Stefan Riedener: no, I don’t feel guilty. You can still have a child. But I’m aware that I’m contributing thus to climate change. I try to compensate in other ways: by investing even less of a fly on a plant-based diet, set, sustainable, and my child will convey these values.

That’s right. In the long term, a child will produce much more greenhouse gases, than when I once in a while fly or eat meat. However, a child can have many positive effects. It is good if an additional man is allowed to lead a life worth living. In addition, each new Generation contributes something to the cultural and technological development. Just the awareness of climate change is increased due to the climate of youth strong. Not least, new generations will support, for example, the social security system.

it no longer is today. Whether and how many children we have, we need to be responsible for others. We need to be able to give an answer to the question of why we have so many children. That is not the case for all questions of personal life. If someone asks me why I sleep in a yellow instead of a blue pajama, I can say: it’s nothing to you. Because this decision does not affect anyone. However, if for example, someone from Bangladesh wants to know why I have five children, I can’t answer you like that. My decision relates to that Person. Your country could be thrown into the sea because of climate change, contributes to the life of my child.

That a child is Central to my idea of a for me a successful life. It is extremely important to me to be a father. And, accordingly, it would have cost me a lot to renounce in favour of climate change on children. This is different when flying. I can’t say that it is very important for me to spend each year in Thailand on holiday. On a right to fly, I can’t insist.

Absolutely. In the last ten years, public debate on the personal life have greatly increased. Am I allowed to eat meat or to travel? One hundred years ago you would have said: What fruit goes I for Breakfast eat anyone. That was maybe right when it came to our Apples and pears. Today, however, it affects basically all of us, if I mix a day, one Papaya from South America in my muesli. This has consequences for the climate. Who today still maintains that eating is a private matter, is simply wrong. It is a similar question with the children.

This is the consequence. And which is also legitimate. If we lead a lifestyle that is not justifiable in the face of climate change, then we need to ask ourselves critical questions. This is unpleasant, but from a moral point of view, entirely appropriate.

Not necessarily. Not a private matter is first, that we are the other answer. If it takes laws, is another question. You have to ask yourself about, what would be the effect of a statutory provision. Can contribute to a climate tax on a third child, fewer children are conceived? Or is it the same number of children that live in more precarious situations? Then the Weakest members of society would be even weaker. This is much more complex than the question of whether we should tax meat the best.

Depending on how you interpreted it and reacted. If we would tomorrow introduce in Switzerland, a One-child policy, it would be certainly problematic. When it is said, however, we have to think as a society about this Problem, is anything other than fascist or hysterical. It simply means to take the Problem of climate change seriously.

article from the “observer”

This article was taken from the magazine “observer”. More exciting articles, see

In a way Yes. We should not protect the climate, for the climate’s sake, but in the interest of the people and other animals. The claim, for the benefit of the climate, extinction, would indeed be absurd. It is different for the requirement to have a maximum of two children. It could be that we die out eventually, because mankind continues to grow as in the past, and that we survive only if we pay attention today on our number. Viewed in this way, it may be useful to tools for the benefit of humanity less human.

might some Parts, we absorb the other. The average Swiss gets today, less than two children. Our company is growing through Migration. Immigration could also support in the future of the welfare state. But it is also an open question whether we can continue to maintain the same standard of living or may. Maybe we have to accept, with a little less resources. It costs something, if we want to solve the climate problem.

you raise a difficult moral question. It is a progress, if people in developing countries through economic growth out of poverty to be lifted. On the other hand, these companies will then produce more CO2. I know of no easy solution. But it would be morally wrong, if the global North, which contributes much more to climate change and suffer less including has, its CO2-intensive life-style continue to be used, for ecological reasons, the people of the South the way out of poverty more difficult.

in Principle, any Emission of climate-relevant. But the high birth rates in the global South are actually falling a lot less weight. The Per-capita emissions in the US are about 75 times higher than in Bangladesh. The Problem is not so safe in the South.

in a leisurely manner, these questions are not. If we adjust our life-style, far-reaching political measures to enforce and the technological progress, we can make our collective Klimatod probably unlikely. But we need to act decisively. The extinction of life on earth would be the greatest imaginable moral disaster. If it is almost imminent, drastic measures are necessary.

no. But not because of panic or remorse plagues. My son wakes up easily, nor often.

Stefan Riedener

Stefan Riedener (31) studied in Zurich and Oxford philosophy. He teaches at the ethics center of the University of Zurich and has recently become a father.