Can you be an environmentalist and oppose contraception?

“Pope Francis can’t claim to be an environmentalist until he gets real about family planning,” argues Vocative’s Joshua Krisch.

Pope Francis agrees we need to curb emissions because, as countless studies have shown, as the planet gets warmer the poor are the first to suffer. But climate scientists say all that means next to nothing until the world–and the Pope–gets serious about contraception.

The Sierra Club advocates “increased access to voluntary family planning — the ability to choose if, when, and how many children to have — is one of the most effective ways to address population growth and to achieve global sustainable development.”

Today’s Question: Can you be an environmentalist and oppose contraception?

  • kevins

    Of course. One of the attributes that sets us apart from non-human species is our ability to reason, including the ability to hold to and at some point deal with inherently conflicting beliefs. I understand and agree with the assertion that more people means more pollution and use of waning resources, but the converse is not necessarily true, and adequate family planning would not necessarily guarantee effective environmentalism. That said, I do think that contraception should be effective, cheap and available, thus bringing me into conflict with the Pope’s church, but I can live with that.

  • PaulJ

    The environment would fare better if world was populated by those generally less cavalier.

    • Khatti

      The environment would be best off if it wasn’t populated by humans at all–however, it is. I for one do not have the (please insert body part of your choice here) to off myself for the good of mother nature. Selfish of me.

      • Khatti

        Besides, I have it on excellent authority that my rotting corpse would produce greenhouse gasses.

  • MrE85

    I don’t see why not. I see “environmentalism” as a pretty big tent. The Pope is welcome inside, even if some of his other views are more than a little “old fashioned.”

  • James

    Overpopulation is the mother of all environmental issues. If you are not in favor of limiting the world’s population, you are fighting a losing battle.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    I think the proper response is to answer this question with another:


  • Hunter

    Awww jeeeze_
    This is the dumbest question ever seen in the past year.
    If one just scours the media stories within the past few days across the country, you might find certain DNC candidates toying with the idea of How to address these two disparate issues of climate change and Planned Parenthood issues. Some day- we will see in writing just HOW is Climate Change defined..The advocates will not do that. Once there is an accepted definition, then conclusions can be sought.

    We already have High Schools handing out condoms at will, there are over 136,000 private family planning clinics available that do not focus on abortion as does Planned Parenthood which has NO prenatal pregnancy care. Hmmm..ya know who advocated
    ( he’s in print on this) for the government deciding who and when an how many kids a couple can have? Ta dahhhh_ once again a far left Progressive adviser to the Clintons and Obama. His name is Dr. Podesta, close friend of George Soros. So maybe this Q of the Da is really about ginning up support for family planning by the government, just as Podesta advocates when he wrote, “There is nothing wrong with the government deciding how many children a family can have, if we have to control the population.”

    • KTN

      Would you rather all those horny teens not use condoms. They’re going to have sex anyway, so why not give them a fighting chance for the girl to not get pregnant and hand them out. Unless you are so principled that you will offer to adopt – yeah, that’s what I thought.
      So glad you brought up that leftist Soros too, man, he is scary, amiright, and that Dr. who is friends with the Clintons, and that Muslim we call a President – who knew.

      • Hunter

        When parents are sidelined, ignored by schools and clinics, over their teenage daughters, then yes_ the government has over stepped. And yes, I have adopted children. It is the humane Christian thing to do vs. abortion of a fetus or a preterm baby.
        And_you don’t know who Podesta is?????
        And_ why do you think Soros can’t go into several countries today? Google the collapse of the British pound.
        BYW_ Obama’s book says he was raised by his mother and a Muslim Indonesian, attended an Islamic school until his adolescence when he came back to Hawaii. Obama said the prettiest sound he ever heard was the Morning Call to Prayer at the Mosque and he has denigrated Christianity at the Prayer breakfast while extolling the false virtues of Islam_ which, BTW, to be a Muslim means you do not abide by the 1st, 2nd, 5,67th and 14 th amendments so Carson is correct on his statement of not approving a muslim for president. Not to abide by the Quran and Shariah law means a muslim has become an infidel. Now go read up a bit 🙂

        • KTN

          Nope, never heard of Podsta, maybe I should watch Faux news more. Beyond that point, one could argue, and I do, that Soros is the greatest capitalist to ever roam the earth – he did make a billion dollars (or pounds if you like) overnight, not bad for a nights sleep worth of work.
          I think you forgot the 13A, and of course the 18thA too (Muslims are not as keen on booze as we are, so Prohibition was a good thing).
          You do realize U.S. courts routinely use the dreaded Sharia law often don’t you. Just like they use Catholic Canon, and Jewish law – especially in contractual cases. But go on and fear the unfamiliar, that can be very comforting. Thanks for the heads up on reading a bit too, never thought of that.

  • Martha P, MD

    The Sierra Club statement above advocates nothing moire than abortion mills.
    Ten years ago, they were all for natural gas to shut down the coal an oil industry. Today they want to shut down natural gas production..why be able to export our gas to our allies? Because then they are not held captive by the likes of Iran and Russia.
    This statement best sums up why NEVER to pay attention to the radical extreme Sierra Club:

    The Sierra Club has lobbied to stop nuclear power plants from being
    built and against coal and oil. They claim they are interested in fuels
    that have “lower carbon emissions”. Natural gas is, well, a natural in
    that area. And the statistics prove the point:

    The federal Energy Information Administration reports
    that in 2009 “the 4% drop in the carbon intensity of the electric power
    sector, the largest in recent times, reflects a large increase in the
    use of lower-carbon natural gas because of an almost 50% decline in its
    price.” The Department of Energy reports that natural gas electric
    plants produce 45% less carbon than coal plants, though newer coal
    plants are much cleaner.

    Researchers at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    found that electric power plants reduced their greenhouse gases by 8.76%
    in 2009 alone. Most of the carbon reduction was driven not by mandates
    or regulation but by the economics of lower gas prices. The lead
    researcher, professor Michael McElroy, says: “Generating one
    kilowatt-hour of electricity from coal releases twice as much CO2 to the
    atmosphere as generating the same amount from natural gas, so a slight
    shift in the relative price of coal and natural gas can result in a
    sharp drop in carbon emissions.”

    So, what’s not to like?

    The answer surely is the industry’s drilling success. The
    Sierra Club greens were happy to support natural gas as a “bridge fuel to the 21st
    century” when it cost $8 or more per million BTUs and seemed to be in
    limited domestic supply.

    But now that the hydraulic fracturing and shale revolution has sent
    gas prices down to $2.50, the lobby fears natural gas will come to
    dominate U.S. energy production. At that price, the Sierra Club’s
    Valhalla of wind, solar and bio-fuel power may never be competitive. So
    the green left has decided it must do everything it can to reduce the
    supply of gas and keep its price as high as possible.

    And that means attacking hydraulic fracturing (something we’ve been
    doing since 1948 in over a million wells) as the villain. Because it
    would seem somewhat hypocritical to attack the fuel that they’ve been
    touting for years, wouldn’t it? So instead, they’ll attempt to make the
    process the problem.

    So let’s ask the “what if” question. What if they succeed in this hypocritical campaign of theirs?

    The losers if this effort succeeds would be the millions
    of Americans who are benefiting from the shale boom. Shale gas supports
    some 600,000 jobs in the natural gas industry, according to an analysis
    by the consulting firm IHS Global Insight. That’s almost eight times
    more jobs than are employed by the wind industry.

    But the losers would also include electricity consumers now paying lower
    prices at home; the steel workers in Youngstown, Ohio who have been
    rehired to make pipe for gas drillers in the Marcellus Shale; and the
    thousands of high-paying jobs in chemicals, fertilizer and other
    manufacturing that is returning to the U.S. because natural gas prices
    are so much lower.

    They’d limit your choice, drive up your energy bill, kill jobs and all for what?

    For their extremist agenda, which, by the way, really has little to do with clean air, water and protecting wildlife.
    It’s a cult with money – the most dangerous kind and attaching family planning ( a misnomer since it is really “abortion” and not planning at all for making a family.

    • Yanotha Twangai

      I take it that “MD” is the USPS abbreviation for Maryland. I’d hate to think that a medical school would graduate someone with such poor critical thinking skills.

  • Hunter

    The Pope’s view on contraception and the climate is just his part misinformed opinion. Even he can’t define what Climate change is_ in the old days, we called it Man Made Global Warming after we used to hear that according to Gore, our country would be in an ice age by 1990’s. Hmmm. now where is that ice? How does anyone explain the science showing the world has seen three glaciers? To see another glacier means each one had to melt and then REFREEZE…so much for climate change as man made, then again_ not one liberal progressive will dare “define” what constitutes Climate odd is that? At least we can define contraception as prevention and define abortion as murder of a human being. The Climate change comments from the Pope is so misguided.