Given my cardiologist's repeated warnings, I can't really thank the correspondent who pointed me to this egregious piece of medico waffling.
A pair of doctors have said that British parents should have fewer children, because kids cause carbon emissions and climate change. The two medics suggest that choosing to have a third child is the same as buying a patio heater or driving a gas-guzzling car, and that GPs should advise their patients against it.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, John Guillebaud (emeritus professor of of family planning at UCL) and Pip Hayes (a GP) raise the spectre of global population explosion, and suggest that the children of the developed world are a particularly severe carbon burden.
I don't have children (that I know of) and I have yet to find anyone who could tolerate me for nine months at a stretch, let alone the rest of it; and yet, nonetheless, I have no hesitation in advising any GP who takes this line with me in the future, to fuck off and drown themselves, the interfering cunts.
As for these two, well, I heartily recommend that they go and lose themselves in the countryside and hang themselves from a stout oak tree in the middle of nowhere, in a place so remote from anywhere that the crows and rooks will strip the flesh from their bones and they will never bother anyone ever again.
One can imagine the situation.
GP: "Well, Mrs Smith, I can report that you are, indeed, pregnant."
Mrs Smith: "Gosh! That is good news! Now little Tom and Yeoman* will have a playmate."
GP: "Your third? Ah, well, would you like to contact Marie Stopes or would you like me to arrange the appointment for you?"
Mrs Smith: "What?"
GP: "Well, Mrs Smith, your child is going to produce a lot of carbon. In fact, according to a recent paper written by two very learned cunts, "choosing to have a third child is the same as buying a patio heater or driving a gas-guzzling car."
Mrs Smith: "But..."
GP: "It's a simple choice, Mrs Smith. Do you want to murder your child, or do you want to murder the planet?"
Mrs Smith: "I..."
GP: "Because if you murder the planet, Mrs Smith, then you murder the six billion people on it. You will, in fact, be the biggest mass-murderer in history."
[GP stands, towering over Mrs Smith and points his finger at her accusingly.]
"You are a murderer! YOU! MURDERER! WAR CRIMINAL!"
Mrs Smith [sotto voce]: "Very well, doctor. I'll go and have the wee one scraped out of me."
GP [now calm and smug in his sense of duty]: "Very good, Mrs Smith. You'll organise it? Excellent—you've made the right choice. Not only have you helped to save the planet, but you've also saved yourself a lot of money. Especially if it was disabled."
Mrs Smith: "Is it disabled?"
GP: "Not as far as I know. But if it had been disabled, the abortion will save you—and, let's not forget, the NHS—a lot of money. The procedure will cost you a bit of cash, but you know what they say—you have to speculate to accumulate. Eh? OK.
"You have a good day, now. Goodbye."
[Mrs Smith leaves, sobbing quietly. GP sits back, hand over his bulging stomach, smiling at the thought of the carbon saved.
Strangely, he doesn't think about how he's going to dquare this attitude with the principle of "do no harm" but what the hey...]
Naturally, the two prize shitheads who wrote the report do, in fact, have a further agenda. [Emphasis mine.]
The Optimum Population Trust calculates that “each new UK birth will be responsible for 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions ... than a new birth in Ethiopia." Should UK doctors break a deafening silence here? “Population” and “family planning” seem taboo words ... isn’t contraception the medical profession’s prime contribution for all countries?
Unplanned pregnancy, especially in teenagers, is a problem for the planet, as well as the individual concerned. But what about planned pregnancies? Should we now explain to UK couples who plan a family that stopping at two children, or at least having one less child than first intended, is the simplest and biggest contribution anyone can make to leaving a habitable planet for our grandchildren? We must not put pressure on people, but by providing information on the population and the environment, and appropriate contraception for everyone (and by their own example), doctors should help to bring family size into the arena of environmental ethics, analogous to avoiding patio heaters and high carbon cars.
In quoting the Optimum Population Trust—a population-reduction pressure group—the two docs are quoting themselves: both are involved in the running of the Trust. The Trust's position on UK population is clear:In the UK, that population should be allowed to stabilise and decrease by not less than 0.25% a year to an environmentally sustainable level, by bringing immigration into numerical balance with emigration, by making greater efforts to reduce teenage pregnancies, and by encouraging couples voluntarily to "Stop at Two" children.
Rosamund McDougall, policy director at the Trust, told us an environmentally sustainable population for the UK is in the 17-27 million range—on an "equal shares basis" applied to world resources. The only way any more people should be allowed would be in the event of a "major breakthrough in renewable energy or food production".
For fuck's sake, can we not leave these Malthusian fantasies alone yet? I think that the writers at The Register make their contempt pretty fucking clear.
What do we think? Is it a GP's job to teach us how to save the planet? Are babies really the same as patio heaters?
Or should the crusading medicoes maybe focus in a bit more on their core business? How would the doctors like it if barristers started handing out prescriptions, or accountants took to offering minor surgical operations? Maybe the docs should leave the eco advice to climate scientists or someone like that.
Meanwhile the plainly necessary task of mouthing off about things one doesn't really know anything about could be left to, oh, journalists, politicians—you know, scum.
Quite. I do wish doctors would shut their fucking mouths and get back to concentrating on what they are supposed to be doing—patching people up. Who elected these sanctimonious cunts to a place wherein we should listen to them? Oh, yes: no one.
It's bad enough that the evil, corrupt, venal bastards that we do elect want to micromanage every aspect of our lives (whilst illegally filling their boots at our expense), without these unelected medico fuckers trying to control how many times a day we can go for a shit.
People like the good Doctor Crippen and Team Rant complain (with no little justification) that the government is briefing against them—that it is deliberately spinning stories and portraying GPs as evil, money-grubbing scum. These fine bloggers maintain that the state is blackening the name of General Practice.
In which case, the government should be delighted: these Optimum Population Trust arseholes are doing the job very nicely instead. Fuck them all.
In the meantime, as I said, I have no children at all and thus I feel all virtuous. So I'm off to buy a patio-heater for my balcony...
* I knew a guy who worked in an Apple reseller in Edinburgh who was called Yeoman Smith. I thought that it was a great name: he was, understandably, a little more dubious.