Over 330 people have joined the BirthStrike movement: a group who has declared that their decision not to have kids is in the name of the environment. Since its founding at the end of 2018, 330 people have joined the movement, around 80% of which are women. Even though there are differing perspectives within the group itself, all the members are dedicated to the cause of preserving the environment.
BirthStrike is a unique protest for environmental issues, but there have been several others that have been started in the past. Others include movements in the form of skipping school in protest, getting arrested on purpose, and encouraging eating pig’s feet or cow’s stomach. Just like these movements, BirthStrike is focused on preserving the future, and if we can’t save the planet in time, then it wouldn’t be fair to have children.
Blythe Pepino founded BirthStrike in 2018 because she believes there will be an “ecological Armageddon” due to climate change. She argues that bringing a child into the world at this time would only doom them to a dying world, if we aren’t able to avoid an environmental disaster. The movement is centred around the ethical question of whether or not we should have children in an warming world: would it be fair to bring these kids into a world of ecological disasters, resource scarcity, and inconsistent weather patterns?
On another hand, members of BirthStrike also argue that bringing more children into our current world will just increase the emissions we’re trying to reduce. Some will opt to adopt a child instead of bearing their own children to avoid adding more people into the world. However, this strategy to deal with climate change will not yield immediate results. The one-child policy in China, for example, would only plateau the population growth, and the benefits will be felt most by our grandchildren four generations down.
Instead of simply deciding not to have children or reducing the number of children we’re planning to have, scientists recommend that we focus on reducing our collective carbon footprint first. A shift in our lifestyles is greatly needed, especially since we are seeing the adverse effects of our actions now. For our own sake and our children’s (if you didn’t join the BirthStrike), we need to live greener lives.