«Climatic vasectomy», choosing not to have children to save the environment

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The environmental crisis offers us catastrophic scenarios. To try to contain it, we can reduce energy waste and stop using the car. But, also, opt for a vasectomy.

Yes, because according to a 2017 study, the most effective action that an individual can undertake to help the planet it would be to have one less child. In this way, according to the researchers, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 58 tons per year.

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, associate professor of environmental studies at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, has extensively studied the implications of the “eco-reproductive” choice. Last year he conducted a detailed survey of 600 people between 27 and 45 who are concerned about the climate crisis. Of these, 96% feared that their children would struggle to survive to the worst climatic scenarios, while 60% were concerned about the carbon footprint of the potential offspring.

One of the answers to these concerns is precisely the «Climatic vasectomy», on the increase in the world. According to estimates there are from 42 to 60 million sterilized men, even if in Italy there are very few men who have undergone the operation (which is minimally invasive, lasts about half an hour and consists of cutting and blocking the vas deferens that carry sperm from the testicles).

According to Nick Demediuk, an Australian family doctor, one of those who have performed the most vasectomies in the world (he has completed more than 40,000 procedures since 1981), explains to the Guardian that most of his patients are fathers over the age of 35. But the doctor adds that about 200 of the 4,000 patients attending his clinic today are younger men with no children. AND about 130 of them say they want to resort to vasectomy precisely because of the environmental crisis. “In the old days, it was just a way of life,” he explains. His patients “wanted to travel the world, work hard and not be stuck with a child. But the reasons have changed, probably in the last three or four years: now the environment is the dominant reason».

Even analysts at Morgan Stanley, in a November note to investors, said that “the movement of people who choose not to have children because of fears about climate change is growing and impacts fertility rates faster than any previous trend».

Nate Miller (name is fictional) is American, works for an environmental charity, and is 36 years old. As he tells the Guardian, the election of Donald Trump, who has always denied the climate crisis, was decisive for him. “I made a vasectomy appointment just that week“, has explained. ‘We are driving ecosystems out of balance and causing the mass extinction of countless species. I think the last thing this planet needs is more people. ‘

Other stories of Vanity Fair that might interest you:

WWF: The world must run against the climate crisis!

UN on climate change: “The crisis is a red code, there is no more time”

Environment, Italy will also have a “special envoy for climate change”

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