Efforts to date are falling far short of achieving the greenhouse gas reduction needed to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. Bioethicist Travis Rieder shakes things up by suggesting ethical use of public policy to encourage smaller families, which would result in dramatic decrease of carbon emissions.

Rieder co-authored the paper, Population Engineering and the Fight Against Climate Change. In part two of this 2017 conversation, Rieder shares how he and co-authors Colin Hickey and Jake Earl parsed out what fertility reduction policies might be ethical and acceptable. Travis Rieder is Assistant Director for Education Initiatives and a Research Scholar at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.

This is part two of our conversation with Rieder. In part one, we discussed whether couples have a moral responsibility to have just one or perhaps no children. This is related to Rieder’s book, Toward a Small Family Ethic: How Overpopulation and Climate Change are Affecting the Morality of Procreation.

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