Earlier this week, the Senate voted on the New Green Deal created and endorsed by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When it was first introduced weeks ago, the proposal was met with immediate derision by nearly every politician, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), over its juvenile content and reference to “farting cows.”
Despite the ludicrous nature of the New Green Deal, and its $100 trillion price tag, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought it up for a vote. As Senators took turns debating the bill, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) had a particularly amusing tongue-in-cheek approach meant to highlight the rather absurd recommendations located in the proposal. His presentation included an image of President Ronald Raegan riding a velociraptor while firing a machine gun, which Senator Lee stated has about as much to do with the U.S. winning the Cold War as the Green New Deal has with alleviating the supposed effects of climate change.
It was an amusing and clever repudiation of a proposal that ended up without a single “yes” vote in the chamber, but Senator Lee also highlighted something incredibly important:
“This, Mr. President, is the real solution to climate change: babies…More babies mean bigger markets for innovation. More babies mean more forward-looking adults—the sort we need to tackle long-term, large scale problems.”
Proponents of climate change have a different approach. They believe that the end is nigh, and that the world will soon be plunged into some sort of catastrophic environmental event that will have a detrimental impact on life. Some young adults, specifically millennials, have decided that the best approach to this impending doom is to not have any children at all. In an article in USA Today about the climate-inspired #birthstrike movement, one woman even described the future of the world as a “hellscape” she doesn’t want to raise a child in.
It’s an interesting approach to a questionable cause. It also misses the general point that humanity really will die out if no one has children; that’s kind of a given regardless of the environmental future. But will this impending environmental apocalypse really happen? While our generation might have access to some of the most advanced technology in the history of the world, our ability to look into the future environment for a planet that most scientists argue is millions of years old based on 150 years’ worth of scientifically accumulated data is limited at best.
For example, scientists recently announced that a melting glacier that was the poster child for climate change has actually started to regrow and thicken in Greenland. Although they said it is only a temporary situation, it was something scientists were not expecting. In another example, a couple of years ago the melting of a glacier in Alaska unearthed an ancient forest that was over 1,000 years old. A sign that at one point instead of ice there was a forest that supported life and proves the point that maybe a world with less ice is less dire than it seems. Our ability to understand the complex planet that God created is microscopic, we can’t even say what is at the bottom of most of our oceans, and thus the decision to forgo having children based on a theoretical future almost seems to border on the absurd.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect the planet and minimize some of the negative impact that humans can have, but it should not come at the cost of human lives. In Genesis 1:28, the first thing that God tells Adam and Eve to do is “be fruitful and multiply.” He doesn’t tell them to have children only when it seems socially or environmentally acceptable. If that was really a future problem, I think He would have mentioned it.
Family and children are good things. Whether through birth or adoption, children are a blessing to the world. There is no guarantee that the dire predictions of climate change will happen—at this point many of those devastating predictions are only speculation. But I think that Senator Lee had the best answer to the so-called problem of climate change.
“The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution, but the serious business of human flourishing—the solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married, and have some kids,” Senator Lee said.
That sounds like a good plan to me.