Parent's hand holding infant's hand

Swedes Lead the Way Bringing Fewer Children Into the World

Birds do it. Bees do it. Now the Swedes will cut back on it. I’m very pleased to honor Erik Isberg on the Wall of Fame today, for giving me hope. Erik took an important step for human civilization by writing this opinion piece published in the Swedish daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter:

Make a Choice for Environment — Have Just One Child

Google’s translation of this piece is pretty rough, so I direct your attention to (and will quote from) this news story (in English) about Isberg’s op-ed:

Swedes Recommended to Stop Making Babies for the Sake of Environment

A nod to the news agency, Sputnik, for covering this story. Isberg, a sustainable entrepreneurship consultant and founder of the Young Collective NGO, sets the stage:

“Many Swedes have in recent years been adapting their habits to a more sustainable lifestyle, which includes less driving, eating less meat and abstaining from transatlantic flights.”

But Erik knows that is simply not enough. And it’s been well-documented, recently, that the positive impact of bringing one fewer child into the world far exceeds that of any of these noble, but inadequate, behaviors:

“Isberg refers to a study by Lund University in southern Sweden…. According to Lund University, choosing to have one child fewer corresponds to a reduction of 58.6 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, whereas a car-free lifestyle would only save 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, which is almost 25 times less effective, Dagens Nyheter reported. By contrast, meticulous waste sorting only contributed to a reduction of 0.2 tons a year.”

I’m jazzed about this op-ed, because it’s high time the ultimate (and very necessary) green behavior becomes widely known, considered, and put into practice.

“Known for being ecologically-minded, the Swedes are taking sustainability to a whole new level amid scientifically-based calls from researchers and environmental activists for young families to have fewer children to ease the burden on Mother Nature.”

The news story reports:

“92 percent of Swedes consider an environmental-friendly and sustainable lifestyle to be of paramount importance, which makes the initiative more than likely to catch on.”

It needs to catch on everywhere, but it’s good to see it happening. Scientists estimate we’ll stay in overshoot as long as world population exceeds 2 billion. Did you know today’s world population of 7.6 billion can be halved in less than a century by a global average fertility rate of 1? Do what you can to spread awareness that we’re seriously into overshoot, and that one-child families are at the top of our do-do list. Thank you, Erik Isberg, for lighting our path.

“…can we really ignore such a great opportunity to reduce our impact?’ Erik Isberg asked rhetorically in his opinion piece. ‘No one but you can choose this, and it may be about time for all parents, present and future, to ask themselves this question. For this choice can be what gives your child a future.”

Tags: , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Dave Gardner

Producer of the documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. Dave writes and speaks regularly on the subject of growth addiction, including the pro-growth media bias that perpetuates prosperity-from-growth mythology.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get Involved!

GrowthBiasBusted.org is an interactive online community where you can vote, discuss and even submit stories about bias in the media. Get involved today!
Submit a Story

How Can I Help?

This is a donor-supported non-profit project. Your tax-deductible donation allows us to continue pushing the media to improve growth issues coverage.
Donate Now

Wall Of Shame

Reporting & commentary that assume eternal growth is feasible, good, and necessary for prosperity.

Wall Of Fame

Reporting & commentary that recognize growth has limits, costs, and consequences.


User Nominated

Examples of classic pro-growth bias or exceptional acknowledgement of limits to growth, submitted by our readers!.


Top Voted

Every Friday we honor the week’s top-voted story, from the Wall of Shame, Wall of Fame, or User Nominations.

Citizen-Powered Media – 2016