Delingpole: ‘I Wish I’d Never Had My Daughter Because Climate Change’

BONN, NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA, GERMANY - 2017/11/04: 'Planet Earth First' written on a girl's face. With the motto 'keep coal in the ground' thousands of activists took to the streets demanding Climate Justice two days ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC - COP23. (Photo by …
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JAMES DELINGPOLE

Some would say the mistake was having a daughter in the first place.

No, this isn’t the standfirst from an Onion parody of the kind of bleeding-heart, enviro-doom drivel they like to run every now and then in the New York Times.

This is an actual opinion piece from the actual New York Times, written by an actual English professor at the University of Notre Dame; an actual professor who presumably – this is where it gets really scary – teaches actual undergraduates…

His name is Roy Scranton.

Here is a taste of his jottings – together with my commentary. Painful though it may be, I think it’s important that we remind ourselves now and again of the idiocies which liberals read and swallow unquestioningly. It’s why the gulf between liberals and conservatives is so vast. And why, probably, there can never be peace between us because our truth and their “truths” might just as well exist in parallel universes.

Scranton:

I cried two times when my daughter was born. First for joy, when after 27 hours of labor the little feral being we’d made came yowling into the world, and the second for sorrow, holding the earth’s newest human and looking out the window with her at the rows of cars in the hospital parking lot, the strip mall across the street, the box stores and drive-throughs and drainage ditches and asphalt and waste fields that had once been oak groves. A world of extinction and catastrophe, a world in which harmony with nature had long been foreclosed. My partner and I had, in our selfishness, doomed our daughter to life on a dystopian planet, and I could see no way to shield her from the future.

Me:

You’re right. You should never have had a daughter. Not because of the climate change stuff – she’s not going to be affected by that non-problem any more than my daughter will. I mean that excruciating, overwritten bilge about “yowling” “feral” beings and – ew – “earth’s newest human.” No reader should ever have had to endure such puke-making mawkishness. Why did you do it to us? Why??

Scranton:

Anyone who pays much attention to climate change knows the outlook is grim. It’s not unreasonable to say that the challenge we face today is the greatest the human species has ever confronted.

Me:

Each of these sentences is at best moot, at worst flat out untrue. You’re just asserting. Just like I am when I say: “No sane, balanced, informed person thinks this way.” The difference is that my assertion has a factual basis.

Scranton:

To stop emitting waste carbon completely within the next five or 10 years, we would need to radically reorient almost all human economic and social production, a task that’s scarcely imaginable, much less feasible. It would demand centralized control of key economic sectors, enormous state investment in carbon capture and sequestration and global coordination on a scale never before seen…

Me:

Go on: admit it! This is the bit that most excites all you liberal fascists about climate change: the excuse it gives you for state intervention – no, better still, world government intervention – and curtailment of liberty on the most epic scale.

Scranton:

As Maggie Astor reported, more and more people are deciding not to have children because of climate change. This concern, conscious or unconscious, is no doubt contributing to the United States’ record-low birthrate. Some people can’t bear the idea of having a child whose life is going to be worse than their own.

Me:

Anecdotal and almost certainly untrue. But I do hope it is true. What it means is that dumb-assed liberals are ceasing to breed – and will therefore not be passing on their stupidity genes to future generations.

Scranton:

Take the widely cited 2017 research letter by the geographer Seth Wynes and the environmental scientist Kimberly Nicholas, which argues that the most effective steps any of us can take to decrease carbon emissions are to eat a plant-based diet, avoid flying, live car free and have one fewer child — the last having the most significant impact by far.

Me:

Wynes? Can that really be his name? Was there EVER a more perfect example of nominative determinism?

Scranton:

Society is not simply an aggregate of millions or billions of individual choices but a complex, recursive dynamic in which choices are made within institutions and ideologies that change over time as these choices feed back into the structures that frame what we consider possible.

Me:

‘I don’t really believe in individuals and free markets. The big questions are best devolved to the state.’

Scranton:

Indeed, taking Wynes and Nicholas’s argument seriously would mean acknowledging that the only truly moral response to global climate change is to commit suicide. There is simply no more effective way to shrink your carbon footprint.

Me:

I’m saying nothing.

Scranton:

When my daughter was born I felt a love and connection I’d never felt before: a surge of tenderness harrowing in its intensity.

Me:

Really? No parent ever felt this way about the birth of their child.

No, I jest. Your observations are banal beyond all cliche. The only reason you’ve been allowed to get away with this – really, the only reason – is that you’ve managed to shoehorn into your achingly quotidian and quite spectacularly unremarkable experiences the kind of eco-bollocks that New York Times commissioning editors find alluring.

Scranton:

Reading to her from “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?,” I can’t help marveling at the disconnect between the animal life pictured in that book and the mass extinction happening right now across the planet.

Me:

And what about Goodnight Moon? Where the Wild Things Are? The Very Hungry Caterpillar? How did you feel when you read her those? Actually, no wait: my bad. Don’t tell me because I’m JUST NOT INTERESTED.

Scranton:

I can’t protect my daughter from the future and I can’t even promise her a better life.

Me:

And you know what the irony is? Your generation, Roy Scranton, was almost certainly the first in the entire history of the human species which gave up on the idea of economic and technological progress. Your generation actually decided that economic growth – the thing that makes each generation more prosperous than its predecessor – was embarrassing and undesirable. So if you find yourself incapable of promising your daughter a better life (something, let me tell you, you’ll never hear me telling my daughter), then just ask yourself: “Whose fault is that?”

 

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