Recently I deepened and expanded my carbon footprint, drastically decreased my restful hours of sleep while sky rocketing my stress level, hastened my life expectancy, ruined my sex life, and snuffed out all my once flowing free time: I became a father. As my testosterone levels mercifully lowered in my middle aged years I felt calm,
smarter than younger would be fathers, and well positioned to handle the product of passing along my 23 chromosomes. I know it's a cliché but I was wrong and smacked hard by reality.
What I naively failed to consider was the complexity of the whole parenting experience especially in the face of drastic climate change and population growth. How difficult will life be in twenty years with a global population exceeding 8.5 billion and the continued effects of global warming?
If humans stave off all the potential calamities of global warming then what about living in an overpopulated world with a drastically reduced need for workers? Companies
will continually increase efficiency by automating production. For example: machines are already performing most of the diagnostics in automobile repair. Automating the actual repairs is not such a far leap. How much more will this steady progression limit the real opportunities for my daughter?
Perhaps I am whining too much. After all, it was a choice to have her in the first place. I was not compelled by religion, animal instinct, or a selfish desire to carry on my partner's name. It just seemed like a wonderful idea at the time. My mom lied; being a
parent is not such a seemless joy. If she were alive I would have a few cross words for her.
Increasingly I get spooked by things like (but not limited to) public schools, the girl scouts, Monsanto Industries, Evangelicalism, lead poisoning, gun nuts, US domestic and foreign policy, anti-abortion activism, libertarians, my daughter having irregular bowel movements, the Metro, and other people's babies. What is a paranoid atheist father to do? I am, often times, overwhelmed by the issues and problems facing this planet. Do some of my fellows in this group have any of the same concerns as new parents? Is having children today short sighted and selfish?
Perhaps one could find some amount of bliss in a generous medical marijuana subscription and a minor lobotomy...