There are lots of reasons to not have children. You might not think yourself emotionally ready for the challenge. (I certainly wasn’t.) You might conclude that the budget does not permit this sort of thing. (However much you think it costs to raise a child, go ahead and double it.) You might simply dislike children in general.
Or you might think that you’re doing the world a disservice by increasing the population, in which case you probably ought to read this:
The demon-seed statistical projections on the carbon output of a single infant born today are based on the premise that the world’s energy use and methods will change not one iota during its lifetime. And the calculations usually include a reproductive chain over the next century or two. The assumption that the grandkids of today’s infants will be tucking AAA batteries into their toys or gassing up their Grand Cherokees isn’t despite the impressive spreadsheets objective or scientific.
Of course, religion, guilt, and the quest for purity have a long, shared history, with holiness as the garlic that wards off Armageddon. The urge to condemn anything short of perfection reeks of fundamentalism. The witch-hunt for hypocrisy has been relentless by critics of environmentalism who believe that dangers to the ecosystem have been exaggerated: Does anyone in America not now know that Al Gore has a big house with a lot of light bulbs, and that he flies around on (gasp) planes?
Now the annoying Puritanical fervor has been taken up [by] those who think environmental dangers have been minimized. With fundamentalist zeal, they’ve one-upped their fellow environmentalists with a soul-purifying and seemingly bulletproof sacrifice of the urge to reproduce. This particular fast-track to holiness doesn’t require chastity; sex is allowed for everything except procreation. And, when considering a society where reproduction is denigrated, please imagine the mental health of children raised with the philosophy that the world would be a whole lot better off without them.
Then again, if you’re really, truly convinced that the health of the planet would be improved by your departure from the gene pool, go with my blessing. In fact, perhaps you should go now, while the rates are low.