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 …


Hilarious cartoon ads: Sex is no accident. Always use a condom.

Best. PSAs. Ever. From MTV in Germany. We could use ads like this ’round these parts.       Again with the MTV doing good on sex ed. (h/t Adweek)  

The GINK videos

As we head toward 7 billion, what does a typical person look like?

Here’s the latest video from National Geographic‘s year-long series on population (set to music that’s got me feeling all jittery and peppy): The gist: The most typical person on the planet is a 28-year-old Han Chinese man; there are more than 9 million such chaps living right now. Here’s what he looks like: Also as part of NatGeo‘s population series, this month’s print magazine has an article by Elizabeth Kolbert on how “human beings have so altered the planet in just the past century or two that we’ve ushered in a new epoch: the Anthropocene.” “The pattern of human population …

Not actually cheaper by the dozen

Are rich Americans having more kids?

“Soon we’ll have our own lacrosse team!”In Tina Fey’s recent piece in The New Yorker, she writes that elite Manhattanites seem to be trying to outpopulate the rest of us:  I thought that raising an only child would be the norm in New York, but I’m pretty sure my daughter is the only child in her class without a sibling. All over Manhattan, large families have become a status symbol. Four beautiful children named after kings and pieces of fruit are a way of saying, “I can afford a four-bedroom apartment and $150,000 in elementary-school tuition fees each year. How …

Chart attack

Charts explain our current situation and how to improve it

The hundreds of data sets that accompany Lester Brown’s latest book, World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, illustrate the world’s current predicament and give a sense of where we might go from here. Here are some highlights from the collection. Veering toward the edge: As the world economy has expanded nearly 10-fold since 1950, consumption has begun to outstrip natural assets on a global scale. The same values that have allowed ecological deficits to grow are contributing to ballooning fiscal deficits around the world, threatening to undermine economic progress. Some of the planet’s natural capital, …

The GINK videos

Yo, Congress, you need to pony up $1B for global family planning

We’re surging toward a world population of 7 billion this year — and we still haven’t even made contraception available to everyone who wants it. The new “Million for a Billion” campaign aims to bridge that gap. Here’s a video to set the scene: Right now, 215 million women who want to avoid getting pregnant are not using modern birth control. The U.N. has a goal to remedy that problem by 2015 (one of its Millennium Development Goals), but it needs a chunk of change to do so: $3.6 billion a year, $1 billion of which should come from the …

Urban family values

Family values for population hawks: adopting a foster child

Photo: jrodmanjrLast month, Lisa Hymas posted a list of eight things all of us can do about population. It was a great roundup (my favorite was No. 4), but I’d like to add an item: If you really want to be a parent — that is, if you’d like to help guide and shape and unconditionally love another human being, and you’re OK with sleepless nights, no time for novels, and very little alone time with your partner — consider adopting. I have nothing but respect for my GINK brothers and sisters. I think it’s important to say (out lout …

The GINK Videos

Hey, enviros, greens, climate hawks — we all need to stand up for Planned Parenthood

A society is not sustainable if women don’t have basic control over their fertility. That’s just fundamental, a no-brainer. So the ongoing Republican assault war blitzkrieg on women’s reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood specifically should enrage anyone who cares about a sustainable future — and propel us off our asses. This isn’t just an attack on abortion; it’s an attack on contraception. Incredible, considering that the overwhelming majority of Americans of all political persuasions say they support birth control and virtually all sexually active straight women use some form of it. The House on Friday voted to cut off all …


Hey, Tina Fey, one kid is OK — and greener too

           “Don’t even ask.”           Photo: George ArriolaThe ever-entertaining Tina Fey has a piece in the latest New Yorker on my designated topic of the week: whether to have more than one kid. “The second-worst question you can ask a woman is: ‘Are you going to have more kids?'” Fey writes. (The first-worst question: “How do you juggle it all?” which is code for “You’re screwing it all up, aren’t you?”) “Are you going to have another one?” asks the owner of her local toy store. “You want more kids?” asks a fellow actor on 30 Rock. “You should have another one” is …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.