring. Offspring are no longer a necessary part of a successful marriage, nor a sign of success as a man or a woman. The most environmentally conscious men and women don't produce them. And a lot of people have too much living to do, and/or too much to contribute to society, to toss away 18 years of their lives as babysitters and nannies.
• As anyone who has visited the east, or west, coast knows, successful child-free couples are not at all uncommon; in the midwest, though, there's more of an outdated childbearing ethic; and often, even people who cannot produce anything of value nonetheless produce offspring -- sometimes a lot of them -- for which society at large bears the cost. This "tradition" of large families may have had it's roots in an earlier farm-centered society where the more kids one had, the more farm hands he had. But it has lost a lot of it's application nowadays, when a farmer can't even get kids to detassle corn for good pay (which is why they started using expensive machines to do it).
• It's easy to think about parenting when you're not -- people tend to think only about the good parts, and the kids turning out the way the prospective parents want. Many parents state that, if they had it to do all over again, they wouldn't. In many instances, a newly married couple spends their first year or two together making children, and the next 18 years trying to find time away from them.
• A lot of prospective parents have kids thinking that they will be the next Albert Schweitzer or something. That could happen, but, statistically, the odds are better that he'll be the next Charles Manson type; and the overwhelming probability is that he'll be neither -- not famous, nor infamous. Just another nondescript cog in the wheel.
• Many people have a drive to pass on their genes. But what with all of the Wranglers, Levis, Rustlers, etc., there are really plenty of jeans out there. Are yours that fancy, really? One's good work is a much better, and more enduring legacy to leave than one's offspring. One's work CAN change the world. Case in point: Consider Mark Twain. Do you even know his daughter's name? Ah, but I'll bet you remember some of his work.
• BEFORE YOU GIVE A "GIFT" TO THE WORLD. Even for people who are high-achievers, their progeny may not be. Although intellect is an inherited trait, applied genius (intellect, and the ability, and drive, to use it for betterment) generally is not. Applied genius is the product of a rare combination of heredity, environment, and either happenstance or divine intervention, depending on how one chooses to look at it (in Judaism, for example, there are no coincidences). To make the point, consider your own heroes. People who, by their genius, forever changed our way of life for the better. Did their children (and most of them had them) follow suit? Do you even know who their kids were?
We don't want anyone who's here to leave this earth. Far from it, we want people to live as long, and as well, as they can. For this to happen, though, particularly as concerns quality of life, it is necessary for people to voluntarily limit their procreativity. Otherwise, they will leave their progeny a broken world to inherit.
"It took Providence
six days to create a world perfect for mankind.
Now, 5700 years later, we are in the process of destroying His good work."
• A WORLD IN DENIAL.
Despite the downplaying of this factor by the media, almost every world
environmental problem, from global warming, to air and water pollution,
to resource shortages (including food), to demand for nuclear energy (the
by-products of which can actually make the earth uninhabitable for -- yep
-- billions of years), to the burning of the rain forests, and species
extinction; can be directly linked to a single cause: human overpopulation.
It's effects also include famine and starvation, the spread of disease,
crime, and propensity for war. These things lower our quality of life;
the next generation will not enjoy the same quality of life that we did.
Sure, they'll have faster computers, more efficient cars, and, probably,
more gadgets; but you can't eat those. Some credible sources have reported
that, even now, over 3,000 people a day, worldwide, die of starvation and
poor-diet-related illness. Do you really want to contribute to all of these
global problems that, given continued population growth, we will soon see
more of right here in the U.S.?
(Source: worldnews.nbcnews.com (Feb. 16, 2012))
• OVERPOPULATION GIVES RISE TO EPIDEMIC DISEASE. It's no coincidence that, during the coronavirus crisis, it spread fastest in high population density areas, like New York and the Eastern seaboard; low density areas, like Montana and Wyoming were much less affected. We are not meant to be packed like sardines, and when population densities get too high, plagues of infectious disease are one of the ways Nature restores balance.
• Further, the food
needs of a burgeoning human overpopulation lead to the need to employ unsanitary,
unwholesome, and non-sustainable "factory-farming" practices that are an
incubator for zoonotic epidemic diseases that jump from animals to people.*
Things like swine flu, and the deadly bird flu (H5N1) with its mortality
rate in humans of over 50%.
• WITH CURRENT POPULATION GROWTH, THE FREQUENCY OF PANDEMICS IS INCREASING. Human population has more than doubled over the last 50 years, and over the last 30 years of burgeoning population growth we've seen the emergence of many new and difficult to treat epidemics, including SARS, Ebola, novel coronavirus, and the various flus; with increasing frequency, contagion, and mortality.
• Other than climate
change, and more frequent pandemics, one of the first ways we may feel
the effects of overpopulation lies in shortages of fresh clean water; an
absolute necessity of human life.** Already, groundwater aquifers are running
dry; and in some years, the farmers in California's central valley "breadbasket
of agriculture" have been unable to irrigate because their historical source
of water, the Colorado River, has been diverted, via aqueducts, so L.A.'s
mushrooming population can water their lawns. Elsewhere in the world, huge
lakes have been almost totally drained to provide for the agriculture needed
by a burgeoning population; they're not there anymore, and we are at a
breaking point. The effects of freshwater shortage aren't limited to drinking
water and showers. A major effect will be to make agriculture, as we know
it, impossible, leading to food shortages, and eventually, mass famine.
Technology has provided many work-arounds to some aspects of environmental
devastation (e.g. electric cars and solar power) brought by an over-the-line
population; but technology can't cure this one. Some farmers have tried
to conserve by resorting to drip irrigation and enclosed greenhouses, and
then there's always desalination of ocean water for household needs. But
we'll never be able to desalinate enough to water fields of wheat, and
many other of our agricultural staples. Those sources of food, as well
as some textiles, like cotton, will be lost; or at the very least, become
in short supply, hard to get, and expensive. The sustainable answer lies
in limiting our population, and hence demand, to balance the clean freshwater
that nature provides us.
**See the PBS documentary, "H2O: The Molecule That Made Us".
• All successful species, from insects like the forest tent caterpillar, to the ancient Mayans, to today's people, experience massive growth in their population, until it exceeds their resources; then the species suffers extensive die-offs, and sometimes extinction. Humans are a particularly successful species, that has conquered all others, and is now breeding itself into oblivion. We're presently about halfway there.
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." -- Walt Kelly• 15 Billion is a special number. It is the projected population, given present rate of growth, in about year 2060. With over 8 billion now (up from 5 billion in the early 1990s), we're over halfway there. Using the well-established conservation of energy principle, researchers have projected that, with a world population of 15 billion, we will have reached the finite limit of the capacity, for the small part of the sun's energy which falls on the earth, to provide for the caloric energy requirements of that population. In short, it's the absolute food limit, assuming that all possible places where food can be grown are, by then, utilized.
Walt Kelly quote used by permission of Okefenokee Glee & Perloo, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
(Sources: Discover Magazine, circa 1992; see also "Growth and It's Implications for the Future," hearing with appendix, ninety-third Congress (1973) (https://archive.org/stream/growthitsimplica00unit/growthitsimplica00unit_djvu.txt))• 2/3rds of the earth's surface is covered with water, so best to cultivate a taste for seaweed and rice. At 15 billion, starvation will be commonplace; quality of life for those who survive will be greatly reduced; and complex foods, like beef, pork, or fish will be absolute luxuries -- only available to the very wealthy. Even now, the cost of food in the U.S. is beginning to be affected. Think about how many new kids you see each day, at the market, in parking lots, etc.; who, in a few short years, will be people. As that happens, these economic consequences will get much worse, much sooner than most think.
• At these numbers, you don't even want to think about the effect on availability and cost of petroleum and other non-renewable mineral resources that we use every day. Electric cars and solar power? Sure. But airplanes can't fly without gas; and the ships and the 18-wheel trucks that support world commerce can't deliver without it either (an electric 18-wheeler is, theoretically, possible, but is presently a long ways off). As did the 2000s spike in diesel fuel prices, this will affect the cost of almost everything you buy, again, lowering standards of living and quality of life.
• Our infrastructures (roads, utilities, communications, etc.) are already well-taxed, even at present population levels. In 16 years, most of those new kids, that you now see in strollers or shopping carts, will each be another car on the highway. Who do you think will be paying the increasingly higher costs of building and maintaining the expanded infrastructures that will be needed? And, again, what do you think that will do for the cost of petrol (gas), the percentage of your earnings that you have to spend on it, and, again, the cost of all commodities that have to be transported with it?
• We have already fished out or killed over 90% of the big fish in the oceans; and as vast as they are, the oceans, themselves, are now becoming polluted. In time, this may affect the oceanic phytoplankton that produce most of the oxygen that people breathe.
• The devastation of global Climate Change is a direct result of human activity, primarily from burning carbon-based fuels (e.g. gasoline, diesel fuel, coal, etc.) in industry and in vehicles. The more people we have, the more vehicles we'll have, and the more industry we'll need. More people = more pollution. A transition to alternate forms of energy only puts a temporary Band-Aid® on the symptom; it doesn't cure the disease.
• The Earth is resilient. It has a continuing and renewable capacity to provide humans with resources and absorb their wastes (including, to a degree, carbon dioxide, and industrial wastes -- the worst ones), but only within finite parameters. When population overwhelms those parameters, the environmental damage quickly becomes profound. Firstly, the damage reduces that population in ways that people term as "catastrophic"; then the Earth corrects its balance, but that can take a very, very long time, during which it may not be a particularly comfortable place for humans to live.
• And the researchers also wrote that an almost doubling of world human population, to 15 billion, would come only with the extinction of most other terrestrial species. We are seeing this happening right now, with, for example, the burning of the South American rain forests, to produce land on which soybeans can be grown, to be fed to pigs in China, in order to meet the food requirements of the current human population. Some say that we currently lose as many as 150 species per day, including species, both plant and animal, from which new medicines might be derived (the rain forest is rich in this sort of thing).
THIS BLEAK SCENARIO DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN, BUT IT WILL, AS LONG AS PEOPLE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE (and as some pastors teach) THAT WAR, STARVATION, AND DISEASE ARE, SOMEHOW, MORE RIGHTEOUS AND PROPER FORMS OF POPULATION CONTROL THAN THOSE THAT WE MIGHT CHOOSE TO IMPLEMENT, BY INITIATIVE.
ULTIMATELY, IF WE DON'T DO SO, PROVIDENCE WILL CONTROL HUMAN POPULATION, BUT WE MIGHT NOT LIKE THE WAYS THAT HE DOES THAT. PROVIDENCE ALSO GAVE US THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM TO CONTROL OUR PROCREATIVITY. IT IS LOGICAL THAT HE INTENDED THAT WE USE IT.
A POLICY OF ZERO NET POPULATION GROWTH IS A RATIONAL ANSWER TO STABILIZING POPULATION AT (barely) SUSTAINABLE LEVELS, AND MINIMIZING FURTHER ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES MAY DEPEND UPON IT; THEIR CONTINUED QUALITY OF LIFE CERTAINLY DOES.
IF YOU WOULD RATHER PRESERVE
THE ENVIRONMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, THAN TO MAKE ANOTHER
PERSON, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL CHAPTER OF
PLANNED PARENTHOOD; THEY'LL EXPLAIN HOW.
IT'S A TOUGH JOB, AND THEY DO IT WELL.
Opinions and representations
herein are solely those of The Amalgamated Good Foundation. They do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of Planned Parenthood; of Walt Kelly;
of Okefenokee Glee & Perloo, Inc.; or of any other author, person or
entity whose work is cited, quoted, or otherwise used herein.
The publisher of this page, THE AMALGAMATED GOOD FOUNDATION, is not affiliated with Planned Parenthood in any way.
THE AMALGAMATED GOOD FOUNDATION is a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.
Contributions to The Amalgamated Good Foundation are tax-deductible.
Contributions to Planned Parenthood are also tax-deductible (and very worthwhile), but should be made directly to Planned Parenthood (see their site for details), and not through The Amalgamated Good Foundation.
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Help save the Earth and its quality of life.
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