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Writer declares: 'I got a vasectomy because of climate change'

The Outside magazine columnist wrote that he's saving the planet from 58 tons of carbon emissions annually, per kid

SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP via Getty Images

Wes Siler is Outside magazine's Indefinitely Wild columnist. He writes about "adventure-travel in the outdoors, the vehicles and gear that get us there, and the people we meet along the way."

His bio says he lives in Montana with his partner Virginia McQueen, and their dogs, Wiley, Bowie, and Teddy.

But one thing he, Virginia, and their trio of canines won't be sharing their residence with anytime soon is children.

Why?

As Siler notes in his recent piece for Outside magazine, he "got a vasectomy because of climate change."

He shared that a couple of months before he and Virginia got engaged in June 2018, "a wildfire destroyed an entire town in California and another one wiped out sections of Malibu. Shortly after that, most of the Mississippi River basin flooded, something that might be the new normal, virtually eliminating the future for industrial agriculture throughout a region that produces much of this nation's food. And, of course, the whole Donald Trump thing has been going on."

More from Siler's piece:

Is this a world we want to bring kids into? Is this a world it's responsible to bring kids into?

It looks like the pace of climate change is speeding ahead of science's ability to understand or forecast it. Thinking about hypothetical Wes Jr.'s life as far into the future as I've already lived — 38 years — it's tempting to try to forecast stuff like so many feet of sea-level rise or the extinction of some keystone species. But that may not be possible. The future might be worse than any of us currently fear.

Then Virginia and I started talking about something we could do — for ourselves and to make a meaningful impact on the bigger problem. We could just forego the whole kid thing altogether.

He argued that if he "gave up my 15 mpg pickup truck — basically the mascot for climate inaction — and rode my bicycle everywhere, I'd save the planet 2.4 tons of carbon emissions a year."

58 tons of carbon emissions annually, per kid

However, by not having a child, Siler said he'd save the world from 58 tons of carbon emissions annually: "Any other action we could take, even all the actions we could ever possibly add up together, pale in comparison."

More from Siler's column:

That's because there are simply too many humans on this planet. We've all been told that driving an electric car or putting solar panels on our roofs will help, but that involves buying more stuff, which has a terrible impact on the environment, no matter how green the image. Two people deciding to make fewer humans eliminates the entire cycle of consumption that would fuel that kid's life.

All those people ultimately represent the greatest climate change-related threat. Burning forests and flooded beach houses are sad and all, but it's the human conflict created by dwindling resources needed to sustain the population that stands to really change life on this planet. We're already fighting wars for oil. Many think wars for water will be next, and those are going to hit closer to home.

He concluded things with the following message: "It might not be enough to save the polar bear, and it might not prevent the next Camp Fire, but this is the absolute biggest difference we can make. We need fewer humans, and getting there voluntarily will be an awful lot less painful than doing it with war, famine, and natural disaster."

One last thing…
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