I think that having children is the most selfish thing in the world
to do. Other times I think it's just an amazing show of faith and
optimism for the future. Then I wonder if it's ever really that
thought out in the first place. I mean, if we really sat down and
thought about the future, would we still feel that it would be responsible
to bring another person into the world?
If being a parent means doing everything you can to protect your
child and see that it lives in a safe and loving environment, then
shouldn't all parents be crazy environmentalists living the most
eco-friendly 'green' lives they possibly can?
I know that's not a reality of course, but I can't help but wonder
why it isn't at least a little more of a reality than it is. The
other day I saw a Mom driving two very young children around in
a brand new Range Rover. The kids were buckled up in heavily padded
child seats in the back of the SUV which is itself a huge chunk
of mobile metal fitted with every possible device to keep them
But as I looked at her sitting at the junction waiting for a gap
in the traffic, the image struck me as a rather twisted paradox.
Here was a woman clearly concerned, like any responsible mother,
for the well-being of her children. Yet she is driving a gas-guzzling
beast that is unarguably contributing to the very serious problem
of climate change which could adversely affect the the very lives
she is driven by nature to protect.
The effects of global warming and polution are as well known to all of us as
the effects of smoking. Yet few people, if any, would accuse that
mother of being in any way irresponsible for choosing to ferry
her children around in a great big SUV. But if she had lit two
cigarettes and given them to her children to smoke while she pushed
them along in a stroller there would be an outcry and her face
would probably appear on the front page of every newspaper in the
land. She would no doubt be labeled irresponsible, deranged, and
abusive. But is it really such a far cry to connect the two?
While no responsible parent would give their child a cigarette,
it is a completely acceptable behavior for them to own a vehicle
that probably pumps more toxins into the air we all have to breathe
than a few cigarettes might.
I suppose the truth of it is that we are all so wrapped up in
our own little lives that it is difficult, even at the best of
times, to see the bigger picture. If we could, I think the question
of the environment would be much higher up on the agenda, not
because we love the planet, but instead because we love our children