Children are bad for sustainability

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by sun burn, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    ... speaking philosophically and based on an instilled mindset... using both scenarios as examples... people who are raised with less emphasis on the environment, no care for their use of fossil fuels or other non-renewable resources, and the like... verses those who ARE environmentally aware and focus on sustainable use of all resources... renewable or not...

    There is a connection between people who live within their means (financially), and permaculture... Permaculture is partly if not totally based on living within the planets means...

    Those who have kids they "can't afford" typically have no conscious understanding of living within their means and attempt to live a lifestyle based on that... no, not everyone falls into those categories... but with thought and reflection... we can see a pattern forming...
     
  2. Taras

    Taras Junior Member

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    I'm writing from Greece.
     
  3. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    As to children not retaining beliefs, I find that children stray at one point but usually wind up adopting a lot of their parents beliefs in the long run and actually grow into their parents. In the very least this family is just an example of maintaining a growing mindset into the children, good watch as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCPEBM5ol0Q
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Maybe, in theory, but do you know anyone in reality that is living sustainably? I don't. Even the best of permies I've seen are still reliant on things like plastic and oil fuels, cars etc. None of that is currently sustainable.

    Also, a family can't really be sustained off one piece of land. There are always things that need to come from somewhere else. And who's resource base are you taking from and what is the impact?
     
  5. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Very true, but again it comes down to mindset... but if we strive to be environmentally conscious, focus on reducing fossil fuels until an alternative is available, reduce the burden and social implications of traditional living... the impact of having 5 to 10 kids within a permacultural family may be similar to the impact of 2 or 3 kids raised to abuse our unsustainable resources...

    Its not about never relying on outside resources... but limiting the need for them as much as possible...
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Its never an either or situation eric.

    One thing most of us here seem to overlook, apparently anyway, is the use of computers. I do turn mine off when i am not using it but other than that i spent quite a bit of time at my computer. Apparently laptops use a lot less power than desktops but nevertheless, it bears thinking about that computer use is also sucking up energy resources.

    Any eric, i think you, and all of us, should stop pointing the finger at others but keep trying to find ways and sharing them with others here, to reduce your own footprint. I also think instead of focussing on all the negatives that are going on in the world, we should keep our eyes open for the good news, the innovations and efforts people have found to address the problems. I have noticed that most of the news links here are about sharing the bad news. And no one has bothered to add anything to the thread i started which shows an innovative recycling design. Its as if people aren't even interested in that side of the problem. Its almost as though permies enjoy being gloomy.
     
  7. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    I wasn't pointing the finger at anyone Sun Burn, I was simply making a statement based on the topic of this thread... "Children are bad for sustainability..."

    My opinion is that Children aren't bad for sustainability... A use and abuse of resources as if they were in endless supply is bad for sustainability.

    BTW, the start up process of a computer is where the majority of its power is consumed... unless one is not going to be using the computer for several hours, it would use less resources by simply turning the monitor and modem off and leaving the computer on.
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I think my point Eric is that the permie in that situation could choose to do better, and have only 2 kids (or none. I do think that having children is essential to sustainable human cultures though). We think because we're doing what we can that we're sustainable. We're not, we're not even close yet.
     
  9. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    That reminds of what Helen Keller once said...

    "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do..."
     
  10. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    In my opinion this always was, is, and will be a rubbish thread. No matter how enlightened or otherwise some of the posts might be.
     
  11. Taras

    Taras Junior Member

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    I can not disagree with you Grahame. It is only theoretical talk, I still can not see the practical outputs.
     
  12. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    Me too Grahame.
     
  13. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Good point Grahame it also reflects your original reply to this thread...
     
  14. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    You're missing the point. If a good permaculturist has ten kids, the exponential growth in population thereafter is much higher than if they had one. You and Eric seem to be saying that population isn't an issue if we just live well enough. I'm saying there is a limit to population in sustainability terms no matter how good we are. This is why tribal cultures have methods of birth control, abortion and infanticide. It's pretty basic - once you get to the limit of the available resources someone has to die. The only reason we don't know this in the West (or wherever) is because we're stealing from other landbases and we can do that because of oil (and maybe war).
     
  15. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Pebble, Many of the cultures you mention also only have certain members of the culture or tribe who bare the next generation... To be a bride of the "Chief" and be able to have his children is an honor bestowed on only a few...

    Obviously in my example 10 was a way out there figure... One of the biggest problems today is the baby boomer births around the middle of last century... a small family during that time would be a family with 6 kids... I know of families who had 12 and 15 kids during that time...

    More recently, In 2006-07, there were 274,300 births and 134,800 deaths in Australia, resulting in natural increase of 139,500 people, while Net Overseas Migration contributed 177,600 people to Australia's population.

    EDIT: It is also interesting to not that a state of natural decrease, in which deaths outnumber births, is reached in 2048 - though the population will still rise slightly due to immigration...
     
  16. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Pebble which cultures kill their children because they lack the resources? I have never heard of this except in India and its not that traditional and its not tribal. I know that in india for example, female babies are sometimes killed or aborted. For example in india the dowry system has spread in fairly recent times to parts of the population that never had it before. This puts great financial pressure on families who have girls. Parents have to take out loans when a girl is born so that she can be married off when the time comes. (it seems odd they do this at that time but it seems to be the case. Perhaps they find a suitable husband at the time of birth rather than when a wedding is due). But this practice is not a tribal practice in india. This is a very artificial situation. Were it not for the dowry system, these familes could afford to feed their girls. Abortion of girls in more middle class families has also risen a lot over the last half of the last century. Now its illegal of course to abort a child because of its gender.

    Nor have i ever heard of a tribe where its only the chief who is allowed to have children, Eric. Where does this happen?
     
  17. Taras

    Taras Junior Member

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    Spartans killed their children if they could not survived in the wild on their own at the age of seven, but the aim was stronger worriers and not sustainability.
     
  18. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    I thought it was that they killed their children if found with some physical/mental deformity and that the 7 yr old thing was when he went out from the people for one of his many initiations into manhood.
     
  19. Taras

    Taras Junior Member

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    Both boys and girls had to pass that test girls as well were trained in martial arts that ensured that the whole society was educated and trained for the conditions of war.
     
  20. PennyWA

    PennyWA Junior Member

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    Without putting to fine a point on it, consideration of who has children also needs to be considered if progress is to be made. Eg if only thoughtful consumers were allowed to have children would that make a difference? (please note this is a tongue in cheek comment) . The reallity of the situatuion is that population control is the biggest problem we (as a planet) need to solve
     

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