A new movement aims to put eco activists’ actions where their mouths are.
Women who are terrified that human activity is accelerating a changing global climate are voluntarily forswearing bearing children.
Blythe Pepino is a British environmental activist who founded a group called, BirthStrike. The organization comprises people who have decided against having children over fear those children will pollute the environment. The group so far comprises about 60 women, and a handful of men.
Pepino appeared on the BBC this week and explained her thinking:
"Our planet is in a kind of collapse,” Blythe told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire. “The natural world is collapsing around us, and that's actually happening right now. And I'm so disappointed by the response by authorities to this crisis, and so freaked out by everything I've read that I've — I've basically last year I came to the decision that I couldn't bring a child into that.”
Another “BirthStriker” is Alice Stewart. She told the BBC that reading an article about declining insect populations compelled her to give up any thoughts of having children.
“Each day for me is — is a struggle, I really do, just I’m so depressed, I feel so hopeless over how — you know, you know, I’m reading just in the last couple of months you know, in fact numbers are plummeting so fast it now threatens to collapse nature that we’re losing bio — and — we’re not losing we’re destroying biodiversity so quickly that that threatens all food and — and the UN have said that that could lead to the risk of our own extinction,” Brown told the BBC. “They would have to — going on TV to say the collapse of civilization could come from this. I know that is so hard to really sit with and take. But I have done that and that has led to just a fear that I’ve never felt before. And — and my decisions for being on ‘Birth Strike’ mostly has come from not wanting to pass up to someone else if we’re in the situation now, you know even since my parents had me we’ve destroyed 60 percent of — of life on this planet. What would that be like when my child’s my age it’ll be 10 percent, that’s not just to do with being you know, nature life enthusiast like I am and that’s actually as dangerous as well.”
Unlike the members of BirthStrike, other global warming activists have recently come under criticism for calling for Draconian, government-imposed restrictions on Americans’ way of life, while continuing to utilize these same modern conveniences they’re seeking to phase out. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, flies frequently as opposed to using Amtrak, and her staff — per FEC reports — is a heavy user of single-passenger transit services like Uber. The New York Post reported:
Since declaring her candidacy in May 2017, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign heavily relied on those combustion-engine cars — even though a subway station was just 138 feet from her Elmhurst campaign office.
She listed 1,049 transactions for Uber, Lyft, Juno and other car services, federal filings show. The campaign had 505 Uber expenses alone.
In all, Ocasio-Cortez spent $29,365.70 on those emissions-spewing vehicles, along with car and van rentals — even though her Queens HQ was a one-minute walk to the 7 train.
The campaign shelled out only $8,335.41 on 52 MetroCard transactions.
On Blythe’s Facebook page, she recently shared an article highlighting Ocasio-Cortez suggestion that it’s reasonable for millennials to wonder whether it’s “right” to have children.
“It is basically a scientific consensus that the lives of our children are going to be very difficult, and it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: is it OK to still have children?” AOC asked during an Instagram livestream.
Blythe is also the former lead singer of the British electronic band, The Vaults, who has since given up on music to focus full time on the environment. She previously made the news after announcing that she and her partner were pursuing a “polyamorous” relationship, meaning they have intimate relations others while dating each other. The Independent explained:
Blythe also has a girlfriend, Alice, whom she's been with for over a year. Alice – an artist – lives in Bristol, so they don't get to see each other that often. Tom is seeing another girl, Sian, whom he met on Tinder. In addition to this, Tom and Blythe recently started dating a couple, Nich and Sonya, whom they met at a specialist club night in London. Blythe tells me they "fell in love with them as a couple" and now hang out regularly. Sometimes they go to the movies, sometimes they have group sex. Blythe and Tom also have one-night stands with people, although these happen less frequently. "I'm just not that good at them," Tom says.
It’s unclear Blythe’s then girlfriend Alice is the same Alice participating in BirthStrike.