Baby tax needed to save planet, claims expert

News.com.au | Dec 10, 2007

By Jen Kelly

A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus “baby levy” at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.

Writing in today’s Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child’s lifetime.

Professor Walters, clinical associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia and the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, called for condoms and “greenhouse-friendly” services such as sterilisation procedures to earn carbon credits.

And he implied the Federal Government should ditch the $4133 baby bonus and consider population controls like those in China and India.

Professor Walters said the average annual carbon dioxide emission by an Australian individual was about 17 metric tons, including energy use.

“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 profligate consumption of resources typical of our society,” he wrote.

“Far from showering financial booty on new mothers and rewarding greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour, a ‘baby levy’ in the form of a carbon tax should apply, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

Australian Family Association spokeswoman Angela Conway said it was ridiculous to blame babies for global warming.

“I think self-important professors with silly ideas should have to pay carbon tax for all the hot air they create,” she said. “There’s masses of evidence to say that child-rich families have much lower resource consumption per head than other styles of households.

But the plan won praise from high-profile doctor Garry Egger. “One must wonder why population control is spoken of today only in whispers,” he wrote in an MJA response article.

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3 responses to “Baby tax needed to save planet, claims expert

  1. Beyond repacing ourselves we should be taxing or providing incentives for lessening the world population. Already not enough water in many parts of the world….less to come if predictions are near the mark. China’s already hurting and their burgeoning economy will necessitatate more Western levels of consumption and that is not feasible. I hope Westen countries (as the highest carbon producers per person) lead the way in holding the line on population. Unfortunately Capitalism requires an ever expanding base population to perpetuate growth….sound economies. The U.S. needs its influx of imigrants to help bolster the otherwise neutral population growth. (wish i had a realistic answer to this dilema.)
    On the face of it Angela Conway’s statement that; “There’s masses of evidence to say that child-rich families have much lower resource consumption per head than other styles of households.” rings true. Sure 4 in a home is going to make less of a carbon imprint than 4 persons living in separate domiciles. But more importantly she fails to comprehend (or admit to) the compounding effect of population growth. One half of a couple that just replaces themselves means no net gain in population. Add one more person to the equation and in four generations there will have been a net of 24 persons producing carbon …compared to 4. Try to convince me those 24 are will have created a carbon footprint equal to the 4.
    As I write this the news is that the Arctic melted at a rate faster than had been predicted….Until we have concrete solutions I suggest we err on the side of caution if we truly love our future generations.

  2. Spoken like a member of the CFR. You just went through a laundry list of canned propaganda that the CFR, Club of Rome, Bilderberg etc are using to tighten the noose around our necks. Everything you say is pure and utter bullshit lies. Screw you. You are creating hell for the future generations and for this one.

    YOU are the problem.

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