Archives For enviromentalism

Emily Holleman a writer for The Cut, – part of New York Magazine’s ‘One Great Story’ section – recently condemned bearing children in the age of the “apocalypse,” selfish.

Holleman’s reflection on anxiety and personal loss in a time of uncertainty is the better part of what becomes an environmentalist “sermon”.

An autobiographical piece, the article describes a grieving, displaced woman, who sees her ‘pandemic pregnancy’ as another nail piercing in an unwanted cross. Her self-indulgent rant against parenthood, is bent into a twisted concoction of hope, and hopelessness – life and death.

The illustrative sermon deploys the dogma of the Green social gospel.

“Catastrophic climate change,” drags down an otherwise thought-provoking story of pregnancy, and married life.

For her,

‘Having a child in a developed nation is among the most environmentally unsound decisions you can make — a baby born in the United States adds another 58.6 tons of carbon to the atmosphere per year.’

Presumably, to avoid the charge of racism, it appears that for Holleman, having a child in an undeveloped nation is perfectly acceptable. The hint of contradiction, self-hatred and contempt for her own nation, and its people wafts like a pungent smell from here on out.

Her anti-carbon drivel descends even further, with the proclamation,

‘The decision to have children has always struck me as an essentially selfish one: You choose, out of a desire for fulfillment or self-betterment or curiosity or boredom or baby-mania or peer pressure, to bring a new human into this world. And it has never seemed more selfish than today.’

She rides the pessimistic narrative of falling skies, and “rising temperatures” in a world that worships climate-control.

(A world oblivious to the acclimatisation of air-conditioned comfort, because it’s too focused on self-aggrandising posturing, and panic inducing “climate crisis” headlines.)

If we are faced with “catastrophic climate change” it would be better to ditch fossil fuelled artificial climates in homes, business and transport, not reproduction, families and the life that both carries.

Even here, one has to ask Holleman what she means by Climate Change. Which climate is facing catastrophic decline? Is it temperate, mild, dry, tropical or polar?

Where does the sun and solar activity play a role? Could it be that the sun is a bigger contributor to any warming climate, than the carbon footprint of children, including her own son?

Holleman’s article is a cross between anti-parenting, anti-carbon and anti-people. There is a stark absence of balance, especially given the basics: Carbon is plant food and without it, life on earth ends.

I acknowledge Holleman is writing from hindsight. She’s writing about becoming a mum for the first time, in trying times.

Holleman is in a foreign place. She’s greeted with one bitter disaster after another.

A pregnant woman, facing a difficult childbirth. A grieving sister – and general fish out of water – having relocated from the congested New York to California’s wide-open spaces.

Yet, her situation is compounded by the presence of wild fires, panic on the TV, COVID-19, and (as my wife put it after reading the piece) all the hormonal trimmings attached to having a baby on the way.

A soon to be mother, Holleman argues existence with non-existence with emotional reasoning.

She confesses to feeling selfish. Then supposes that the answer to a “climate catastrophe” is for the people of the developed world to stop having children.

The hope of a better world Holleman finds in the embrace of her new born son, is morbidly smothered by a lament at what a child’s carbon footprint is.

Twistedly Holleman infers children are a great evil, but they’re a useful distraction.

For her, kids are a “blessing” to have around, because they provide ‘small moments of joy.’ A welcome distraction from ‘cataclysmic changes to the climate [and other] inequities it exacerbates.’

Holleman lives in a world which views children as either an accessory, or an inconvenience.

A world that also equates conceiving a child, with contracting an STD.

What’s also striking is the use of eschatological terminology: “End Times.” Indicative of the religious environmentalism – or cultism – which pervades her Green ideological evangelism.

In the broader context of Holleman’s experience, it’s not easy write to this off as rhetorical.

Holleman believes we’re all doomed, stating, ‘we are living in a real way on borrowed time, under the shadow of carbon.’

The takeaway conclusion: “Carbon is the great Satan. Humans are carbon. Ergo, humans are a great evil.”

One thing Holleman can be applauded for is repeatedly referring to her [then] unborn son as a baby, not a “clump of cells”.

Another is the depth to which she writes about the clash between her grief, her beliefs, and the hope beaming from the new life she holds in her hands.

Having kids, Holleman concludes, provides a semblance of comfort and reassurance about the future, and that makes the future worth fighting for.

I support her positive conclusion, but 80% of what Holleman writes is straight-up tripe.

There’s nothing more selfless than having kids.

You’re constantly giving, serving and saying “no” to yourself, in order to say “yes” to life.

Out of 21 years of fatherhood, there is no greater example who testifies to this than my wife.

She conceived six times. (We miscarried badly on the first.)

With the five who followed I witnessed her battle a war with uncontrollable nausea.

A condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (an extreme, rare form of morning sickness that went on for months).

Over the space of ten years, with pauses in between, she was hospitalised for severe dehydration five times.

After diagnosis, even when offered to abort our children, she refused.

Doing so with the full knowledge that this new pregnancy will likely mean another round of constant vomiting and lengthy stays in bed.

Not only did my wife choose to fight for life, instead of embrace destruction, we did it together.

We often did so without the support of family, church or friends. Many of whom misunderstood her decision, as much as they misunderstood her condition.

Contra to Emily Holleman’s anti-kid “climate change” tirades, there’s nothing more selfless than having kids.

There’s nothing selfish in saying “no” to yourself, in order to care for the young, through the joyful embrace of saying “yes” to life.

To quote the oft quoted, Theodore Roosevelt,

‘The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt.’

(A slightly revised version of this article was first published on Dads 4 Kids, under the title: Our Children are the Answer, Not the Problem to Our Environmental Challenges; also published on Caldron Pool, 22nd October 2021).


©Dads4kids; Rod Lampard, 2021.

Creating fear about an apocalyptic event such as “global warming” gives those espousing it, the power to monopolise government initiatives, elections and national economies. In short: they coerce the people into surrendering something for absolutely nothing. In this case, the thing surrendered only benefits those demanding the surrendering. The real catastrophe is in the daylight robbery this allows.

Along with fossil fuels, fear powers their personal jets, pads their bank accounts and helps them position puppet politicians into places of power, where those politicians can be used to further “the crusade for the planet”.

Whilst I agree that humans can, and do, have a negative impact on the environment, and that we ALL are ordained by God to be good stewards of what He created – with the rise of electricity and water bills, also comes a rise in the power of those telling us that the “sky is falling”. With so much profit, celebrity and political power involved, something about the environmental scare mongering doesn’t quite add up.

Is it possible that the end goal, of this holy war for the planet, is absolute servitude to an un-elected bureaucratic caste, and its ideological utopia? A utopia open only to those who are always in agreement with the dominating views. History lends to us the catastrophic example that follows blind allegiance to such movements. Man and woman, equated with God, makes the claim to have taken God’s place. As a result, the führer (or un-elected bureaucratic caste) is revered as knowing what’s best for the fatherland. Therefore the people must trust the führer as though he (or they) were God.

Thankfully, the West isn’t quite at this stage of total surrender to totalitarian agendas. By correcting any bias in their assumptions and opinions, or letting scientists, theologians, and politicians, who present an opposing hypothesis speak freely, the opportunity for false prophets to seize total control is removed.

Fact, freedom and reasoned compassion all stand in the way of selfish ambition and the lust for power. Fact and freedom are threats to the paranoia used through manipulative propaganda because it forces dialogue about the issues. In the example of “global warming” such an approach recognises that the science isn’t settled. It recognises the need to examine the issue from differing angles. In short: to observe and then observe some more in order to truly see what is there and what is not there.

As it is with all authentic science, conclusions that rest solely on hypothesis, circumstantial evidence, inference and opinion remain fluid. They are an open question and must remain so. At least until hard facts can be presented. Facts free from questionable models, subjectivism and speculation. Facts that are free from manipulative propaganda and its master, political indoctrination.

Jacques Ellul provides a helpful look into why we must be on our guard against all forms of manipulation. When it comes to any discussion about environmental issues, or activism in general, it’s helpful to filter the information by asking questions of its source and content.

This is important because we have to ask whether or not, what exists (as part of the flood of papers, news reports and organisations that surround us), is an

‘organised myth that is trying to take hold of us and invade every area of our consciousness, stimulating a feeling of exclusiveness [if we conform], and producing a biased attitude’ along with it. (Ellul, 1965:11)

Are we being duped by slippery sales techniques? Sold to us by slipperier salesmen and women?

Without question, what we see today is the mass use of propaganda for dubious causes. For example, manipulative propaganda is used to force total allegiance to LGBT activism, open borders and environmentalism.[1]  It would be difficult to find someone not affected by the psychological warfare and political indoctrination at work behind all three.

The reason being,

‘education methods play an immense role in political indoctrination (Lenin, Mao)…One must utilise the education of the young to condition them to what comes later. The schools and all methods of instruction are transformed under such conditions, with the child integrated into the conformist group in such a way that the individualist is tolerated not by the authorities but by his peers. Religion and the churches are constrained to hold on to their places in the orchestra [of totalitarianism and political indoctrination]’ (Ellul, 1965:13)

In the case of the environmentalism, whether or not “global warming” is the man-made demon many say it is, or whether it is part of a cycle not recorded by human hands, is beside the point.

The more immediate questions are: What is the average citizen being sold? Why are they being sold it? Who is selling it to them? Why are the scientists who present a different point of view, seemingly and immediately silenced with threats, boycotts, and abuse?[2]

It’s also important to understand that propaganda is a drug, once you’re hooked into the system, you’re hooked into the system.

Propaganda ‘is not a stimulus that disappears quickly; it consists in successive impulses…it is a continuous action…at no point does it fail to subject its recipient to its influence. As soon as one effect wears off, it is followed by a new shock.’ (Ellul, 1965:18)[3]

In order to keep people surrendering something for absolutely nothing, like a lab-rat those people need to be hit again with a ‘new shock’. Once this wears off, a ‘new shock’ has to be given. This is done so as to keep people surrendering something to those authorities and officials, who are free to demand it, but who give nothing back in exchange for it.

This helps to explain the dehumanising language used largely by the Left in the socio-political arena. Logical fallacies are easier to believe because they contain an element of truth within them. As long as it’s enough to hook someone into taking a side, the percentage of truth doesn’t matter.

The antidote to propaganda is dialogue, for ‘propaganda ceases where simple dialogue begins’ (Ellul, 1965:6). Through dialogue we can sift truth from untruth. By thinking for ourselves we can navigate lies and call them out. In seeking dialogue with the issues, and not believing every manufactured-for-effect sound-byte from the 6 o’clock news, or by trusting every meme shared to social media, we can sift fact from fiction; opinion and inference; and challenge what is sold to us.

We can move beyond the propaganda, understanding that not all that glitters is gold; and that unless people question what it is that the auctioneers are selling, we come to the subject with the head of a fool, only to find ourselves walking away with two.[4]


Notes & References:

[1] I acknowledge that this is also used by the opposing sides. I am reluctant to say that the opposing sides do this in the same dishonest way or to the same damaging degree.

[2] Quite a few examples of this exist. It’s universal knowledge and therefore I have no real reason to weigh down this point by padding it with example after example, in order to prove my point.

[3] See footnote 1

[4] Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venus.

Ellul, J. 1965. Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes Vintage Books

© Rod Lampard, 2018. Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash