Friday Ephemera
Dragon’s Breath

Culling for Gaia

Time for another selection of Classic Sentences from the Guardian. Or rather the Guardian’s Sunday sister paper, the Observer. Until recently, I had thought the Observer’s commentary wasn’t quite as obnoxiously self-loathing as the material that swills all but daily through the piping of the Guardian. Sadly, it seems I was mistaken:

Fewer British babies would mean a fairer planet.

So barks the headline of AlexRenton’s latest exercise in ecological hair-tearing. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It’s just another overexcited sub-editor and not representative of an otherwise measured and sober article. However, the first line reads,

The worst thing that you or I can do for the planet is to have children.

And besides,

One less British child would permit some 30 women in sub-Saharan Africa to have a baby and still leave the planet a cleaner place.

It continues,

Why not start cutting population everywhere? Are condoms not the greenest technology of all?

Inevitably, we veer tantalisingly close to China’s state reproduction policy:

It was certainly the most successful governmental attempt to preserve the world’s resources so far.

And there’s this little gem.

A cull of Australians or Americans would be at least 60 times as productive as one of Bangladeshis.

So several candidates there – from, lest we forget, a progressive and liberal newspaper.

Deciding not to have a child because of their estimated annual CO2 production is a particularly wretched parental calculus and suggests either pathological self-disgust or pretensions thereof. I suspect Alex Renton measures his moral and intellectual sophistication by the extent to which he loathes his own culture, and by extension himself. That, or he pretends such for the benefit of other, likeminded souls. Happily, he’s found a cause well suited to the cultivation of such feelings. Less happily, he presumes to share his leanings with others, coercively if necessary:

Could children perhaps become part of an adult’s personal carbon allowance? Could you offer rewards: have one child only and you may fly to Florida once a year?

Readers may feel inclined to assist Mr Renton in his totalitarian urges by gnawing off his testicles and tossing them on a fire. And then doing the same to any male children he may recklessly have sired. For Gaia, of course.