Aussie Climate Scientist: Having a Baby is an “ethical entanglement”

Image from gizmodo.com

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

For a climate activist, having babies is apparently a troubling ethical dilemma, a distressing personal contribution to the global anthropogenic carbon footprint. But somehow they keep popping them out.

I’m worried having a baby will make climate change worse

Sophie Lewis

Part of my motivation for becoming a climate scientist was my grave worries for our future and my desire to make a positive contribution. In today’s world, this isn’t straightforward.

Earlier this year, I wrote publicly of my qualms around desiring children. I have always loved children and always wanted children in my own life. At the same time, among my friends and colleagues, such ordinary desires are increasingly accompanied by long, complex conversations about the ethics of such aspirations.

Children born today face a dramatically different climate future than their parents did. A child born today is a child of a changing – and extreme – global climate. The decision to have a child is a decision to exacerbate such climate extremes.

Nonetheless, in recognising the sadness of our near neighbours, I also feel compelled to recognise the beauty and opportunity of my own life. Despite my uncomfortable internal conflicts, the impending arrival of a much-wanted baby is intensely joyful.

Dr Sophie Lewis is a climate scientist and research fellow at the Australian National University.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/im-worried-having-a-baby-will-make-climate-change-worse-20170314-guxtqq.html

Sophie isn’t the first anti-population and climate crusader who somehow made an ethical allowance for their personal needs. Last August WUWT wrote about US climate philosopher Travis Rieder. Rieder travels the country trying to convince students not to have kids for the sake of the climate, and wants to tax your children, but somehow he ended up having a daughter of his own.

No doubt a similar process of personal angst and philosophical self flagellation concludes with the purchase of lots of airline tickets to fly to all those climate conferences.

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194 thoughts on “Aussie Climate Scientist: Having a Baby is an “ethical entanglement”

  1. If she doesn’t have children at least tomorrows world will have at least one less lefty in it. Now that has to be a positive.

    • …and to help her head explode (because I’m sure she’ll read this), I had 8 (eight) children!

      Happy birthday, kids!

      • That’s a damned good effort RockyRoad! Commendable. In the interests of increasing global plant growth, may your eight children have huge carbon footprints!

    • Not necessarily. Children often regard their parents as ridiculous. As my daughter would occasionally suggest.

      • Well, people in developing countries consume less per capita.

        That is what I was told when I made a comment about how I was less concerned when a person who could afford to support a child had a child, compared to when people who were too poor to support a child had a child. Apparently, one should only be concerned with the child’s environmental “impact”, not his wellbeing. I kind of wanted to smack the person upside the head.

        Note: I am not saying “poor” people should not have children. Whole other discussion. I just thought it was telling that the people involved in the conversation were more concerned about the “burden” a child would place on the earth than they were about whether the kid would starve, have medical care, etc.

    • Definitely a plus for us, vis a vis the terrorist snowflakes. But for every child they (and we) don’t have, the terrorist from that from that other cult masquerading as a religion has 5 or more. And the snowflakes are aiding and abetting these quaint (seventh century) colonialist in every way they can. How suicidal can some people be?

    • On a related theme does she feel that only the industrialised sector of the global population make the ultimate sacrifice?

  2. Sophie need not worry. There are millions of untimely deaths each year from War, terrorism, a woman’s right to choose and the unintended consequences of ill-thought out ecoloon policies. She can fulfill her basic instincts without creating Thermageddon.

  3. My suggestion to this woman is forget about tomorrow. Treasure every moment today with your child and don’t skimp on the nice things trying to be “Green”. And take lots and lots of photos. They grow up fast.

  4. This line is what instantly struck me:

    “Part of my motivation for becoming a climate scientist was my grave worries for our future and my desire to make a positive contribution.”

    Nothing about objective testing of theories, no mention of discovering new things, just a simple desire for activism. Seems like she found the right branch of “science.”

    • Agree totally. I picked up on this as well. She had made her mind up before entering into the science. Not an uncommon trait in climate science. It has been hijacked by environmentalists who see it as a tool to drive through their own beliefs.

      • “Part of my motivation for becoming an unbiased professional journalist was my desire to spread progressive values.”

    • Yes, that struck me immediately. Funnily enough I was only thinking about this yesterday.
      The global warming scare got public attention in the mid 1980s. Anyone in the age group 0-30 at that time (like myself) is now 30-60, and has been subject to 30-odd years of scaremongering since that time.

      At that time I believed it, and passionately so, as is the way of youth, and as so many others have done, then and since.
      There was/is also the feeling that we should ‘do something about it’. For students, young scientists and schoolchildren this surely is/has been a major motivation to take up ‘climate science’ or related ‘ecological sciences’.

      So for 30-odd years those sciences have been increasingly populated by people with this mindset and motivation. Any scientist under 60 has heard this story incessantly from an early and impressionable age.

      So it should not be a surprise that there is a so-called ‘consensus’ of these scientists, or that there is an ongoing plethora of sympathetic papers published by them – that’s why they’re doing it in the first place!

      Luckily I was never motivated to become a ‘climate scientist’ and played with computers and guitars instead.

      And many thanks to WUWT and others for showing where I was wrong. I just wish that I (and others of my age group or younger) had had these excellent resources back in the 80s and 90s.

      Thanks again, all. C

      • “consensus” is a religious argument. Religious thesis become “true” by consensus (no proof is possible because religion covers the Unknown), endless repetition and environmental threats. The consensus implies that heretics have to be silenced.

      • Selective enrollment of greenies and, following that, selective recruitment more of the same into climatology (and environmental reporting) constitute the major explanation for the consensus, not greed or leftism. Those are secondary.

        This is the riposte that should be made to claims such as the ones routinely reads in WaPo about “the overwhelming consensus of the world’s climate scientists.” What it really is, is an overwhelming consensus of greenies.

        (Evidence: I suspect 2/3 or more of them are members of some greenie activist organization. When they are next polled they should be asked if they are members of such organizations, and whether they were greenies before they chose their occupation.)

    • These people are living in an alternative universe that only exists in their heads. Seriously. I’m afraid to be driving on the road with leftists; half of them are suicidal depressives and the rest just plain barmy!

      • The concept of eugenics is not imaginary. Sophie Lewis’ attitude about having a family of her own is an inevitable result of eugenics. However, that philosophy is also self defeating – if enough believers cease having children soon there will be less than critical mass of those like thinking humans. When that happens the other guys win because life is ultimately a competition and the most effective at making use of the resources provided, survive.

    • This is reminiscent of journalism. After Woodward and Bernstein kids started to go to journalism school to be part of a “cause”; they would bring down the establishment (and the evil Republicans.)
      The irony is that even though the “despicable” Republicans are still in their sights they are fighting tooth and nail to maintain the establishment (a.k.a. the Deep State).

      • Credit Woodward for spitting out the Kool-Aid, and wielding his poison pen somewhat fairly. Bernstein, OTOH, is a denizen of MSNBC, and Rachel Maddog’s sweaty lap poodle (Carl must buy Speed Stick by the case.)

    • Kurt, Sophie’s angst is more from some sort of scientological religiosity than rational, objective analysis cos thats what CAGW is.

    • Once I read that line Kurt I stopped reading. I have no idea what she said after that as I knew she was an activist and not a scientist and there was nothing I could learn from her.

  5. that’s partly why biology encourages children; the children use their innate biological intelligence to see through the codswollop that previous generations have imposed.

    • The idea that government should have the right to determine who should and shouldn’t be allowed to have children is even scarier than the CAGW nonsense.

      • In a manner government does interfere with whom has children or not. The US treasury doles out a large amount of money to families who cannot support themselves nor the progeny they generate. This effectively subsidizes and enables the creation of large families by those incapable of supporting them.

  6. 7.5 billion people and still we have cut the global poverty rate in half in 20 years. Sounds like the ultimate manifestation of Moore’s Law. Is that not the real goal of civilization…to increase the supply of happy, loving, well provided for people on earth? Did not Jesus, Meher Baba, and all the other of God’s prophets teach that love comes first? Imagine replacing angst about carbon with faith in people’s ability to solve the problems created by poverty; to improve literacy; to provide self-fullfilling jobs; to create children full of love. Is not that world so much better than a world full of hand-wringing carbon worshippers?

    • Europeans are also not replacing themselves. link It’s going to be a problem in America. link It’s even a problem in China. link

      Western civilization has been a tremendous boon to the planet’s population. My favorite cartoon has two cavemen talking to each other.

      Something’s just not right – our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free-range, and yet nobody lives past thirty. link

      We may be living in paradise. link Too bad that we seem to have fallen into nihilism and have lost our will to breed and have lost our vision of what was great about our society. That may lead to disaster.

      • David March 20, 2017 at 7:55 am

        … I have written some thoughts about the current mental climate …

        Mostly agree. Farmers, ranchers, lumberjacks, and fishermen have a proper respect for nature. City folks are pretty clueless even if they are avid campers, etc.

        The other thing to note is that the rich technologically advanced countries are the ones with the most pristine environments.

  7. Me, I prefer to comment where she might actually read it. You can comment on the article linked above, here’s what I wrote:

    So Dr. Sophie has made a choice that she admits was “entirely selfish”, and then wants us to consider her a noble person because she agonized over her entirely selfish decision?

    Color me unimpressed. All that shows is that she actually does NOT believe what she claims to believe, or she wouldn’t have kids … but then she’s a climate scientist, so dissembling about her beliefs and her actions makes perfect sense.

    w.

    We’ll see if they have the blanquillos* to actually publish it.

    w.

    * “Blanquillos”, or “little white ones”, used to be Mexican slang for eggs, which one didn’t want to call “huevos” because that meant … well … what you think it meant.

    • And of course, they didn’t publish it. That newspaper’s publisher is known as Fauxfacts for good reason.

    • Yes, we should all go to the article and make comments. In the meantime…

      Her hypocrisy and selfishness is beyond comprehension. She is perfectly willing to condemn her children to death by non-birth because her own existence as a carbon-spewing planet destroyer justifies deliberately depriving her children of the life she herself enjoys. She should look in the mirror and question the value of her own carbon spewing existence. How does it go? A pound of carbon-savings in hand is worth two buns in the oven…

      Back when I was a kid in the 60s, the young adults were fond of saying they didn’t want to have kids because they didn’t want to doom them to life in a world of nuclear war. With the pill and pre-AIDS, sex was very much in fashion, which they celebrated (frequently) while proclaiming – isn’t it great! Another child not condemned to the miserable world we are leaving them.

      • I would say this is representative of a newly diagnosed mental disorder. Pre-natal depression. Very sad1 Stupid but sad!

    • Yes, Willis, we all have our battered copy of The People’s Guide To Mexico under our VW transporter seat. ;-)

  8. Not saying Dr. Sophie Lewis is a lesbian, I don’t care if she is, but subscribing to 97% lesbian 3rd wave feminist ideology/religion may do that to your head.

    • If someone casually loaned her a copy of Camille Paglia’s Free Women, Free men she might yet save her soul. Question authority. “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.”

    • I think it starts with the head. “Climate scientist”, activist, mother to be and ecoloon. Not enough hours in the day or grants available.

  9. Hand-wringing and virtue signalling at its most obnoxious. Note that she did in fact have her baby. So what she is really saying, aside from the ridiculous posturing, is I am having my baby, and my genes are getting into the next generation, but you should reconsider having yours.

  10. I wonder what she thinks of the morality of her parents’ having had a child. Her solution for that is obvious. Gee some people are f’d up.

  11. I saw this earlier today. My first thought was “great, less idiots in the next generation!”

  12. “A child born today is a child of a changing – and extreme – global climate.”

    What is “extreme” about today’s climate? I find the climate where I live to be quite pleasant. I doubt this climate scientist could list any extreme attributes of the global climate that are unique to our day.

    • That is what I was thinking as well, Louis, when I read this.
      There is nothing extreme about the climate now as opposed to any time in the recent past.
      In fact, it seems we are in a very mild period.
      If anyone should be aware of this, it ought to be someone who has studied and presumably researched such matters.
      Her words betray a distinctly unscientific worldview…her mind is made up…was before she even entered the field.
      It is going to be difficult if not impossible for a person who has no objectivity or skepticism to make any contribution to any field of science, either a positive or a negative one.
      It sounds like her role will be as another blank-minded nodding head.
      And just what is a “climate scientist”, anyway?

      • A climate Scientist is a person who studies the affects of a drought here, a flood there, a fire here or there.

        They then study the global climate models and predict what will happen when droughts and floods and fires increase according to the deeply flawed climate models.

        Thus the vast majority of Climate Scientists study attribution, and know diddly about causation or real world observations. They also are observed to often wring their hands and buckle their brows while whaling hysterically.

        Other ” scientists” are paid to study their stress, which is known to be endemic and contaigious, likely also caused by your SUV.

      • A climate scientist is someone who scans the literature and academic landscape for the perfect convergence of grant money and loopy ideas from which can be created a blizzard of cash!

    • The only extreme climate changes I can foresee are the ice sheets returning. These hypocrite watermelons are so annoying.

  13. this woman is a poster child for mental illness
    I read her piece.
    She said that the very act of living in Australia was, in itself a climate crime.

    • I worry that she will communicate her intense feelings of guilt over the kid’s existence to her child. That is going to be one screwed-up individual.

      • Is “Professional worrywart and hypocrite” a branch of this new-fangled “climate science”?

  14. Once the environmental movements were the immune system of the earth, now they have turned into a cancer spreading their anti-human, anti-progress lies while ruining hope in young generations.

  15. She states – “We collectively recycle, switch off lights, install LEDs and chose green energy providers. But such measures are more than negated by a decision to have children; having a child in Australia is an ongoing commitment to a high carbon future.”)
    presumably she wants to protect nature; Yet when nature wants to protect it’s self from over population –
    (“I also experienced years of infertility, miscarriage followed miscarriage, my partner and I were consumed by tests, injections and surgeries,”) she demands technology built & run on fossil fuels.
    She goes on to list the fossil fueled ‘must haves’ for a baby in the first world.

    Simple answer Sophie…cut your ‘carbon footprint’, go & live in a 3rd world economy & hope your baby survives long enough to sustain you in your old age.

  16. The real crisis the world faces is not climate change, but de-evolution of mankind.
    The stupid tend to have more offspring.
    I expect climate alarmists will have lots of children.

  17. “Part of my motivation for becoming a climate scientist was my grave worries for our future…”

    This is part of the problem. Emotional preconceived conviction about the alleged catastrophic consequences of carbon dioxide is not the ideal foundation for practising objective science.

    • @Schrodinger’s Cat March 20, 2017 at 1:37 am

      I noticed that, too. I think it is the most significant positive feedback effect known to climate science.

    • I can’t remember at exactly what age, or shall I say what year it was, that I first heard of this idea that Mankind’s emissions of CO2 were raising the overall level of CO2 in the atmosphere, which would cause essentially greater insulation of this old planet resulting in a higher overall temperature. My instant reaction was, it sounds far-fetched but it has apparently been researched and studied and all that and announced to the public, no less, so there was a good chance this was an accurate report. But, it had taken some hundred years or so to get ourselves in that position and I hadn’t noticed any catastrophes yet, and by a catastrophe I mean someone spontaneously combusting right before my very eyes, anything less than that was not a catastrophe, so obviously this was a slow-moving problem so there was no need to start running, and furthermore anything resulting from our past half-century to century of intensive fossil fuel use (the Industrial Revolution, in other words) wasn’t going to be altered instantaneously either, it would likely take as long to undo it as it took to do it, so the best we could do would be to just get used to it. (Now there’s a run-on sentence to be proud of!)

      I maintained that view all the way through the release of “An Inconvenient Truth”, which caused me to first consider I should look into this, but still not sufficiently troublesome to cause me to actually do it (thank Heavens I never wasted the time to actually watch that insipid propaganda piece!). Until late summer 2008, I was attending a conference in Phoenix, AZ (the time and location I have determined was chosen deliberately, because the organizers intended to hammer this Global Warming thing pretty hard at that year’s event) called GovEnergy [insert appropriate year]. This conference worked pretty well, I thought, bringing together government agencies and individuals who were actually conscientious about the moneys their department(s) spent, and wanted to find help in reducing expenditure of their resources, particularly energy resources, with people and institutions that could actually help them reduce said consumption. Several of the plenary sessions focused on Global Warming and/or Climate Change and how it would affect future budgets, but in the closing session on the morning of the last day, a special guest speaker whose name I failed to record and have been unable to determine from the conference’s published documentation, opened his talk by stating, “You don’t need to go researching Climate Change or Global Warming, you don’t need to Google or whatever, the science is settled. The time for debate is over. Everything you need to know about global warming is right here…” and gave the url http://www.realclimate.org. Given an opening statement like that, what would you do? That’s right, upon returning to my desk at work (it still took me about a month to get around to it) I Googled “Global Warming”. One of the suggested completions, based on frequency of lookup by all users, was “Global Warming swindle”. That alone was eye-opening. The other things I turned up were mind-boggling.

      Of course most webpages discussing the topic included graphs of all kinds of things, and the presentation of CO2 vs temperature anomalies did seem to show a kind of sorta correlation, but it just didn’t look right somehow. I believe it took me a couple of months to come across the report indicating that ∆CO2 could not cause temperature changes, but rather it seemed that ∆CO2 lagged ∆T by some 80-800 years. Once I read it, I could instantly see it on the graphs, there was no doubt the finding was correct. The whole thing was indeed a scam, a swindle, a fraud, an outright deception!

      I did eventually visit http://www.realclimate.org and what I read there scared the Hell out of me! Buried in the midst of a long post, which may not have been a headlined article but rather a response/comment in some part of the blog, the author (I think it was Gavin Schmidt, seems to me I recall going in search of his writings since I had already found his name repeatedly mentioned in connection with the website) stated right out in public, “…we know it’s happening, we’re just not finding it in the record. So there’s only one conclusion: the data must be wrong. We already have someone looking into that and working on correcting the record,…” In other words, we will torture the data until it confesses! The quote scared me because not only could he never allow himself to consider the whole hypothesis might be wrong, it was obvious that he was so confident of support from above, he could confess in advance to data alteration (oh let’s call it what it was, I read that if he wasn’t getting the data he wanted, he would just MAKE IT UP!), which seems to me should be a CRIME, and would expect not only no negative repercussions, but that he should be hailed as a hero!

      Boy, talk about turtles all the way down, this lady’s philosophy on life is right in line with the RealClimate commenter, and reflects that of nearly the entire climate “science” community: she settled on a predetermined mindset with regard to how the world works and she therefore got into a field where she could manufacture the data to support that mindset, and then use that manufactured data as a cudgel to beat the rest of the world into submission until they do it the way she tells them! Note that she has even abandoned the pretense of asking everyone, or anyone, to do it her way, just do as she tells you!!!

  18. The deplorables just go ahead and have babies but climate scientists first feel the anguish of their contribution to climate change and then just go ahead and have babies.

  19. “Faces a very different climate future”? What a bizarre non-rational bit of tripe. That sort of “thinking” is basically from an X Files subplot.

  20. What a life . . . Dr Lewis is paid by Australian taxpayers to sell extreme AGW theories.
    https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/lewis-sc
    http://www.woroni.com.au/environment/keep-calm-and-dont-carry-on-understanding-climate-extremes-with-dr-sophie-lewis/
    She has a big carbon foot-print; however, that’s OK because she’s exempt from the CO2 spewing consequences of attending conferences and undertaking field trips.
    “My current fellowship is generous in many ways, but also highly restrictive. I have money available for travel to particular conferences, but I can’t buy a computer, for example. Computers are considered essential, and hence should be provided by a university, not a funding body, regardless of whether they are used glorified typewriters, projectors for cat videos or scientific instruments.”
    https://sophieclewis.com/blog/
    And she wants more of other people’s money and she’ll get it when her next grant is approved. There are hundreds-of-thousands of Dr Sophie Lewis types duplicating research and spending precious tax dollars while badly needed dollars for infrastructure and health are ignored.
    Dr Sophie Lewis is much more than a hypocrite . . .

    • Shes a legend in her own mind –
      “I am a climate scientist and I research an issue that affects every single person alive today and for decades to come. At the supposed apex of my creativity, energy and intellectual capability, I wake up every night panicking about affording a laptop, not about how I can help us all be best prepared for living in an extreme climatic future.”

      a high priestess who will save us from our self’s & therefore more important than us,

      • The solution to heat waves is very simple…having air conditioners and fans and a ready supply of affordable electricity to use them.
        But the measures people like her want to put in place do exactly the opposite of what she claims to care about and want to do.
        In the articles linked above, she states concerns for poverty and inequity, and also for preparing for future heat waves.
        But the poor and the disenfranchised are exactly the people hurt most by so called green energy policies, which aim to prevent undeveloped countries from having abundant and affordable energy.
        And the wind and solar power pushed by her ilk are likely to fail to provide power at precisely the times she views as most precarious…during heat waves.
        Recent heat waves in Australia are called the worst ever in history, but it seems that as is the case here in the US, the hottest parts of the temperature records of the past 100+ years have been adjusted out of existence:
        “How could it be getting hotter … if it was really hotter 118 years ago? It’s relatively simple: the early years are simply wiped from the official record.”

        http://theconversation.com/factcheck-was-the-1896-heatwave-wiped-from-the-record-33742

        http://theconversation.com/profiles/sophie-lewis-22297/articles

        And here is a face to put with the name:

      • she could be eco proper n buy a used one on ebay
        but theres the keeping up with the gores bit i guess?

      • Why would she want or need an energy-consuming laptop assembled with the fruits of GHG emissions?

  21. What a poser. People were having kids during the 50’s, the height of the cold war, when nuclear armagedon seemed much more likely. Is she trying to justify her apparent hypocrisy by claiming credit for the angst she has suffered ?

    • Her specific area of research and interest seems to be to link specific weather events to human caused climate change.
      OMG, what a waste of time.
      She apparently got her PhD studying the history of long-term changes in the Australian monsoon, and is doing post-doctorate work in reconstructing past climate change, and yet seems to think that heats waves in Australia are some new thing, and coping with heat a baffling problem with no apparent solution.
      She seems completely unaware that there are hundreds of millions of people who live in places that have entire seasons every year in which the normal temp exceeds what is called a heat wave in her neck of the woods.
      The same thing happens here in the US…for large parts of the country, a week in a row of normal Florida summer weather is called a crippling disaster.
      This vexing challenge seems to call more for a army of HVAC workers, cheap power, and efficient air conditioning units, than for self-absorbed, worrywart, fear-mongering “climate scientists”.

  22. Lady, relax! No need to Darwin Award yourself. No need to voluntarily (and tragically) remove yourself from the gene pool because of green-left anti-capitalist, anti-industrialisation, white-guilt propaganda. Treasure your time as a mother.

    Oh…and find another branch of science to get into. Climate Change (TM) is passing its use-by date.

    • Soon hapless climate scientists may be jumping out of tall buildings en masse. To a couple of folks that will seem like a tragedy.

  23. And whilst she and her ilk fret about their kids futures, they utterly ignore the plight of children today.

    Our parents and grandparents had more on their minds, like global conflict, to bother worrying about what they were leaving their children. Indeed, without even considering it, by defending their freedom, they left the world in a far better condition than when they were in it.

    I can’t ever recall a conversation, nor a media peice in my youth that droned on about the future we leave for our children beyond leaving a small inheritance, perhaps by leaving the house to be divided amongst the family.

    How does one eat an elephant? One small piece at a time. These grandly posturing, self obsessed fantasist’s imagine they can influence what happens 100 years hence, and have the audacity to broadcast it on a public forum.

    In reality, they can do no more than work hard and perhaps change one small thing in a lifetime. But this woman grandly presents herself as the Einstein of the moment, with all the solutions, to all the problems, not that even Einstein would have claimed that.

    Then she goes right ahead and drops a brat into the world. How special will that child feel when he/she realises his/her mother decided to question the scientific value of bearing it? Doubtless it will feel like just another experiment worth conducting because it’s mother decided she could save the world.

    Poor kid.

  24. Meanwhile our pal Recep Erdogan, President of Turkey, calls upon all Turks living in Europe to have at least five children, to speed up the conquest of Europe “by the womb”.
    Doesn’t he know the dilemma he is putting his fellow-Turks in ?

  25. Dr. Lewis, despite her self-inflicted misgivings, is willing to feel “intensely joyful” at the arrival of her baby. She is built to do so, and to deny that feeling would be a great shame. So please pardon me for also experiencing intensely joyful wonder as I observe the atmosphere doing exactly what it is built to do: It moves. It responds to heat itself. It circulates. Thunderstorms emerge on their own, to launch heat upward with impressive power. Cumulus clouds form easily, reflecting the heat of the sun just enough to maintain a pleasant climate in which we thrive. Wow.

  26. Inscription in Ashbourne churchyard, Derbyshire: ‘She was in form and intellect most exquisite. The unfortunate parents ventured their all on this frail bark, and the wreck was total.’

    A white marble monument commemorates the five-year-old Penelope Boothby, who died in 1791, the only child of Sir Brooke and Lady Susannah Boothby. She had been painted in life by Sir Joshua Reynolds and was immortalised in death as a sleeping child by the sculptor Thomas Banks.

    ‘He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.’ Francis Bacon

    It’s a tough job but someones got do it.

  27. Ugh, these people are completely misguided. Talk to any parent, at least conservative pro-life parent, and they will tell you the greatest joy in their lives are their children. These sanctimonious liberals are like the flagellants of the dark ages that went around whipping themselves to save the earth from the plague.
    Climate “Science” on Trial; Useful Idiots Don’t Rely on Facts
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/climate-science-on-trial-useful-idiots-dont-rely-on-facts/

  28. For some of us old enough to remember I am reminded of the argument that Gloria and Meathead had on “All in the Family” about having children. To me this well illustrates how profoundly stupid some liberals can be. Let me also remind you what John Holdren, Obama’s science advisor, once said about forced abortions.

    “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

  29. This attitude of total self-loathing is only trumped by their selfishness.

    She could easily have adopted a Syrian refugee

    • I am sure there was a post about leaving potential refugee adoptees where they are because if they were adopted into western countries, their “carbon footprint”, would be so much bigger! Meaning, leaving people in need in perpetual poverty and threats of danger and death.

  30. Reading through the Sydney Morning Herald comments on this self absorbed mother’s essay is a depressing look into the minds of a bunch of reactionary uninformed selfish people. If course they dress their derivative thinking as if they “care” but the bottom line is that nearly all of them have bought into Ehrlich’s misanthropic mythology and fail to see the real progress around the world and instead see guilt ridden doom.

    • Strewth! Another SMH, well researched, article! I didn’t check that far! I am banned from posting comments at the SMH.

  31. The comments at the SMH page are simply unbelieveable. I share this country with these type!

  32. BTW, I am in the process of bringing children from Zimbabwe to Australia, right now. Visa’s have been approved, my wife is, right now, over Australia still, on her way so that she can bring two young people here.

  33. Guys, you all got pawned. NO WAY is that a serious essay. Somebody that stupid couldn’t get an advanced degree in such a difficult area as climate science. Only our best and brightest do into that field.

    But, if that essay were sincere… well, it would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

  34. I guess that means we should celebrate serial killers as environmental heroes. It makes me wonder how she can stand to go on living each day with that miserable carbon footprint each day.

  35. I heard this kind of tripe when I was in middle school in the early 70s (we called it junior high at the time). Of course when I was twelve it just seemed “out there”.

    What was old is now new again.

  36. By the way, “SMH” is clearly a perfect acronym.
    And the comments – they’re sadder than the article!

  37. You’re a good person as long as you feel guilty about it. Pathetic drivel really and worse still rehashed pathetic drivel from the cold war era. The only concerning part is that students at the university may mistake her for an educator and scientist.

  38. If your having a baby is an “ethical entanglement,” then what does one call expecting other people/strangers being forced to pay for your child’s rearing, education, and healthcare?

  39. I forgive you Sophie. Enjoy your baby.

    But forget the computer. While you are tending your baby’s needs, initially you won’t have time anyway and later you’re likely to rework your construct fundamentally. Happy discovery.

  40. I like to point out to to people not actively making/raising young children that having a baby is the most polluting thing one can do. I’ll stop burning through the planet’s hydrocarbons in a couple decades or so. My daughters and their offspring will go through all the rest. :-)

  41. Hmmm…

    so that percentage of posters here who believe that we are going to see a new ice age/maunder minimum, with resources short because of the coming intense cold…

    are they all thinking of not having kids, because, you know, of the ice age?

    • Nope. Two reasons why: 1.) the ice might not return for hundreds of years, and 2.) maybe it’s one of my descendants that invents the technology that allows us to survive the ice. Seriously.

    • Griff1 We just never really know what the Hell you’re talking about! We know it’s wrong because whenever we take the time to figure it out we prove it. Someone will make a comment that utterly devastates your opinion and then you disappear. You never admit defeat. You just slink away. I can’t help thinking you are paid by someone to be disruptive here. You comment on practically everything and are always wrong. Who would do that unless paid to?

    • Get the cart before the horse Griffy, you jokester you. Start by refining your premise. When is this ice age you are talking about? This year? This decade? This century? The next millennium? Ever?

      Take it from there.

    • The thing about the climate is that no-one, using currently known science, can accurately predict whether we are heading for an ice age or a continuation of the gentle natural warming which has occurred since the Little Ice Age, and on what timeframes. So best to just enjoy cheap, reliable energy, improve living standards, and have the resources to adapt to whatever is coming.

  42. Well she can cushion the blow to the planet by giving the child thin gruel and a bit of weak tea without sugar each morning and send it forth to gather wild berries and roots for dinner. Is there a picture? Someone pointed out that protester groups had an inordinate percentage of portly young ladies. There seems to be no shortage of portly male climate minions, too. All that foie gras and mocho-caramel-double lattes. Their carbon footprints are deep too I guess!

  43. Apart from the impact that humans have on climate, the increase of the human population as a whole is probable the most challenging issue for the future. Currently (and for some time) the world population grows by a 200.000 individuals per day! Nobody knows what the limit is, but there is certainly a limit and we are bound to hit it. The climate discussion distracts the attention from this much more pressing issue.
    See: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

    • René Dijkstra:

      Please explain why you think “the increase of the human population” is a “pressing issue”.

      Population growth is required to maintain economic growth. But affluence is reducing indigenous population growth in developed countries. And, therefore, developed countries are importing people from developing countries.

      However, population growth will reduce in developing countries as affluence is obtained by those countries. Hence, it is foreseeable that there may be a shortage of the population needed by developed countries for them to maintain economic growth.

      But your link indicates the shortage is not likely to occur this century. How is is possible for a potential future problem that is not likely to occur this century to be a “pressing issue”?

      Richard

    • 1) The earth could easily support at least 10 billion people.
      2) The earth’s population is going to peak out in another 15 to 20 years at not much over 8 billion and then start falling rapidly.

    • They’ve been predicting that for over 100 years, and have been proved wrong every time. There is no issue.

    • Less than 5% of the Earth’s surface is taken up by human civilization. While not all areas of the Earth are suitable for widespread human habitation, we aren’t running out of room anytime soon.

      Leftivists only lose sleep over this fake issue because a super-majority of them live in big cities, where squalor from localized overpopulation is a legitimate problem. They take a local issue and extrapolate it onto the rest of the world. Just like local severe weather being blamed on so-called global climate change.

  44. Lip service allows all kinds of group think and popularity contests within such groups. It is the birthplace of do what I say, not what I do. Dr. Sophie has it down pat…and likely wonders still why Hillary lost the election, not seeing the evidence in her own writing.

  45. Doesn’t anyone remember Zero Population Growth? It was mainly an American thing, I think, and it was around in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Earnest young women would get their tubes tied so they could help to avert Paul Ehrlich’s nightmare. Say what you will, those poor ZPGers had the courage of their convictions.

    That wouldn’t happen with today’s climateers. They only do the easy stuff.

    • Our little Sophie is extremely moral and conscientious. And a hypocrite! Sorry, I forgot that. A hypocrite.

  46. This is Virtue Signaling B.S. fair and simple. These self absorbed fools were not going to have kids anyways. They make such statements so they can pretend to show everyone else how virtuous they are when in fact they could not be bother with children!

    • A new ‘Kim’! Note the capitalization and the lack of double underlining. That said, this ‘Kim’ has a point.
      ==========

  47. The term HYPOCRITE springs to mind (yes all caps). Of course that is the norm for such people.

  48. That’s one kid that will thank Gaia he can walk to school on his own rather than having to be dropped off by mum in her SUV. Gaia works in mysterious and wonderful ways my son.

  49. “…among my friends and colleagues, such ordinary desires are increasingly accompanied by long, complex conversations about the ethics of such aspirations.”

    Then I recommend you immediately QUIT YOUR JOB and GET NEW FRIENDS! Problem solved.

    BTW, if you hold firm and never have children, contrary to your own deepest desires, I hope you never have the gall to call anyone else a denier.

  50. “A child born today is a child of a changing – and extreme – global climate.”

    Where is this “extreme” climate?! Hiding under my bed?! There is NOTHING “extreme” about today’s climate, and saying the climate is “changing” is like saying the sun rises and sets.

  51. Her kid could always move to tropical Canada. Perhaps she will grow up to “work” in whatever eco-fad is in vogue then.

  52. Several commenters upthread have referenced a type of ‘reproductive gap’ between better-educated and poorer-educated (or perhaps a rich/poor divide) among and even within various nations.

    Sounds more and more like the plot of the movie, “Idiocracy”, and if you’ve never seen it, this is a perfect opportunity. Sophie, for all her “education”, is NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    I’m not holding my breath on her getting any sharper … … … …

    Vlad

  53. “At the same time, among my friends and colleagues, such ordinary desires are increasingly accompanied by long, complex conversations about the ethics of such aspirations.” Ummmm… you need better friends. BTW, enjoy the baby, they’re always delightful!

    • I work in the nursery at our church. I refer to it as grandparent training.
      You play with the kids for an hour, then send them home with their parents.

  54. First, congratulations to Dr. Lewis for discovering intrinsic value in human life, an article of faith and judgment.

    Now, discover the separation of logical domains, specifically the narrow limits of the scientific domain, and reject the temptation to indulge in prophetic products.

    The first step to adulthood is marked by an acceptance of our limited causality. The second step to adulthood is marked by an acceptance of our limited perception. The third step to adulthood is realized with a reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives.

    • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is “guided by the belief that every life has equal value”. Deep.

  55. “Children born today face a dramatically different climate future than their parents did. A child born today is a child of a changing – and extreme – global climate.”

    =====================

    The political climate future may indeed be different if some groups have 5 babies rather than 3. That would be an extreme “global climate change” you can believe in and regret. CO2 will not be the accelerating factor.

    • Another regretful change would come if some groups have only one or no babies rather than two or more. I’m thinking of a group of which I am a member.

    • Thank you, I always enjoy getting a new slogan for my climate bedwetting, fraud and organized crime list; have added Climate future:

      Climate action
      Climate action plan
      Climate advocate
      Climate agenda
      Climate agreement
      Climate ambition
      Climate anxiety counseling
      Climate blueprint
      Climate budget
      Climate cash
      Climate catastrophe
      Climate challenge
      Climate change action plan
      Climate change training
      Climate chaos
      Climate consciousness
      Climate coyness
      Climate crisis
      Climate danger
      Climate d*nier
      Climate disruption
      Climate election
      Climate emergency
      Climate engineering
      Climate enthusiast
      Climate failure
      Climate fatigue
      Climate finance
      Climate future
      Climate genocide
      Climate hawk
      Climate interference
      Climate justice
      Climate leadership
      Climate literacy
      Climate loss
      Climate mitigation
      Climate mitigation services
      Climate movement
      Climate opposition
      Climate plan
      Climate pledge
      Climate policy
      Climate preparedness
      Climate proponents
      Climate protagonists
      Climate punishment
      Climate questions
      Climate reduction
      Climate refugees
      Climate resilience
      Climate risk
      Climate scenarios
      Climate spending
      Climate summit
      Climate talks
      Climate tax
      Climate thwarting
      Climate timeline
      Climate wars
      Climate weirding

  56. Ok – I quickly looked around the web, trying to find out what Sophie’s PhD actually is…Frankly I can’t find a straight-forward statement of the field of science in which she earned her PhD (physics? Chemistry? Astrology?).

    Can someone who understands the apparently deliberate obfuscation of Australian academia please tell me the science discipline in which she earned her PhD (i.e.: does this woman have the technical background to even pretend to know what she’s talking about)?

    • My guess is it’s actually in an soft “allied discipline” like Geography, Anthropology, or even [ahem] Sociology. If she was at all proud of her field of study she’d be trumpeting it.

      • That’s exactly my concern (though she did claim a first-class unspecified “science” undergraduate degree).

        I know zip about Sophie (I mean other than yappy virtue signaling about babies), but I find lack of STEM degree goes pretty much hand-in-hand with poor statistics. Poor statistics pretty much goes hand-in-hand with…well, astrology, palm reading, (gulp!) psychology….and virtue signaling.

  57. Once the data has been corrected, I think you will find that these climate activists do not in fact have any children at all….

    • One Planned child+One unPlanned child = Zero children. Planning is a carbon credit scheme to realize a clean, green utopia with [net] zero emissions.

  58. The correct issue to worry about is what will happen to my public retirement pension if I don’t have 2.0 children? Someone has to pay for it, and it is usually future taxpayers (i.e. your children). Anything more than 2 children is gravy.

  59. Visiting Ayres Rock a few years ago My wife and I ran into an American tourist who was bringing his 14 year old grand daughter to see Australia.
    He allowed all his grand children a chance to go anywhere they wanted within reason.
    She wanted to see a country that had not had a disabling major civil war, as had the US, the originator of modern mechanised warfare.
    He was astonished that we had six children.
    He was well below the Net reproductive Rate for his family, on of the reasons he could shout his grand children a free world trip.
    Fot him, he was saving the planet.
    My attitude is that if one can afford children and look after them, educate them, they will look after the coming generations.
    One hopes they will be better than we are.
    As for climate change, if one still believes we are doomed by inevitable climate change, work at adaptation.
    The populations of China, India, Indonesia,Japan, Russias and now the US, the short list, are doing just that.
    Make sure there is electricity to run the anesthetic machines, humidicribs and schools where our children will be.
    Enter the journey.

    • This is a very interesting and, I believe, salient point. The only way that having a child is an ethical dilemma is if you feel that you can’t or won’t provide a decent life for that child. For a “climate scientist” who produces nothing, preaches hopeless misery and has no intention of making any effort to actually determine her child’s future, I guess I see a self fulfilling prophecy. I just hope she doesn’t take her anti-depressants while she’s pregnant.

  60. Social justice adventurism is a first-order forcing of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change including elective regime changes, extrajudicial trials, immigration reform, devaluation of capital and labor, [class] diversity schemes, selective and one-child policies, and scientific mysticism (i.e. conflation of logical domains). However, the solution to CACC is not mitigation or sequestration, but proper characterization that reconciles moral, natural, and personal imperatives. Principles matter.

  61. “Part of my motivation for becoming a climate scientist was my grave worries for our future and my desire to make a positive contribution.”

    This is terrible statement for a (supposed) scientist to make as she reveals herself to be an activist first and a scientist second. With that viewpoint, how can anyone ever trust that her hypotheses (and the testing of them) ever comes from an unbiased source? As a scientist who got into the field because of an interest in how things work, I know how hard it is to deal honestly with results which “don’t fit” your hypothesis and when you are already biased subconsciously then you will never be able to do this.

    • Maybe Suzuki needs to compare notes with his fellow lefty, Trudeau, who has thrown open Canada’s borders and the welcome mat to illegal immigrants.

  62. She’s NOT a climate scientist!!!!!!!

    “Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow within the Practical Justice Initiative. Sophie is a health sociologist and qualitative researcher with a background in public health. Her research broadly focuses on sociological understandings of the experiences of living with long term conditions including cancer and obesity. Her current research looks at the ways people navigate the Australian healthcare system and make choices about public and private health service; how social interactions and social context enable people to manage chronic conditions; and the lived experience of advanced cancer. ”

    These people are soooooo stupid!!

    • It’s worse than she thought! Her kid could get sick or fat! Or even worse, she could die of old age! There’s a lot of that going around!

      • …eliminates the need to lear/know/apply statistics. Sort of like “psychology-lite”.

    • There are two ‘Dr Sophie Lewis’ living off Australian taxpayers; one in climate research and the other in social science research . . . plus many thousands of Dr Sophies keeping Australia’s real workers (current and retired) much poorer than they should be given our advantageous position in the World. Our retired and elderly are increasingly having difficulty paying their energy bills. Corrupt academics and their green industry mates are hurting Australians more and more. Our Government, despite its own ‘unadjusted’ data is buying carbon credits and paying academics to duplicate research and create AGW hype to bolster the green industry sector. Our Prime Minister is an ex Goldman Sachs CEO (Aus). You know Goldman Sachs caused the downfall of the real USA. Read about the current power struggle inside Trump’s administration between the Goldman Sachs dark lords and Bannon. If Bannon can’t crush them the USA is in for another decade of rust-belting. And Bannon better win because it would give us half a chance down-under!

  63. “I wanted to be a social activist so I became a climate scientist.” Sums it up perfectly, thanks Sophie.

  64. Climate activists in higher, well-paid positions are obviously

    – bored with their lives or

    – bored or overwhelmed by the tasks in their lives.

    Which must reasonably lead to depression and inability to make decisions.

    Other the origin of such articles is difficult to explain.

  65. I bet she’s fine with ‘refugees’ popping out 12 kids compared to her one. The only bad babies are those who are born to people with below fertility rates.

  66. We don’t need anymore of these paid for by the elite, psychopathic masters to lie, spin unreasonable, idiotic propaganda. We are in a small ice age on part of the planet since 1975, Climategate? Ever hear of that maybe not as it was suppressed E. Anglea..look it up. Ok so we are all carbon units and live on a planet that exists due to carbon and is essential for photosynthesis growing of food, plants. There are many other years left out of hit piece by Al Gore: Inconvenient B.S Book in which Earth was much warmer by the way (like 300 years in between his junk theories) . The only warming we have and always have had is from the SUN it is called solar activity and is normal, normal. Weather is always changing. Climate is always changing especially with the mysterious Moon (we still never got the complete story on how it actually showed up??)lots of theories there but it has an effect on surface of Planet Earth and Climate. Thanks to Planned Parenthood and other Eugenics Organizations we now kill more than 39% of all pregnant mother’s babies (more than are actually born). Sick. One last realtiy: This tiny Planet Earth with only 24% land mass on 7 continents is not overpopulated and in fact could support many, many more. Being a pilot and having gone all over world I can tell you personally most of these 7 continents are empty–tundra. The only place where the small population of Earth is located is crowded on purpose into cities of Each country in Each Continent. All a perception deception and you are probably paid for and appreciated by your elite, psychopathic masters as you have come to the conclusions they wanted you to have and push on the rest of us.

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