chapter  12
16 Pages

Down with People

Queer Tendencies and Troubling Racial Politics in Antinatalist Discourse
WithNicole Seymour

In 2009, Oregon State University statisticians Paul A. Murtaugh and Michael G. Schlax found that, when it comes to “carbon legacy and greenhouse gas,” not having an extra child “is almost 20 times more important than … other environmentally sensitive practices people might employ their entire lives—things like driving a high mileage car, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.” 1 Various news outlets put the message even more succinctly, with headlines such as “Save the Planet: Have Fewer Kids.” 2 Although such pronouncements may not be entirely novel, we can identify them as part of a recent wave of discourse that has questioned the wisdom of having children—prompting conservative blogger Dave Blount to declare antinatalism “the next stage in environmentalism.” 3