Will Birthstrike Solve Global Warming?

 In Environment, women

When I began to write about Zuri in my latest book, I was aware that my own childlessness would have to be faced. She had to have a child or feel wretched in the face of her society. A woman who failed to give birth was shunned because the gods had abandoned her. Their society succeeded in direct relationship to the number of children born and surviving. That demand of women still remained 4,200 years later in my childhood. A girl on our council estate was given a pram and doll as a right of passage, still a womb on legs. Those less than innocent toys seemed such a contrast to the question I now have to pose, will Birthstrike solve global warming?

Environmental Anxiety

Global warming is a depressing litany of death, dying and destruction. Creatures everywhere are declining in number and we, the cause of it all, are increasingly anxious. Should a child be brought into such a world is a question some women seem to be asking. Blythe Pepino, a singer, has founded an online group called Birthstrike. This is a community of like minded women making the decision not to have children until the situation improves. This, of course, may not occur within their childbearing lifetime. She and they support Extinction Rebellion and I wish them well.

Will Birthstrike Solve Global Warming?

All this came to mind in Pret A Manger in Salisbury where two mothers had babies and you could see the joy in their faces. It’s sad that their joy now has to be tempered, that the joy of a child has to be balanced against their impact. The child will grow up to drive, and fly, and air quality will decline. The counterargument is that the child will be the very one who discovers how to save the world. The jury is out.

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