Parenting, from time immemorial, has been considered a noble purpose in life. No major religion is without some form of the exhortation to honour one’s parents. Indeed, in the Abrahamic religions, God is himself a father, while feminists, not content with the subordinate role allocated to women while Yahweh was king, long for a kinder, gentler epoch when mother ruled all, once upon a time, a long time ago.
But as the world population approaches seven billion people, perhaps we should collectively cry, “Enough with the making babies already!” Law of supply and demand dictates that which is plentiful is cheap; sadly, the same could become true of human life, if it hasn’t already.
On one metric in particular, though — carbon footprints — human life is actually expensive. And not only our own, but those of our descendants. Bring one child into the world, one itty bitty cute wittle baby, and you condemn the earth to kilotons of carbon waste from it and its future spawn. Says newscientist.com: “With rising future emissions, each extra child in the US would eventually result in eight times the lifetime carbon footprint of the average US resident today. Even with constant per-capita emissions, it’s nearly six times — or nearly 10,000 tonnes of CO2.”
There you have it. Parents are the world’s greatest polluters.
Clearly what is required is a new technology whereby, instead of infants, human couples adopt android babies built from carbon recovered from the atmosphere. Perhaps you consider this preposterous. Perhaps you suppose that, while a little girl might be able to foster great affection for her Cabbage Patch Kid, a doll would be totally inadequate for adults. If so, then it’s likely you’re not familiar with the reborn doll phenomenon.
Reborns are baby dolls so realistic that they can command high prices and the maternal affections of their purchasers. Those on a budget can buy a kit from ebay or online sources such as reborndollkits.com and provide the labour themselves.
You have to agree, that little tyke looks every bit as ugly as the real thing.
In this Australian report on the reborns . . .
. . . one fan acknowledges that, as realistic as they look, the fakes still lack the ability to respond. That may be part of the reason some people find these things just plain creepy. In the BBC documentary My Fake Baby, a reborn artist estimates that about 10% of the people she runs into react negatively to her product. I suspect that figure is actually higher, since her experience will consist in large part of interactions with people who seek her out because they’re already interested.
By the way, My Fake Baby is fascinating if you can find it. I found the beginning 10 minutes at glumbert.com:
But please, for the good of the planet, if you’re at all tempted to create a real infant of your own, just pop over to ebay and pick up a reborn. You can always upgrade it later when the fancy carbon composite android models come out. Perhaps if we make sexbots realistic enough, they can give birth to them. Eventually humanity itself could be replaced with something environmentally much more friendly. Hooray?