Some young adults say they’re thinking twice about having kids because of climate change.
“This is a very serious consideration that a lot of young people have.
A lot of them worry about the state of the climate and the environment to the extent that it does affect their reproductive decisions,” says Sabrina Helm of the University of Arizona.
Helm and co-researchers in New Zealand conducted in-depth interviews with two dozen young adults from both countries. They asked them about climate change and their thoughts about having children.
Helm says some common themes emerged. Some participants expressed concern that having children will contribute to resource depletion and carbon pollution.
And several expressed reluctance to bring children into a world transformed by global warming.
“There’s a lot of perceptions of doom going on,” Helm says.
But others feel that they can prepare their children.
“Some expressed that they would educate their children in a way that they would be able to cope with hardship that is to come,” Helm says.
Ultimately, people’s reproductive decisions are informed by many factors. But the interviews underscore that for some young people, climate change is not just a scientific concern. It affects how they think about their lives and futures.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media and Diana Madson