Should Climate Change Keep Us from Having Kids?
The US is decades into declining birth rates. The ripples go on and on.
Answers in Genesis offers perspective from the biblical world view with implications for families, healthcare, politics, and more.
by Ken Ham on July 3, 2023
Ideas have consequences. And the climate alarmism screamed every day through the media to terrify people into drastic action certainly has consequences. For example, a recent survey of 5,000 parents from Mexico, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US highlights just one of these consequences—fewer children are being born.
Of the 5,000 parents surveyed, 91% said they are “concerned about the climate crisis.” How concerned are they? Well, over half—53%—shared that their apprehensions about the future of earth’s climate “ha[ve] impacted their perspective on having more children.” Yes, people are choosing not to have children because they are concerned about the physical climate of the world their children will grow up in.
Now, for those of us who understand that climate alarmism is driven not by raw, scientific data, but by a specific interpretation of the evidence and computer models based on assumptions, parents deciding not to have more children because of their climate fears may seem very shocking. But I also shake my head because non-Christians believe that when you die, that is the end of you. So why even care about what happens in the future anyway? Secularists believe the whole universe will die eventually, so ultimately everything is meaningless.
But I wonder how many Christians are doing the same thing regarding having children based on their fears about the future and what we could call “spiritual climate change”?
As we look at the world around us, the culture is getting so dark, and social and moral chaos abounds. It’s easy to feel discouraged and for Christians to think, “How can I bring children into a world that’s so dark and depraved?” But this way of thinking fails to understand that:
- The culture has always been dark. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, we’ve lived in a world that is groaning because of sin (Romans 8:22), filled with people who have hearts that are blinded to the truth and who therefore love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). The world has always been dark!
- God is in control. God is sovereign over everything—including the darkness that is permeating our culture. None of this comes as a surprise to him, and he’s in control over what is happening. All things are working to accomplish his good will.
- God never told us to stop having children just because evil runs rampant! He told us to be fruitful and multiply at the beginning (Genesis 1:28) and then repeated that command after the flood (Genesis 9:1). Scripture teaches that children are a blessing from the Lord—not just when times are good, but all the time! They are always a blessing!
- God designed the family to pass along a godly legacy and to be light in the darkness. The family is the educational unit God designed to declare his truth to the next generation—to continue that spiritual legacy (Deuteronomy 6:7; Psalm 145:4; Malachi 2:15). Even when the culture is dark, God uses faithful dads and moms, who love him and love his Word, as the primary means through which he grows the church. Family is God’s design and his good plan!
This world will continue to groan (sometimes seemingly louder than at other times!), but God will continue to build his church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Don’t let fear keep you from enjoying the blessing that children are. This world will continue to groan (sometimes seemingly louder than at other times!), but God will continue to build his church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Get More Answers on Answers News
This item was discussed today on Answers News with cohosts Dr. Jennifer Rivera, Roger Patterson, and Jessica Jaworski. Answers News is our weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum, broadcast on our Answers in Genesis YouTube channel, and posted to Answers TV. We also covered the following topics:
- Who will aliens call first?
- Were ancient humans cannibals?
- People are losing faith—what are they replacing it with?
- And more!
The Washington Examiner reports today that regardless of the world going to the dogs, Americans seem to be overcoming the doom and gloom philosophy with a return to family values - in the literal sense.
Desire for large families hits 50-year high in America: GallupA growing number of people in America prefer families of three or more children, hitting the highest desire for large families since 1971.
According to a Gallup survey released Monday, the number of people who prefer smaller and larger family sizes are statistically tied, bouncing back from a decadeslong trend of believing one or two children was ideal.
"Overall, this recent survey shows that Americans might finally be climbing out of the anti-family bomb shelter caused by the myths of the 1960’s of a population explosion disaster," Terry Schilling, the president of the American Principles Project, told theWashington Examiner. "Favoring more children is a sign that Americans are returning to basic principles and values that life was made for — bringing forth the next generation through the family."
Forty-five percent now favor larger families, with 29% finding three children as ideal, 12% who prefer four, and 2% each who prefer five, six, or more.
That is compared to 47% who believe two or fewer children is ideal, with 44% preferring two children and 3% preferring one. Two percent believe the ideal family should not include children.
Gallup pointed to several social trends from past decades that may have contributed to the decline in having children, including the preference for larger families "plummeting" from 70% in 1967 to 52% in 1972 "fueled at least in part by concerns about a global population explosion, resulting from the 1968 bestselling book entitled The Population Bomb."
The organization started tracking this data in 1936, when 64% preferred three children, reaching a peak in 1945 at 77%. However, by 1973, the strong preference for families of one or two children became the norm, evidenced by the 50% drop in children-per-family from the peak of the baby boom to 1.8 children in 1980.
What stands out to Schilling, however, is that only 8% do not wish to have children, leaving over 90% with the desire for children at any amount.
"The 8% of America that’s anti-family has way too much representation in our culture — especially in entertainment, politics, news media, academia, and even corporations," Schilling said.
Gallup notes that people under the age of 30 are at least twice as likely to say they do not want children, but the "vast majority" continue to prefer having children. Twenty-one percent of that age group already has children, and 63% hope to have children in the future.
Moreover, 69% of those who already have children want more, as well as 15% of 18- to 40-year-olds who want to be parents someday. Six percent of childless people aged 41 and older also wished they had children.
While ideal family size is not significantly different from men to women, other demographic traits do trend in certain directions.
Young people aged 18-29 are more likely than any other age group to prefer larger family sizes, and black and Hispanic people are also more likely to prefer larger families. In addition, Republicans, conservative independents, and lower-income residents tend to prefer families with more children.
By contrast, Democrats, non-religious, and wealthy residents are more likely to prefer only one or two children.
Despite stated preferences, birth rates have been on the decline, and adults are starting families much later in life, which is highly correlated to smaller family sizes.
In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the average age of a woman who had her first child was 27.3 years, a record high.
Part of the answer for fertility declines, author Melanie Notkin writes in a piece for the Institute for Family Studies, is that much like the effect of The Population Bomb in the 1960s and 1970s, "we have a similar trend with the rise of anti-natalism where its nihilistic supporters believe the world is too sad a place to bring children into, along with climate change 'doomerism.' More practically, the current economy makes family forming more challenging for many young Americans."
However, the public has appeared to cut through some of the popular trends, Schilling told the Washington Examiner.
"There are so many policies across the cultural and economic spectrum that make family formation much more difficult, and it’s a true testament to the beauty and intrinsic value of the family that in spite of all the hurdles before us, we still desire children and family," he said.
Breccan F. Thies is an investigative reporter for theWashington Examiner. He previously covered education and culture issues atBreitbart News. A Virginia native, Thies graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019, where he earned a degree in foreign affairs and minored in history.
In other news, my sister is due any day now.
And in the past week my smallish church celebrated baptism of one infant and births of three more. All were born to separate families. Only one was a firstborn; one was #5.
Carl Sandberg said, "A baby is God's opinion that life should go on."
And right on cue, the Biden administration. 😞
As reported by the Heritage Action for America:
NEW: Stop Biden's Abortion Rule
In 2022, Congress passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), a law intended to protect pregnant mothers in the workplace. Now, the Biden administration is weaponizing this law to push for more abortions.
President Biden, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC), is using the PWFA to issue a proposed rule requiring employers to make accommodations for abortions.
The rule is subject to a public comment period until October 10th. Heritage Action is launching a new comment portal TODAY. Submit your comment HERE and share with all your pro-life friends!
A backup link to the comment section: https://heritageaction.quorum.us/campaign/51243/
Since Dobbs, the real action for life is with individuals, local communities, and state health policy.
Don't miss Michigan's own abortion bill drama: https://mihealthfreedom.org/community/postid/374/
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