Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby It Like Beckham

This might be rocky.  I promise I'm going somewhere - just stay with me.

There are few topics that get my goat like overpopulation alarmism.  You'll hear it called Malthusian catastrophe, sometimes.   You've seen it, because it's everywhere.  The idea itself has made the rounds for a few hundred years, but it really wedged itself into mainstream thinking with the publication of Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb in 1968.  Heck, I can remember well-meaning science teachers frightening us about this stuff when I was a teenager.

To summarize a few of the gory details, folks like Ehrlich, Thomas Malthus and many more basically theorized that since the earth and its resources are finite, an upward, exponential trend in human population will eventually destroy us all because we'll simply exhaust the food/clean water/living space we have.  It's a fairly logical idea.

The problem is, it's not true.  Population growth has absolutely skyrocketed since the alarm was raised about two centuries ago, with living standards throughout the world generally improving, not the other way round.

True or not, there are some really very nasty public policy ideas that naturally follow from this type of thinking:  legalizing (and encouraging) abortion, allowing certain death rates to rise, eugenics, Chinese-style limits on family size, you name it.

So this brings me to David Beckham.  Really.  Mr. Beckham, of soccer/footballing fame, welcomed his fourth child into the world last week.  You might have heard that a few Brit papers sniffed that having this *ahem* outrageous number of children was "environmentally irresponsible" and that the Beckhams were "very bad role models."

Wow.  I mean, where do you even start?

I wonder if the overpopulation myth is where general hatred for parents and kids comes from.  Everyone knows that "good" people:
  • Have few kids, if any (moral restraint)
  • Meticulously recycle and drive hybrid cars (religious worship/good deeds)
  • Eat only organic/free range/etc. food (a new "kosher," as others have noted)
  • Publicly defend the environment/earth/nature/etc. (proselytizing)
  • Donate to activist organizations (alms giving)
These are the basic tenets of the new religion.  Of course, "bad" people don't live within these wonderful conventions.  *Gulp*  Hey, and there's nothing inherently wrong with some of the stuff above.  But, as in everything, motives do matter.  Tremendously.

Look at the comments section for (non-Chuck E. Cheese) restaurant reviews where kids are welcome.  The anti-family vitriol from the usually younger, single, and/or childless folks is at times downright evil.  Normally this would just be classified as rude behavior.

But when the environmental movement gives its blessing, and coos that you're actually doing the responsible thing by calling out these filthy "breeders" (a term that will instantly land you in a fistfight with this dad, by the way), you're not a jerk - you're virtuous.

So making snide comments to pregnant women surrounded by little ones in the supermarket is totally fine.  Ridiculing families (of any size) and those who would like to be parents is commendable.  It's your civic and moral duty.  Like voting or driving the speed limit.

When I get really fired up about the war on families, I take comfort in one thought.  The militantly anti-family/anti-child have a little demographic problem, themselves:

They might just breed their ideology into extinction.

Here are The Boston Globe and Washington Examiner articles, if you're interested:

1 comment:

Donna said...

Amen. I've been meaning to comment on this- our views are like yours (after all we are breeders) and Marc actually subscribes to the emails from the population resarch institute so I GET THIS.