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Science Journalist Considered Not Having Children Due To Climate Change

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A science journalist considered not having children because of climate change, according to an essay she wrote for The Atlantic Thursday.

Michelle Nijhuis, an environmental journalist and a current project editor for The Atlantic, claimed that she debated whether or not to have a child with her husband since parenting in the wake of climate change is a “carbon-intensive activity.”

The “climate-change communicator” discussed the struggles confronting the issues of climate change as a parent in her article, which is a part of The Atlantic’s Parenting in an Uncertain Age series.

“My husband and I deliberated for years about whether to have a child at all, partly because parenting in an affluent society is, shall we say, a carbon-intensive activity, and partly because we knew that future generations will probably have to contend with the consequences of a severely disrupted climate. While my personal ambivalence about parenting is long gone, I understand it in others, and I still worry about what lies ahead for my daughter,” Nijhuis wrote. Nijhuis eventually did have a child.

The journalist evoked the similarities in discussing climate change to the birds and the bees with her nine-year-old daughter. “As a parent, I approach the subject of climate change much like I approach the subject of sex: While I answer all questions, without hesitation and in full, I make sure not to answer more questions than I’m asked,” she added.

Nijhuis previously lived “off the grid” in rural Colorado in a low-carbon environment due to fearing worsening global climate forecasts, according to an essay by Aeon. The author also wrote previous articles regarding climate change for The Atlantic called “The Sound of Climate Change” and “What ‘Frankenstein’ Says About Climate Change.”

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