Just give them a camera, give them a microphone, and let them talk. And talk. And talk some more.
The more they seek to rationalize their beliefs, the more self-evidently repulsive their arguments become.
A few months ago, I started another blog with the aim of cataloging such apologiae, but I've not been tending to it as of late.
This article from the Daily Mail gives me reason to update it again.
It's about a woman who had an abortion in an effort to stave off global warming — because, you know, "[e]very person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population." She then "begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time".
James Lileks provides sui generis analysis:
Disaster! She had the awful thing put away, and now she and her husband enjoy hiking and vacations . . . in other countries, accessed via jets. But: “We feel we can have one long-haul flight a year, as we are vegan and childless.” She expresses frustration that other people are unable to accept her decision. I suspect she means “my mum” by “other people,” and I suspect she confuses “acceptance” with “full-throated endorsement."
Of course I accept these people’s decisions not to have children. What am I supposed to do, break into their homes, duct-tape them together into the double-backed beast and play whacka-chicka 70s porn soundtracks until they’re in the mood? But “acceptance” is part of the usual recipe: first we must tolerate, which no decent person should have any problem doing. Then we are asked to accept, which for most means slump-shouldered acquiescence. Eventually it’s not the norm, but it’s standing alongside it on stage, nudging its way into the spotlight.
I’ve said this before: there’s a process with certain steps. Tolerance is required. Then acceptance, which must lead to endorsement, lest people feel marginalized – often by the very people they cant stand, mind you. Endorsement is followed by recognition of the new standard as equal to the old, because all ideas are valid (although some ideas are more valid than others, a judgment that’s determined by the newness of the idea versus the reactionary elements who subscribed to the old idea.) Rhen the new standard must be subsidized, because it is discriminatory not to extend the usual state advantages; then it must be recognized as having superior aspects, in order to empower the marginalized people who believe it. Eventually these advantages will be used as evidence to suggest it’s superior to the old idea in some way that appeals to the intellectual fashion of the day. The process usually takes about 25 years.
But it’s not a new idea. As long as I’ve been alive we’ve heard about people who didn’t want to bring kids into this lousy world, either because the earth was overburdened or the planet was just too effed-up to curse a child with existence and consciousness. I suspect that the new crop is much like the old: misanthropes dressed up in the raiments of altruism.
That said, the idea of having an abortion to stop global warming really is a new wrinkle. What did the character in “Jurassic Park” say? Life will find a way. But an ideology will always find a way around it.
Interesting how Orwell got it completely backwards: he had the Anti-Sex League and ArtSem. Turned out the other way around.
HT: Mark Shea
Square Zero: Babies Are Eating the Planet