Most Merciful
Inflatables of Yore


Guy Dammann is pondering parenthood in that wonderful Guardian way

Parentitis is the well known if scarcely documented condition that transforms polite, environmentally-aware, socially co-operative adults into pushy bigots who, when they’re not making innumerable short journeys in their 4x4s, are to be found at home amassing toxic nappy mountains, cooing noisily over waste matter and £500 pushchairs… Parentitis is natural, of course, but its nature is exacerbated and contorted by the collapse of trust in extended family support structures, the “us against them” axis of corporate culture having become mirrored in the domestic sphere.

Given that the most notable features of parenthood are apparently bigotry, a “collapse of trust,” 4x4s and “toxic nappy mountains,” it’s not terribly surprising that Dammann’s article is titled Am I Fit to Breed? Such sweet moral agonies are, after all, not uncommon in the pages of the Guardian. Nor is it shocking to find an ambivalent mention of VHEMT, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, whose website bears the slogan “may we live long and die out,” along with an assertion that, “phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health.”

Dreams of a planet unblemished by humanity are in fact remarkably common, at least in certain quarters. The “biocentric” conservationist Paul Watson is happy to describe humanity as a “cancer” and tells us that, while vegan diets are a good thing, “curing the biosphere of the human virus will require a radical and invasive approach.” Readers may recall another environmental crusader, Dr John Reid (mentioned here), whose plan to save the world from human beings entails putting “something in the water” – specifically, “a virus that would… make a substantial proportion of the population infertile.” And while the good doctor is happy to share his view of all human life as an extraneous infestation of an otherwise pristine Earth, he’s also insistent that “affluent populations should be targeted first.”

Last year, the Optimum Population Trust published a briefing paper, A Population-Based Climate Strategy, in which it was argued that couples having two children instead of three would reduce that family’s carbon dioxide output by the “equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.” The OPT regards population growth as a “failure of courage and leadership” and mulls, albeit hesitantly, on the need for “intervention by the state… in individual freedoms for the foreseeable future.” OPT co-chairman, Professor John Guillebaud, claims: “The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”

Mr Dammann isn’t entirely disapproving of such notions:

The followers of [VHEMT] take to its logical conclusion the observation that the population growth of the human species is unsustainable. Rather than waiting for nature to extinguish us by itself, which process will almost inevitably involve the destruction of many other species besides, we should initiate proceedings ourselves by refusing to have any more children… [T]here is something magnificent about the thought of an entire species simply switching itself off, without violence or force of anything other than will, to make way for something more lasting. It is unthinkable within the system of nature, unless as the conscious, involuntary corollary to a process that may be occurring anyway. But the absurdity lies not in the aim, which is in many ways laudable, but in the idea that the compassionate motivation in which it originates could possibly see the project through.

The problem, then, is not the premise of voluntary self-eradication, but merely its impracticality.


Midget Launcher

Genocide: "Laudable" and "compassionate".

Well, there you go.


"toxic nappy mountain". That image alone is enough to make you want to swear off parentiing.


"£500 pushchairs"? Wow.


“£500 pushchairs”?

It reminds me of when George Monbiot was praying for a recession and railing against the existence of jet skis and diamond saucepans. Perhaps such things are commonplace in Guardianista circles.

Wonder Woman

And to think we have 6 of the beastly little buggers in our house...and of course we used disposable diapers...and all those excessively packaged toys under the Christmas tree this year!!

For the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GAYA...What kind of people are we??!

I'm going to have to implement a plan of systemic starvation in our household, to prove that I take my global responsibilities seriously.

Or maybe we'll just have another one.

All kidding aside, the only saving grace is that these people -- the flaming retards -- are the ones choosing not to breed. Making me question whether there really IS a God ;)

[T]here is something magnificent about the thought of an entire species simply switching itself off, without violence or force of anything other than will, to make way for something more lasting.

Such as?

The fact is the whole planet is ultimately temporary. It will be destroyed when our sun turns into a red giant. They should put things in perspective, accept that mankind is part of nature, rather than ignorantly thinking they are separate from it, and relax. What will be will be.


“Such as?”

Well, exactly. What strikes me as peculiar is the idea of not having children supposedly to “make way for something more lasting” - and presumably more deserving. I’m not sure whether that “something” is meant to be a radically downsized humanity, suitably chastened and cleansed of evil consumerism, or just mites and algae.


"Such as?"

A biosphere the growth of an expendable element of which is threatening the stability of the whole.

As far as I understand it, genosuicide (or suigenocide? or is that the killing of a suigenosaurus?) would be like Captain Oates on the grandest scale.

Anyway, the article was a joke, more or less. Best wishes for the new year.


Considering nappies, DEFRA did a study.

"A government report that found old-fashioned reusable nappies damage the environment more than disposables"

Now, our Guardian writer doesn't specify the type of nappy mountain he is planning on building. Too much watching "Close Encounters" if you want my diagnosis, but I digress.

However for the benefit of Wonder Woman, I provide this information. I predict you will still be the target of sanctimonious religious preaching, but you can now respond with some facts.

carbon based lifeform

"As VHEMT Volunteers know, the hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: Homo sapiens... us. Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom. When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth's biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Nature's "experiments" have done throughout the eons. It's going to take all of us going."

Oh sweet Jesus. Now we're "squatting" on "this ravaged planet".



I’ve been told I have a fairly sceptical view of human nature, but I struggle to empathise with a worldview that sees humanity as some kind of pestilence or “squatters” or “Humanus non gratis.” Or, as the “conservationist” Paul Watson puts it, “the AIDS of the Earth.” I guess this is where environmentalism becomes psychopathology.

Jason Bontrager

I really have to wonder how a group of VHEMts would react if someone walked into one of their meetings and started shooting them. Logically, they should cheer him on...


On the plus side, the VHEMT members won't be passing on their inhuman ideology and any genes that might have predisposed them to it on to their children. So yay for that at least.


A remarkable number of CiF commenters don’t seem troubled by the authoritarian implications of their opinions. Some are quite upfront: “If the question was ‘Do governments need to practice population control?’ then the answer would be an unequivocal YES.” Apparently, the prospect of some global eco-socialist dictatorship is a small price to pay. Basing whether or not to have children on some estimation of their future carbon footprint is boggling enough, but what if such calculation suggested it would be more “environmentally efficient” to restrict reproduction in other, less egalitarian, ways? What if it proved more “efficient” for one selected family to raise 3 children, rather than 3 families with one each?


"the prospect of some global eco-socialist dictatorship is a small price to pay."

Your average eco-warrior assumes that they are virtuous and hence will be part of the leadership. Ego or narcissism - you choose.

Unfortunately it's a truism about every revolution that plenty of clever people support the rise of the one true leader but then find themselves inexplicably facing their own show trial or night of the long knives. The poetic justice is only a minor consolation to those who foresaw the dictatorship.

Spiny Norman

Why does the Grauniad, and its cretinous loinfruit CiF, attract so many misanthropes?



You've pointed out on numerous occasions the perverse death fetish lurking the the leftist heart. They seemingly have no problem with the "toxic mountain" of corpses they've produced, 100 million and counting.



“Why does the Grauniad, and its cretinous loinfruit CiF, attract so many misanthropes?”

It’s hard to be sure, but it seems to me that if your view of your own culture and its history is overwhelmingly negative and seen primarily in terms of oppression, exploitation or whatever, this can’t be entirely good for a person or their moral bearings. Such a worldview will attract and affirm a certain emotional posture – one that sees cultural self-loathing as a measure of sophistication and moral elevation. I’ve known people who regarded colonialism as an exclusively Western vice - as if no other cultures had indulged in it, often to a formidable extent – and as if it could never have had positive consequences. (But, to take an obvious example, imagine an alternative universe in which Britain had never been “visited” by the Romans. Would we, today, be better off?) A more recent twist to this outlook is the view that wanting to improve the lot of women in certain other cultures is “paternalistic” and thus malign.

There are those, for instance, who say:

“There is something inherently paternalistic in rescuing someone. There’s no avoiding this. And this is especially pernicious in the context where someone has been methodically and institutionally disempowered— ‘saving’ them, though well-intentioned, may change many circumstances but it unfortunately continues the pattern of disempowerment.”

Given the discussion from which the above is taken involves the Taliban’s threats to kill girls who go to school, fretting about the “inherent paternalism” of rescue seems a tad… indulgent. The commenter goes on to say, “I think [it’s] everyone’s duty to fight against injustice” and that we must “oppose those barriers which prevent Afghan women from empowering themselves.” Though how one might do this without seeming “paternalistic” isn’t entirely clear; and how the schoolgirls in question might go about empowering themselves against the Taliban, who have guns, is equally unobvious. (And if we’re going to insist on parental rhetoric, why not “maternal”? As someone else points out later in the thread: “When a female fire-fighter comes to my house and pulls me out of a fire is that ‘paternalistic’?”)

In many arguments of this kind the focus is on “our” alleged wickedness and/or malign impact rather than on the people whose lives may be improved by being more like us. (Wishing people to be more like us in certain ways, even if this would be enormously to their advantage, is apparently a terrible, terrible thing.) I suppose it’s what’s happens when a person has been exposed at length to a subset of leftist thinking - a kind of pathological vanity, in which “we” remain the centre of attention, albeit in the most unflattering of light.


"while vegan diets are a good thing"

Why are they a good thing? Granted, such a diet probably uses less 'resources' than a meat-rich diet. But he is comparing his diet against that of another human. His vegan diet undoubtedly uses more resources than, say, a mouse, so why should he hog the world's resources just to wallow in his own self-loathing? These fanatics don't view humans as superior to mice, so doesn't he feel guilt about this, and why doesn't he sacrifice himself for the greater good of mice, who are more worthy, not being white , western and middle-class.


"the only saving grace is that these people -- the flaming retards -- are the ones choosing not to breed"

Sadly, their lunacy is not genetic but is instead rammed into the heads of children via the education system they dominate.

It all boils down in the end to self-loathing and guilt. First it was about class, then it was about race, now it is about the species. Also, not one of these dishonest maniacs has ever explained how we are going to get countries like India, China etc to reduce their consumerism and consumption. Their only idea seems to be inspiring them via our own suicide.

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