Toward a Small Family Ethic: How Overpopulation and Climate Change Are Affecting the Morality of Procreation (SpringerBriefs in Public Health) 1st ed. 2016 Edition
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“This book remains essential reading for those working on moral issues tied to population growth. Toward a Small Family Ethic presents novel arguments on a vital and underexplored moral issue. Problems tied to population growth will only get worse as the 21st century progresses, so we are fortunate that philosophers like Rieder are getting us started in thinking about this subject.” (Trevor Hedberg, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, kiej.georgetown.edu, April, 2018)
“Travis Rieder’s Toward a Small Family Ethic is a concise and significant contribution to a series on critical dilemmas in population health. It is primarily aimed at scholars in public health programs but has relevance to other disciplines such as demography, environmental sciences, ethics, biology, geography, and international studies. … book might even be helpful for those who want to weigh their decision about procreation most thoughtfully, not just intellectually but personally ‘Family’ is a serious decision at every scale.” (Johanne Sanschagrin, Canadian Studies in Population, Vol. 44 (1-2), 2017)
From the Back Cover
This thought-provoking treatise argues that current human fertility rates are fueling a public health crisis that is at once local and global. Its analysis and data summarize the ecological costs of having children, presenting ethical dilemmas for prospective parents in an era of competition for scarce resources, huge disparities of wealth and poverty, and unsustainable practices putting irreparable stress on the planet. Questions of individual responsibility and integrity as well as personal moral and procreative issues are examined carefully against larger and more long-range concerns. The author’s assertion that even modest efforts toward reducing global fertility rates would help curb carbon emissions, slow rising global temperatures, and forestall large-scale climate disaster is well reasoned and more than plausible.
Among the topics covered:
· The multiplier effect: food, water, energy, and climate.· The role of population in mitigating climate change.
· The carbon legacy of procreation.
· Obligations to our possible children.
· Rights, what is right, and the right to do wrong.· The moral burden to have small families.
Toward a Small Family Ethic sounds a clarion call for bioethics students and working bioethicists. This brief, thought-rich volume steers readers toward challenges that need to be met, and consequences that will need to be addressed if they are not.
- Publisher : Springer; 1st ed. 2016 edition (July 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 78 pages
- ISBN-10 : 3319338692
- ISBN-13 : 978-3319338699
- Item Weight : 2.99 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.1 x 0.19 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,175,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As a conservative, my first instinct is to conserve. We should all be sparing in our use of energy. We should not live in big houses. We should avoid private vehicles when public transport will do. We should not emulate Al Gore's hypocrisy, going by private jet to do-gooder conferences and living large in sprawling mansions I am optimistic that alternative energy sources, mainly solar, driverless transportation, better insulation, more efficient lighting and so on will reduce per capita energy consumption. Less energy use overall, less of it carbon-based, combined with sub-replacement fertility levels that already exist throughout the developed world will significantly decrease CO2 emissions.
CO2 may not even be the problem. I grant that it has risen from 280 ppm to 400 since the industrial revolution. The theory is that this ought to create a "greenhouse effect" raising temperatures radically. It has not happened. Dire warnings of the Arctic Ocean thawing, glaciers melting and so on have simply not come true. Ice thins in some places, thickens in others. Nobody can agree how to measure temperatures, and certainly not how to model it. Read A Vast Machine and Global Warming Gridlock for balanced, non-polemic views on the magnitude of the problem of even understanding what is happening. Humility is in order. Lifelone environmentalist Stewart Brand gets it about right in Whole Earth Discipline .
The IPCC has politicized the issue, often faking results as in the East Anglia email scandal, in order to advance a globalist agenda – the New World Order of income redistribution and curtailment of freedoms in the guise of saving humanity. I review two books by scientists that became disenchanted with the IPCC and write realistically about global warming: Climate Change Reconsidered and The Neglected Sun
It is irresponsible to let CO2 levels continue to grow. But, on the other hand, there was five times more CO2 in the age of the dinosaurs, and they did not suffocate. Greenhouse gases are a worrisome unknown. Global warming is a likely hypothesis, but nothing more. Anybody with an ounce of humility has to concede that the effects of more CO2 and a warmer climate are unpredictable. There would undoubtedly be some benefits to offset the downside. However, the IPCC, with their bureaucratic power and salaries, cannot afford humility.
The best argument is that we should not gamble with our children's future. We should continue with practical measures such as the Montreal Protocol and the follow-on HFC limits negotiated this week. As David Victor argues in "Global Warming Gridlock," above, such steps are politically possible. Last week's negotiated limits on emissions through air travel are also within the realm of the doable, and should thus be attempted. But without children the argument is absurd. Rieder puts the cart before the horse.