I wouldn’t be alone in my agonizing over the ethics and morals of bringing a child into a world fraught with imminent calamity. Many people my age – and younger, have expressed hesitation or decided against having children at all. I, however, was gifted the magical surprise of conception.
I spent most of my early twenties humming and hawing over whether to have biological children of my own one day or what a family could potentially look like for me in the future. But alas, the universe had other plans, ultimately making the decision for me. My future daughter is to be born in August of this year; during an unprecedented pandemic, housing crisis and a disastrous ecological breakdown.
The discourse of family planning is a delicate subject but as humans we often make decisions driven by our emotions, not our logic. Although I believe the blame is often disprortionately placed on individuals when it is large corporations that should be scrutinized, it’s also important to note the impact of our role in consumption. The reality of my daughter’s future is unfathomable and I’m left with the sense that I will inevitably be the author of her demise.
Planning a life for my family is now based on building resources, skills and financial resilience to withstand whatever is to come. I recently saw a map that showed what parts of Dublin would be underwater by 2040. By then my daughter will be younger than I am now, probably getting ready to sit her leaving cert. The house I’m currently living in is in the ‘red zone’, predicted to be a beach by then.
But our efforts to resist an apocalyptic world by environmental destruction cannot be solved solely by ceasing to procreate, it is much larger than that. Climate legislation needs a total upheaval, our governments need to take urgent action to put an end to fracking and introduce more sustainable and regenerative farming. Whether they listen or not relies on our voice and action, creating civil disobedience to be heard.
The horrors of our future are tenable but can be turned tangibly into action. My personal motivations to fight against the climate crisis have changed, not only to create a better life for children around the world, but a better life and a future for her.
And I know now where’s best to invest in property, if I ever get a mortgage, but that’s a fight for another day.
YouTube: Keelin Moncrieff