Econundrum: Kids vs. Earth?

May 11, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Alexandra Paul for this article from Mother Jones.
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Last week, we held a household conservation smackdown. Change out lightbulbs? Retrofit your windows? Drive less? The answers are here.

But there’s one thing you can do with carbon-saving benefits that wildly surpass all of the activities on last week’s list: Have fewer kids. Assuming that an American mother and father are each responsible for one half of the emissions of their offspring and 1/4 of the emissions of their grandchildren, researchers at Oregon State University recently calculated that each child adds a staggering 10,407 tons of carbon dioxide to an average female’s carbon legacy, the equivalent of 5.7 times her lifetime emissions, or an extra 470 years of life. You’d have to change out 2,623 incandescent bulbs to offset a child’s carbon footprint.

For full article and to read comments, visit:
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2009/10/econundrum-kids-vs-earth


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