People worried about the climate crisis are deciding not to have children because of fears that their offspring would have to struggle through a climate apocalypse, according to the first academic study of the issue.
The research also found that some people who were already parents expressed regret over having their children.
“The fears about the carbon footprint of having kids tended to be abstract and dry,” said Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, of Yale-NUS College in Singapore, who led the study.
“But the fears about the lives of existing or potential children were really deep and emotional.
A 31-year-old woman said: “Climate change is the sole factor for me in deciding not to have biological children.
Other findings were that younger people were more concerned about the climate impacts their children would experience than older respondents, and that adoption was seen as a potential alternative to having biological children.
The study indicated that climate-related fears for their children’s lives were rooted in a deeply pessimistic view of the future. »