- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Progressives worried about climate change and social justice have a message for Prince William and Princess Kate: Stop having children.

The San Francisco group Having Kids, which champions smaller families, created a stir with its open letter urging the British royal couple to forgo having a third child on the grounds that a crowded nursery does damage to “sustainability and equity.”

“Melting glaciers could affect the North Atlantic circulation, completely changing the United Kingdom’s weather,” said the July 25 letter. “All of us — especially public figures — should plan our families with the future environment in mind, producing a smaller and more resilient populace capable of thriving in that environment.”

The letter, signed by Having Kids Executive Director Anne Green and President Carter Dillard, met with a rash of criticism from those encouraging the activists to mind their own business, but the San Francisco-based group was undeterred.

In a Monday statement, Having Kids argued that its critics “have only proven the organization’s point by failing to recognize the unique efficacy of family planning as a tool to mitigate climate change, close the gap between rich and poor, and dramatically improve child welfare — all at once.”

Having Kids has also taken issue with President Trump, the father of five, for “role modeling a completely unsustainable family of five children that are greedily consuming resources our children will need in the future.”

The organization’s campaign urging prominent figures to have fewer children comes with the climate-change movement increasingly pointing to population control as a key method of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

A study released earlier this month by Lund University researchers concluded that having “one fewer child” was the most effective “lifestyle choice” for combating climate change, followed by living without a car, avoiding airline travel and going vegetarian.

Great Britain may have already gotten the message — fertility rates have been falling for years, dropping to 1.81 children per woman in 2016 — but Having Kids was alarmed when Princess Kate recently joked she might want a third child after receiving an infant’s toy during a trip to Poland.

“We will just have to have more babies,” she quipped during the July 17 appearance.

While Having Kids has received some support for its population crusade, many of those responding on the [U.K.] Daily Mail website took the group to task for politicizing the couple’s private decision.

“I hope Princess Kate is pregnant NOW!!!” said one commentator. “With triplets!!!” chimed another.

Having Kids has promoted the “fair start model,” which calls for replacing “parent-centered family planning” with “a new and crucial trend of public family planning,” including wealth transfers from richer to poorer couples.

The royal couple has two children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.

“Why should Trump’s children or Prince William’s be handed wondrous lives while other children are guaranteed lives of misery?” Ms. Green said in a statement. “Together we can limit the degree to which a child’s quality of life is simply the luck of the draw.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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