A group of 60 women and men have come together to declare they will not have children due to the growing threat of climate and ecological collapse. Going by the name ‘BirthStrike’, the group feel so affected by the ecological catastrophe, and so disappointed by the reaction of world leaders, that they feel too concerned to pass this burden onto a child.
As reporting on climate and ecological breakdown intensifies, BirthStrike is being used as a platform to speak out, to protest, and to spark a conversation about what it means to be part of the human species as its extinction is contemplated.
The group hopes to inform the general public, beyond the environmental sphere, just how serious the collapse of our environment could be by sharing their stories and having an open space for discussion and solidarity. If people would like to join BirthStrike they can join the the Facebook group or email email@example.com.
“I do have a partner and would like to have children with him. We’re really in love and it feels like the right thing to do,” said founder of BirthStrike and former singer of Indie music band The Vaults, Blythe Pepino, aged 33.
“But last year I read the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and I realised how wrong it would be to bring a child into a world on the brink of catastrophe. Now we are looking for other women and men who feel the same way to join us.”
“It’s a very hard emotional message to decide not to have kids but I hope it might break through the fear and diffidence that surrounds this subject. There is a powerful cognitive dissonance around climate – our everyday lives seem normal but we are talking about a major destructive event.”
The IPCC report warns that Earth faces disastrous global temperature rises of 3C by 2100 and 8-12C by 2250 unless humanity cuts its greenhouse gas emissions – currently equivalent to 50 billion tons of CO2 a year.
Alice Brown, 22, from Bristol is a recent convert to BirthStrike. She said the decision to tell her dad about not having children was extremely difficult: “He went away and found out more and now he’s become a proper eco-activist. He recently got arrested for spraying graffiti on government offices in Bristol. It was quite an achievement because he’s also completely blind but he got locked up for a day instead.”
BirthStrike stand in compassionate solidarity with all parents and does not seek to judge anyone intending to bear children. This is not a platform to promote the decision to not have children, but an opportunity to raise awareness of the growing horror we face in the wake of climate and ecological collapse.