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Feminist funnywoman Caitlin Moran says the planet doesn’t need your babies

Caitlin Moran and the text "Think you want kids? Read this!"Caitlin Moran in Grazia magazine. The accompanying article is not online. Boo.

Leave it to a wiseass mother of two to make the best case I've ever read for not having kids.

Caitlin Moran is currently having an American media moment as she marks U.S. publication of her book How to Be a Woman, a memoir-slash-manifesto that's been a massive best-seller in the U.K. She's been described as the British Tina Fey, the next Nora Ephron, and an occasional Lady Gaga bathroom companion. Everyone's talking about her fervid defense of feminism. ("Do you have a vagina? and Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist.") But not enough people are talking about her fervid defense of the childfree life -- so I'm going to.

Thing is, Moran loves being a mum (in addition to being many other things, like a columnist for The Times of London). She has a sweet and honkingly funny chapter called "Why You Should Have Children." But she follows that with a whip-smart chapter entitled "Why You Shouldn't Have Children." The latter case so rarely gets vocalized, and Moran vocalizes it so damn well, that I want to block-quote the entire chapter. But that would mean a lot of typing for me. So instead I'll just block-quote a big chunk, and then you'll have to go buy the book to read the rest. Which you should do anyway.

Read more: Childfree, Population, Sex

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If Park Slope parents suck so bad at contraception, what hope is there for the rest of us?

In fiscal year 2012, the federal budget marked out $610 million for international family planning programs. But perhaps some of that funding needs to be directed inward, to fix the backwards bourgeois parents of Park Slope. Amy Sohn writes in the Awl:

You would think people with multiple children would be responsible about contraception because they understand the financial and emotional toll of childrearing. Instead they are as clueless and blasé as teens, teens who really don’t know any better ... In the 90s we did “everything but intercourse” because of AIDSphobia. Now we do it because of laziness.

As for condoms, no way. If a twentysomething guy on “Girls” can’t be bothered to use rubbers, why would a forty-year-old monogamous dad?

Now, Sohn's account of Park Slope parents' misbehavior is anecdotal and just a teeny bit sensationalized (we fucking hope). But parts of it do ring true:

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Easy, reversible, 100 percent effective birth control is for men only

One of the best things we can do for the planet is stop putting new humans on it, which means promoting safe and effective birth control for people who want to keep their offspring levels between zero and "get that, would you, Deirdre." But hormonal birth control comes with side effects like weight gain, mood swings, blood clots, and Rush Limbaugh. Luckily, there's a birth control option that's safe, quick, easy, reversible, and 100 percent effective for 10 years. But back off, ladies: For once in our lives, this birth control's just for dudes.

Read more: Childfree, Population, Sex

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Soiled diapers can now end up as roof tiles

Babies! They use so much energy that the best thing you could do to save the human race from climate change might be to avoid having one altogether. But if you choose the reproductive path, at least the 6,000 poopy diapers that your offspring will produce in the course of his or her early years could have a second life as part of your house -- specifically, as the shingles tiling your roof. The diapers, thank goodness, are sterilized first. Then they’re separated out into their components. The, um, "organics" go to waste-to-electricity products, and the plastic part goes into …

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Women’s rights are key to slowing population growth

Cross-posted from Policy Innovations. As human numbers approach 7 billion, the question is, "Where do we go from here?" The U.N. recently published new population projections, which envision a range of possibilities for the 21st century. In the U.N.'s low projection, our numbers peak at 8 billion by mid-century, then decline to 6 billion by 2100. By contrast, the medium and high projections envision continued growth for the foreseeable future. According to the medium projection, the world's population would reach 10 billion by 2100; according to the high projection, nearly 16 billion. Now, I don't believe there is an optimal …

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I am the population problem

Take a look in the mirror.Population growth tends to get blamed on other people: Africans and Asians who have "more kids than they can feed," immigrants in our own country with their "large families," even single mothers in the "inner city." But actually the population problem is all about me: white, middle-class, American me. Steer the blame right over here. Well-meaning people have told me that I'm "just the sort of person who should have kids." Au contraire. I'm just the sort of person who should not have kids. Population isn't just about counting heads. The impact of humanity on …

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Feminist icon Gloria Steinem on climate change, population, & deep ecology [VIDEO]

Who knew feminist trailblazer Gloria Steinem was such a greenie? In an interview on ABC News' "Nature's Edge" a few months ago, she raised the alarm about climate change, talked about how climate is connected to women's rights and population, and gave a basic lesson on ecofeminism and deep ecology (all while fielding insipid questions from the interviewer): Quotable bits: "The overpopulation is still the biggest reason for global warming, for all the pressure on the environment." "The truth is that global warming is a nuclear holocaust slowed down slightly." "The important thing, I think, about both ecofeminism, as a …

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Betty White is greener than you (and a GINK role model too)

Betty White, honorary forest ranger and ardent environmentalist.Photo: USDAWhite is the new green! Did you know that the octogenarian actress is a longtime environmentalist? She's starring in a new campaign for The Wilderness Society: "Keep it wild with Betty White!" "Wilderness is harder and harder to find these days on this beautiful planet, and we're abusing our planet to the point of almost no return," White said last year when she was made an honorary forest ranger. She's also a huge animal lover. She has long been involved with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Los Angeles Zoo, and other organizations …

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Is coming out as childfree like coming out as gay?

As I've talked to and read about people coming to terms with their decisions not to have kids, the comparison has come up over and over. "I felt like a gay person must feel, coming out of the closet and having these people validating me." -- Jason Gill, quoted in a New York Times Magazine article on the childfree "My friends and I have occasionally likened coming out as childfree to coming out as a gay person 40 or 50 years ago. There's the same sense of shock -- perhaps that's too strong a word. But it's a lifestyle people …

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Pop culture

8 things you can do about population

As we zoom toward 7 billion, population growth is looking ever more hairy and daunting. The big-picture solution is empowering women everywhere and making sure they have the tools, knowledge, and support to control the size of their families, but that's not something an average person can tackle on a lunch break. Of course you can (and you should) badger your congresspeople to fund family planning, both abroad and at home, and donate to nonprofits that work on these issues. But what can we do ourselves, in our own lives and communities? Here are a few ideas. Add your own …

Read more: Childfree, Living, Population