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Climate Despair and Misanthropy | National Review

Ashley Jarrett

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A giant baby balloon inflated by Climate Change activists at Glasgow Green as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, November 8, 2021. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

Imagine being so monomaniacally obsessed with climate and so cynical about life in general as to reduce all the potential of a child to its carbon footprint. As I have written here before, couples in the First World choosing not to have children because of climate change makes no sense. Still, the message continues to be spread:

I can’t help but think here of the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In the movie, the protagonist George Bailey is rescued from despair by his guardian angel, Clarence. When Bailey says it would be better for everyone if he’d never been born, Clarence responds by showing him what the world would have been like without him. What follows is an incredibly moving illustration of how “each man’s life touches so many other lives,” and how “when he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole.”

Imagine instead — at the brink of suicide — George Bailey had been given the opportunity to see how much carbon the world might have been spared if he’d never existed. What a terrible movie! And what a terrible argument.


Formerly an online tech and science reporter at The Sun Online, Ashley stepped up to the mantle of technology reporter at the Daily Telegraph late last year. She writes about everything from drones, web security and cryptocurrency to social media apps, like Facebook and Spotify, and technology brands including Apple and Toshiba.

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