Moral Basis for Small Families: Travis Rieder (#206)
With human activity disrupting the climate, do we have a moral imperative not to have children, or to have only one child? Bioethicist Travis Rieder dares to explore this bold question with sensitivity and scientific rigor.
Rieder shares his logic in the short book, Toward a Small Family Ethic: How Overpopulation and Climate Change are Affecting the Morality of Procreation. It starts with the fact that deciding not to have one child is over 20 times more effective at reducing carbon footprint than a lifetime doing the six most common “green” activities.
In part one of this two-part 2017 conversation, we unpack the logic, and address the sensitivities of even making suggestions about what we do in the bedroom. Travis Rieder is Assistant Director for Education Initiatives and a Research Scholar at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.
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