Appalachian Basin

Fatherly Advice from Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben, a well known environmental advocate and author is coming to Columbus this weekend to continue his crusade against the safe and responsible development of onshore energy.  The man who campaigned feverishly against the job creating keystone pipeline now has his eyes set on Ohio and the Utica Shale.  But who is Bill McKibben and why should Ohioans be concerned with him coming to rally against the Utica Shale?

You can tell a lot about somebody by the topics they cover in their books, magazines or websites.  Mr. McKibben, as far as I can tell from his musings, seems to believe that humans are a plague to the earth and the only way for the earth to survive is if we were to somehow die off or limit our reproduction. Sounds legit.

In honor of Mr. McKibben holding his anti-shale rally on Father’s Day; I thought I would pull some musings from his book Maybe One: A Personal and Environmental Argument for Single-Child Families.

Let’s take a look at some of the fatherly advice he has bestowed throughout the years:

“But now–now may be the special time. So special that in the western world we might each of us consider, among many other things, reproducing at a rate as low as human beings have ever voluntarily reproduced” Bill McKibben- Maybe One- pg. 66

Interesting, in order to protect the earth, Mr. McKibben believes the dream of a nuclear family is one that must be sacrificed in order to save the environment.  I for one, being a son and this being Father’s Day weekend, find that statement not only strange but one that is almost…well.

Sure, let’s institute a policy and only allow for one child families.  Nothing says the American dream like limiting children.  But don’t worry – Mr. McKibben sees that to be positive for a child’s upbringing.

“Only children may have some other real bonuses in their lives, too. Several studies suggest that singletons have more flexible sex-role orientation…This effect seems particularly pronounced for girls, perhaps because more parents continue to hope for a  boy than a girl, and so if they have an only daughter tend to raise her as a tomboy.” Bill McKibben- Maybe One- pg. 40 (emphasis added)

What the what? Okay…not going to touch that one.  But for those parents who choose to have a second child, Mr. McKibben will tell you why you chose to do so:

“Parents often have second children to help make sure that their first will turn out normal. Most parents, after all, aren’t really concerned about IQ or vocabulary scores or reading levels. They want to know: Will my child be happy? Will my child be weird?” Bill McKibben- Maybe One- pg. 32 (emphasis added)

I think all parents want all of their children to be happy. However  I, for the life of me, can’t see how intelligence is somehow mutually exclusive from one’s happiness.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a nice WWBMD “What Would Bill McKibben Do.” While you enjoy your Father’s day, with either your  father or your children,  realize this gentleman has a very interesting view of the world, one that likely involves the real potential of taking away jobs and prosperity for all Ohioans. Not to mention limiting families.

“We need to be electing the right politicians, boycotting the wrong companies, recycling, riding bikes, buying tiny little cars. If we can open up a bit more margin by having fewer kids, that will help.” Bill McKibben- Maybe One- pg. 126

Happy Father’s Day! Hope to see you Saturday at our “Save Our Shale” rally at COSI

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