According to a recent Insider poll, about a third of Americans and around 38% of respondents between the ages 18 and 29 agree that the adverse effects of climate change should be considered when discussing whether to raise a family or not.
This poll was the highlight of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ comments last week saying that some young people are now worried about having kids because of the threat of climate change.
She further supported her announcement by saying that our planet is nearing doomsday if we don’t do something. She pointed out that the most affected of all are children. Ocasio-Cortez also noted that even if you don’t have children, there are still kids all around the world and we have the moral responsibility to provide a better and safer environment for them.
Climate Change A Threat To The Next Generation?
The New York representative asked the younger generation if it is still OK to have children. This question was not met with encouraging comments in social media and conservatives even argued Ocasio-Cortez might be pushing for outlawing children.
The Insider poll using SurveyMonkey has revealed that about 30% of Americans were in favor of considering the dangerous effects of climate change when it comes to starting their own families. The poll also showed that only around 8% of the respondents strongly agree that climate change may pose a risk to having kids.
The survey also revealed that only about 40% of respondents are not in favor or strongly disagree that climate change is essential. Only 18% of the total respondents were not in favor of considering climate change when it comes to planning a family.
Highlighting the results of this survey, a large number of respondents may be worried about the effects of climate change on the next generations. Their concerns may be enough to influence their decision in starting their own families.
This decision not to have kids may also impact future generations. It is said that even if climate change can negatively affect the quality of life of future generations, the US birthrate continues to be at its record low since 2017.
Supposing climate change is not addressed soon; fewer and fewer Americans will consider having children. The low birth rate can have negative economic consequences as well. The reduced working age population (from 15 to 64 years old) can severely affect the financial health of major cities. This is because it is within this age category where productive labor for businesses belongs.
Younger vs. Older Generations
The view on whether climate change should be considered when having kids is entirely different between younger and older Americans. 25% of the participants from 45 to 60 years old said that climate change should be regarded. About 20% of the respondents over 60 said the same thing. But around 47% of the participants that were older than 69 agreed that climate change should not be accounted for raising a family.
The considerable difference in the views of younger and older generations may not just be about the worry of having children. This was demonstrated by a separate question which revealed that more than 85% of the respondents agreed that couples should include the ability to provide for their children a happy life in their decision to have kids.
Another survey conducted by the New York Times in 2018 also found that 11% of the participants did not want kids or were not yet sure about having children. These respondents mentioned that they had this feeling because they were uneasy about climate change. Still, the same survey also uncovered that 33% of the respondents were having fewer kids than what they wanted because of climate change.