Last updated on February 22nd, 2022 at 07:13 pm
Evidently, the “demographic winter”, a fitting expression coined by the Belgian Jesuit Father Michel Schooyans to define the collapse in birth rates that has affected the Western world over the last twenty-five or thirty years, frightens few people. Or, turning the question upside down, there are many who are afraid of the climate emergency and think they can solve it, or at least contain it, by limiting the number of human beings on the planet.
The combination of the race for sustainability in view of the goals of Agenda 2030 and the so-called “sexual and reproductive rights” for all women, i.e. indiscriminate abortion and contraception, however, are perhaps not yet enough in this surge of neo-Malthusianism that considers the human being a disturbing element and, if possible, to be eliminated.
This is what comes to mind when considering the British newspaper The Guardian, on whose website we read that a consistent and increasing number of young men have resorted or are about to resort to vasectomy, that is the resection, after ligation, of the vas deferens, through which the testicular sperm should pass. The choice would seem to take place precisely in a green logic, environmental sustainability, reduction of the consumption of natural resources and containment of energy use.
Not only men already fathers, by the way, would resort to this practice of male sterilization, minimally invasive, in theory reversible, but with a rate of subsequent pregnancies for the couple only 30%. Even young men who are not yet fathers will almost automatically give up being fathers, at least biologically.
“Although reliable data on the numbers and motivations for vasectomy are scarce, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that, worldwide, childless men are doing so,” the newspaper states. “Nick Demediuk, an Australian primary care physician and one of the most active vasectomy surgeons in the world, says most of his patients are fathers over the age of 35. But the doctor, who has completed more than 40,000 procedures since 1981, now estimates that about 200 of the 4,000 patients his clinic sees each year are younger, childless men. About 130 of them claim to be doing it for the planet.” And that’s just one of the examples.
A 2017 study published in the scientific journal Environmental Reserch Letters and equally reported by the Guardian already indicated that the most effective action a person could take to save the Planet would be to give up having children.
Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, associate professor of Environmental Studies in Yale-NUS College, Singapore, is the author of a forthcoming book on the topic of “eco-reproductive” choice. Last year, it conducted a survey of 600 people, ages 27 to 45, who were concerned about the climate crisis. Of those, 96% feared their children would struggle to grow up healthy or even survive devastating climate scenarios, while 60% were concerned about the carbon footprint of their eventual offspring. That is, for future humanity’s demand for natural resources, whose unit of measurement (literally, “carbon footprint”) is the parameter used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions caused by products, services, organizations, events, and individuals.
Vasectomy aside, in fact, there are many worrying signs of a widespread mentality especially among the younger generations, who see in an alleged overpopulation the number one enemy of the Earth, so fond of Nature with a capital letter to want to eliminate a part of it, that of human beings.
The echo of their fears is spreading in recent years in Europe, in the United States of America, in Australia, and does not fail to reach even the provincial Italian cities, if already a couple of years ago a a leaflet distributed by the City of Cremona, then hastily withdrawn amidst the controversy, listed “the four most effective individual actions to mitigate climate change”: eat less red meat, do not travel by car or plane, and have fewer children. Nor are scholars who, instead, argue that “the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric inputs is now 5%, with the rest coming from emissions from the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans” much listened to.
In a sort of collective hysteria, it seems that an increasing number of people think that, rather than face possible problems arising from the human presence on the Planet, it is preferable to eliminate it altogether, of their own choice, by their own hand. What would be called, literally, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”