Tax Babies, Save the Planet!

baby.jpgThis is another of those “I thought I’d heard everything” articles, and it comes to us from Australia. Medical expert Associate Professor Barry Walters has proposed a $5000-plus levy on each new baby born, and an annual carbon tax of $800 for each child in the family. His proposal, according to the article on, says Walters idea would tax every family with more than two children to pay for trees that would offset the carbon emissions generated over each kid’s lifetime.

Boy, that’ll increase condom sales and I’m sure doctors will certainly enjoy the likely increase in sterilizations, which will be showered with carbon credits for what he termed “greenhouse-friendly” services.

He went on to say the annual emission of carbon dioxide by an Australian individual is about 17 metric tons, which included energy use. In his article for the Medical Journal of Australia, Walters claims, “Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the prolifigate consumption of resources typical of our society.”

He hinted that the government should get rid of the $4133 baby bonus and consider population controls like those in China and India. Wikipedia has a good update on those controls which have been in place for years. China’s one child policy involves forced abortions and sterilizations, while in India young women are rewarded with money for not getting pregnant. Family planning and sterilization are among many steps being taken to curb population growth in India.

I doubt much will come of the good professor’s suggestion. Angela Conway, spokeswoman for the Australian Family Association is quoted as saying, “I think self-important professors with silly ideas should have to pay carbon tax for all the hot air they create.” She went on to say, “There’s masses of evidence to say that child-rich families have much lower resource consumption per head than other styles of households.”

Maybe that hot-air tax would work on politicians as well. What a concept!

Anyway, a high-profile doctor in Australia, Garry Egger, is quoted as saying, “One must wonder why population control is spoken of today only in whispers.” His comments were printed in an MJA response article, and echoes concerns by many experts that we’re just putting too many people on this rock.


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