--- Subscription Options ----------------
Subscribe to this blog via RSS

Recent Posts

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Oregon State University recently released a study linking carbon emissions to human reproduction. Besides providing fodder for China's population control agencies, the report contains a common economic fallacy. I previously posted on the same fallacy with regard to carbon abatement.

The study concludes:

When an individual produces a child - and that child potentially produces more descendants in the future - the effect on the environment can be many times the impact produced by a person during their lifetime.

Under current conditions in the United States, for instance, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent - about 5.7 times the lifetime emissions for which, on average, a person is responsible.
Apparently, carbon Malthusianism is the next big theory in population control. Thankfully, the study's authors state that they do not support government efforts to control population; they simply want to make people aware of (guilty for?) their actions (having sex).

However, their study fails to consider how couples will spend their extra money that would have otherwise been used to raise their children. According to MSN Money:
For 2004, the newest data available, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that families making $70,200 a year or more will spend a whopping $269,520 to raise a child from birth through age 17.
The report's authors failed to determine how couples will spend this quarter-million dollars and the resulting carbon emissions. Additionally, you must incorporate the future loss to the labor force. This has drastic consequences, as China will experience in coming decades.

In 2050, China's population will reach its peak, given current fertility rates. The country will begin to feel the effects of population aging. As an increasingly larger percentage of the country’s population enters old age, the available workforce declines and the medical and social costs of supporting such a demographic increase drastically.

Posted by Eleutherian

Submit to Reddit
Submit to Reddit
Digg This Post
This Post
Stumble This Post
Stumble This Post
Reading: Carbon Malthusianism and Economic FallacyTweet This
This Post
Add To Delicious
Add to Del.icio.us
Fave on Technorati
Fave on Technorati


Post a Comment