Climate change fears keep some Americans from having kids, study finds
By Bruce Golding
Fears that climate change will make the Earth uninhabitable are leading some Americans to decide against having kids, according to a report Friday.
The first-of-its-kind study found that 96.5 percent of people surveyed said they were “very” or “extremely” concerned about the impact of global warming on the well-being of their potential offspring, the Guardian said.
“I feel like I can’t in good conscience bring a child into this world and force them to try and survive what may be apocalyptic conditions,” a 27-year-old woman told researchers.
Another participant in the study, published in the scientific journal Climatic Change, worried that future weather conditions would “rival world war one in its sheer terror.”
In addition to those people who said they’d forgo reproduction, 6 percent said they felt bad about already having brought children into the world, according to the Guardian.
“I regret having my kids because I am terrified that they will be facing the end of the world due to climate change,” a 40-year-old mom said.
The study, titled “Eco-reproductive concerns in the age of climate change,” involved 607 Americans between the ages of 27 and 45.
Everyone surveyed was already factoring climate change into whether or not they’d have kids, the Guardian said.
Three-quarters of the participants were women, but researchers found no statistically significant differences between the responses of women and men.
Younger people expressed greater concerns than older people, however.
One of the study’s co-authors, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson of Yale-NUS College in Singapore, called the feedback “really deep and emotional.”
“It was often heartbreaking to pore through the responses – a lot of people really poured their hearts out,” he told the Guardian.