Patio Heaters

A blog claiming to represent Bioethics International suggests that having a baby is equivalent to buying and running a patio heater.

A pair of doctors have said that British parents should have fewer children, because kids cause carbon emissions and climate change. The two medics suggest that choosing to have a third child is the same as buying a patio heater or driving a gas-guzzling car, and that GPs should advise their patients against it.
Solar scientists think we are headed for a little ice age. And how many solar scientists are on the IPCC? Clue: The number is a non-negative integer less than one.

Will the people who came up with this idea suggest that families start turning out more patio heaters if the solar guys are right?

In any case I always distrust these kinds of folks. It is just a short ways from declaring that there are too many people to industrial solutions to the problem. The question then becomes which people will get the industrial treatment?

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 07.28.08 at 04:32 PM


Excellent. Patio heaters are much less expensive to run.

"...GPs should advise their patients against it."

Will they advise also their Muslim patients?

I notice that they do say "3rd child", but one wonders how the first two escape the ignomy of emitting carbon.

ZZMike   ·  July 28, 2008 6:22 PM

Agreed that patio heaters are much cheaper to run, especially here in the South.

Is this what they mean when they're talking about 3rd world nations becoming industrialized?

Donna B.   ·  July 28, 2008 9:48 PM

So what are these two gloomy MDs doing still exhaling? Why is that the ones telling us we need to cull the herd are never ready to show the way?

Steve Skubinna   ·  July 28, 2008 10:10 PM

Patio heaters, however, very seldom found startup companies (or indeed, get any kind of job), make an interesting comment, or carry your values into the future.

It is a CS Lewis point that most moral foolishness comes from inflating one value above its station, until it becomes swollen and infected. I hadn't realised that the purpose of humanity was to reduce its carbon.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  July 29, 2008 8:40 AM

As the eighth of nine children, I'm generally against the various "family planning" options since they tend to have as their goal the elimination of people like me, but my parent's third child was a lousy brother growing up. A patio heater would have been better.

tim maguire   ·  July 29, 2008 10:26 AM

"The two medics suggest that choosing to have a third child is the same as buying a patio heater or driving a gas-guzzling car, and that GPs should advise their patients against it."

Since when is it a doctor's job to pretend he's a climatologist? The vast majority of doctors have zero training or expertise in that area and ought to stay well away.

I'm becoming increasingly disturbed by the "mission creep" that seems to be infecting parts of the medical community, from publishing questionable stories in medical journals about war casualties, to telling people to have fewer children based on non-medical reasons, to becoming snoops for every social movement that comes along. What does that have to do with medicine and the practice thereof? Doctors should stick to medicine and the skills they were trained to utilize. If they want to have private opinions about other things, so be it, but don't pretend its part of their professional calling.

kcom   ·  July 29, 2008 12:24 PM

If doctors have some extra time on their hands, there are plenty of problems they could address within their own field.

Not only do doctors have no special expertise in climatology, they have no special expertise in the use of mathematical models for the prediction of anything whatsoever. Nor do they have any more moral authority than does, say, a bricklayer.

I think we have a huge problem with physician arrogance, and this is just a small piece of it.

david foster   ·  July 29, 2008 6:28 PM

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