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Too many kids? - Page 8

post #141 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
This is interesting. Apparently the pp's prediction that environmentally-conscious parents raising 10 kids are always going to make a bigger footprint than parents raising 2, isn't that accurate.

According to that pp, ALL children who grow up in large families, grow up to have large families, and on and on and on. Here's an example of at least 2 who didn't.
Okay, say that some have the same size family, some have smaller. But some will have larger.

My husband has an aunt who is one of 19. No matter how many of her siblings choose to have none or one or two ... the fact is that a family of 19 will have a larger carbon footprint in the next generation than a family of 2. Even with several of her siblings choosing no family or small families, she has 120 nieces and nephews on her side. On her DH's side (my husbands uncle) - she has 5.
post #142 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
Okay, say that some have the same size family, some have smaller. But some will have larger.

My husband has an aunt who is one of 19. No matter how many of her siblings choose to have none or one or two ... the fact is that a family of 19 will have a larger carbon footprint in the next generation than a family of 2. Even with several of her siblings choosing no family or small families, she has 120 nieces and nephews on her side. On her DH's side (my husbands uncle) - she has 5.
Okay ... but it's still a matter of interpretation: you seem to think 5 is better than 120. I think each and every new life is something to celebrate -- and I'm not implying that you don't celebrate life, either, just that we obviously have different ways of looking at the same issue.

The more people there are, the more diverse ways there are of looking at all the issues ... more people may create more problems but, the more minds there are to think about the problems, the better the chance of solutions, and on and on ...
post #143 of 219
Quote:
The more people there are, the more diverse ways there are of looking at all the issues ... more people may create more problems but, the more minds there are to think about the problems, the better the chance of solutions, and on and on ...
Yup. Sometimes we're our own worst enemy. Sometimes, we're our best hope. THe world would have missed out on a lot of greats had a 2-child family been the norm through the centuries, and we will miss out on more greats if it becomes the norm in the future.
post #144 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Yup. Sometimes we're our own worst enemy. Sometimes, we're our best hope. THe world would have missed out on a lot of greats had a 2-child family been the norm through the centuries, and we will miss out on more greats if it becomes the norm in the future.
And using that logic, we will also miss out on more mass murderers, terrorists, polluters, dictators and the like.
post #145 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
Wow. This is great, really what I was looking for.
Thank you soooooooo much for your thoughts.
Rockies 5, I also appreciate your insights and honesty on this subject. Thanks!
post #146 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
And using that logic, we will also miss out on more mass murderers, terrorists, polluters, dictators and the like.
I guess it depends on our views of human nature.

I tend to take an optimistic view of each new child that's born into the world. I see more good possibilities than bad.
post #147 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I guess it depends on our views of human nature.

I tend to take an optimistic view of each new child that's born into the world. I see more good possibilities than bad.

Optimism is nice, but it's not logical. So yes, the more babies born, the more chance for great people and awful ones, right?

Same w/ carbon footprints - there will certainly be those "exception to the rules" families, but OVERALL and OVERWHELMINGLY, families that have a bunch of kids are making a much larger impact on the environment than small families.

Look, have a bunch of kids if you want to, but don't deny that it is what it is.
post #148 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Yup. Sometimes we're our own worst enemy. Sometimes, we're our best hope. THe world would have missed out on a lot of greats had a 2-child family been the norm through the centuries, and we will miss out on more greats if it becomes the norm in the future.
I'll write what I always end up writing in these threads.

My mom is a retired principal and teacher. She started teaching in the 1960s. When she first started out, she said on average 50% of each class she taught would be what today is considered "gifted." Very bright, motivated children, with caring parents invested in their education.

Then in the 1970s the "too many children pollute the environment" stuff started. My mom said within 5 years she noticed a drastic change in the quality of the classes she was seeing. Instead of a 50% "gifted" component, there would be only 1 or 2 children per class who would be considered especially bright, and whose parents were deeply involved and committed to their education.

In other words, the intelligent, conscientious people stopped having children, while the uneducated ones and/or the ones who didn't care kept having them.

If you need me to spell it out for you, the social implications of this are that society is intellectually and morally dragged downward in the name of environmentalism. More power is put in the hands of fewer people. The populace becomes more passive and less intellectually charged by virtue of its make up.

My mother, while not necessarily approving of my large family size (for reasons other than environment), has always told me the above anecdote when the issue of family size comes up. The greatest tragedy of the zero population movement is that it created a reverse eugenics that subtracts talent, consciousness, and intellect from the genepools of the developed world.
post #149 of 219
I'm youngest of 9. The only thing I wish was different is that I'm not really close to all my siblings. But that could be our family dynamic as much as our size.
post #150 of 219
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Dallaschildren
post #151 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Okay ... but it's still a matter of interpretation: you seem to think 5 is better than 120. I think each and every new life is something to celebrate -- and I'm not implying that you don't celebrate life, either, just that we obviously have different ways of looking at the same issue.

The more people there are, the more diverse ways there are of looking at all the issues ... more people may create more problems but, the more minds there are to think about the problems, the better the chance of solutions, and on and on ...
I know we're getting way off topic here, but my opinion is colored by the fact that my DH does agricultural research. I've seen the charts he has on the amounts of "tillable" land on the planet, the percentages of it currently under cultivation, and the outputs possible from it with "ideal" yields of current crops. Earth isn't full yet, and redistribution of food resources from richer to poorer countries would help a lot -- but statistically, there will be a point --sooner or later -- at which the population exceeds the ability of the tillable soil on the earth to produce enough calories to feed everyone. Current projections put that point a little sooner than most people think. The faster we get there, the less ready we will be for it with better, more sustainable farming practices.

I'm not a zero-population-growth advocate. I just think we need to be sure we're not lemmings rushing off the cliff. Yes, one of those 120 kids in my post above might be the one to discover a solution to the problem; but if they didn't, one of the 5 might be able to, as well.
post #152 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Bolding mine.

I suppose you may have some statistics to back up your assertion that ALL children from large families will grow up to have large families -- as well as your assertion that ALL children from small families will grow up to have small families.

What I see IRL, is that some children grow up to do things similarly to their parents, and some totally diverge.


Using DH's large family:

Sibling 1- 2 kids
Sibling 2- 6 kids
Sibling 3- 3 kids
Sibling 4- 3 kids
Sibling 5- 5 kids
Silbing 6- 3 kids
Sibling 7- none

All but 2 and maybe 3 of those are done having children.

and my large family:

Sibling 1- 6 children
Sibling 2- 6 children
Sibling 3- 3 children
Sibling 4- 5 children
Sibling 5- 4 children
Sibling 6- 5 children
Sibling 7- 4 children
Sibling 8- 3 children
Sibling 9- 3 children

One or two may or may not have more children.
post #153 of 219
Yes - but mammal_mama was asking about all large families.

My ex-MIL is one of 13. She had 2 kids (each of whom had one) - one of her sisters had 1 - one brother had 2. The last time I had any contact with them, that was it. Her youngest brother was only about 27 at that time, so he may have gone on to have some kids, but I have no idea how many, if he did. So - out of 13 kids, there was a total of 5 grandkids at last count. The only ones who had kids were my ex and his sister, which meant 2 great-grandkids. Admittedly, there may be more now. My ex-MIL's family live in Ontario, and I certainly haven't had any contact with them since my ex and I split up.

On the flip side, my maternal grandparents had 2 kids. They each had 3 (my generation). On my uncle's side, there are 6 great-grandchildren, with another on the way. On my mom's side, there are 11, and would be 12 if Aaron had lived. I'll probably have 1 more.

So starting with my ex-MIL's parents and my grandparents in the same generation:

My ex-GMIL had 13 kids, and 2 great-grandchildren.
My grandmother had 2 kids, and 18 great-grandchildren.

We can't exactly figure this out as a mathematical problem, because there's no way of knowing how many children our children will have.
post #154 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
Earth isn't full yet, and redistribution of food resources from richer to poorer countries would help a lot -- but statistically, there will be a point --sooner or later -- at which the population exceeds the ability of the tillable soil on the earth to produce enough calories to feed everyone. Current projections put that point a little sooner than most people think. The faster we get there, the less ready we will be for it with better, more sustainable farming practices.
Have you ever read Daniel Quinn's Story of B (sequel to Ishmael)? Since I'm a Christian, there's a lot I disagree with in Quinn's writings -- but I was absolutely intrigued by Quinn's presentation of at least one anthropologist's view of population growth.

Quinn asserts that over-production of food is the reason the world's population keeps increasing. There are some in power who keep insisting we have to continue aggressive agricultural practices in order to make sure everyone gets "enough" food, at affordable enough prices. But the truth (according to Quinn) is that we keep over-producing, and world population keeps increasing in response to the abundance of food.

So ... the abundance of food results in the abundance of people, which big agriculture uses as justification for continuing the aggressive practices that increase population (I'm not sure if Quinn says this, but it's how I see it).

Quinn's idea (expressed through his protagonist) is that when food supply starts to drop off, population will level off, too. He's not advocating starving anyone, either. He simply asserts that people are made of food -- there has to already BE food, for new people to grow.

This makes a lot of sense to me, and I'm strongly in favor of "the powers that be" forgetting about meeting production quotas, and focusing in on the sustainable practices that are the key to health for everyone: earth, and all the plants and creatures that inhabit her.
post #155 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I know we're getting way off topic here, but my opinion is colored by the fact that my DH does agricultural research. I've seen the charts he has on the amounts of "tillable" land on the planet, the percentages of it currently under cultivation, and the outputs possible from it with "ideal" yields of current crops. Earth isn't full yet, and redistribution of food resources from richer to poorer countries would help a lot -- but statistically, there will be a point --sooner or later -- at which the population exceeds the ability of the tillable soil on the earth to produce enough calories to feed everyone. Current projections put that point a little sooner than most people think. The faster we get there, the less ready we will be for it with better, more sustainable farming practices.
But consumption is a different issue from family size. A large family can eat carefully and consume less food than a small family with a high consumption rate eats/ wastes. Packaged and frozen foods are also resource gobblers, compared to homemade food made with basic staples.

The waste and consumption in America alone is sickening... it's not about numbers of people, but the amount each individual consumes. We are a society of waste and indulgence. I can't even stand eating out at restaurants anymore because I'm sickened by the amount of food I see thrown away. I had a friend who waitressed through college and she said it wasn't unusual for people to eat less than 1/4 of the food on her plate. The rest was thrown away.

The last time I went out to eat at a nice restaurant, I was served enough food to feed 3 or more people. It was so disturbing I just swore off eating out entirely.
post #156 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I had a friend who waitressed through college and she said it wasn't unusual for people to eat less than 1/4 of the food on her plate. The rest was thrown away.
Don't people even do doggie bags, anymore? When we don't finish something in a restaurant (that's the kids more often than me or dh), we bring the rest home, and eat it the next day.
post #157 of 219
Well, our doggie bags go to the dog, because we love her

Something else: DH and I are both onlies. My mum and dad were both one of two, his mum and dad were one of three or four respectively. His mum and my dad both died over 10 years ago, when we were in our early twenties.
We're now in a situation where my FIL is wheelchair bound with rheumatoid arthritis and because of shame about his medical conditions, chooses not to leave the house. He's entirely dependent on others, and his brothers, who helped support him before DH finished his education and moved here, are getting on a bit themselves. One has arthritis and is being treated for cancer, one has a wife with alzheimers. They've both got their hands full.
So what this means, bluntly, is that it's down to us. Social services and the district nursing team will do what they can- they do the daily personal care, the washing, the dressing. All the rest of it- including some help with medications- is passed to us to do. Helping him physically manage his money. Shopping. Cleaning. Cooking. The works. And we do it willingly, because we love him- but there's a cost. The cost is us living in fear of my mum having a bad fall, getting alzheimers, rheumatism, anything that would require a comparable level of support, and us feeling forced to choose between our two surviving parents. Just ONE other sibling in our families would ease that pressure on us. And yes, the UK has a pretty good support network for people like my FIL, but they can't- won't- don't, do it all. This could be you. This could be your kids.

Oh, and in terms of consumption, more than half our family's refuse is created by FIL. The convenience/waste correlation, ime, is most closely connected to those who need that ease of use. That's not necessarily young families, but young adults who are learning independence and those at the other end of their lives.
post #158 of 219
It just boggles my mind that there's all this worry about food supply, when all I see (and hear about) is tons and tons of food getting thrown out every day. I recently watched a debate on TV between someone representing big agriculture, and someone representing a more sustainable, organic approach.

The big agriculture guy agreed that organic food tastes better than the mass-produced stuff -- but insisted that most people can't afford organic, and also insisted that our population requires a continued focus on big agriculture, possibly shifting to nuclear power in the near future.

The sustainable guy pointed out that we're over-producing food, but I think he was just kind of ignored.

I just think there are some powerful folks out there who have a strong interest in preserving the agricultural status quo -- and they use population as an excuse to keep disregarding the obvious.
post #159 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by quarteralien View Post
What about societal stability, which is lessened when the birth rate falls below replacement levels, about 2.2 per woman? It has to be more than 2 because not everyone makes it to adulthood. If the population falls, the average age increases, and soon there will be a larger number of retired people than working people to support them. This is also something to consider.

I'm all for taking care of our earth. That is why I will teach my children to do so by example. That way there are even more people to go out into the world and teach others to take care of it.
Oh, yes, I completely agree that it is important to teach children to be good stewards of the environment, and to go out into the world and to teach others.

But population growth is a real issue, and the planet's resources are finite, so more people = less resources, however sustainably used.

Still, we should all strive to lessen our footprint and live as sustainably as possible, no matter how many children we decide to have (granted this is just my opinion based on my own worldview).
post #160 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by quarteralien View Post
If the population falls, the average age increases, and soon there will be a larger number of retired people than working people to support them. This is also something to consider.
Yes, I agree with this in theory. The world population is not decreasing though. If you look at population trends, we are in no danger world wide of population decline.
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