Woman pregnant with her 20th child

November 9, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are expecting their 20th child. Wikipedia features the family:

The Duggars raise their children using a buddy system, wherein an older sibling is assigned to a younger sibling and assists in their primary care. According to Michelle, “they help them with their little phonics lessons and games during the day and help them practice their music lessons. They will play with them or help them pick out the color of their outfit that day and just all of those types of things.”  In 2004, Michelle Duggar won the “Young Mother of the Year Award” in Arkansas, which is sponsored by American Mothers Incorporated.

In the meantime, Global Population Speak Out is asking concerned citizens to sign its pledge:

I pledge to show I care about people and planet by taking part in the global discussion about population growth. I am joining the Population 7 Billion: It’s Time to Talk campaign. With world population set to surpass the 7 billion mark in October 2011, it’s time for a broader public discussion, especially about the importance of family planning and the role that educating girls and empowering women can play in creating a healthier and more sustainable world. As part of my pledge, I will start conversations with others and help spread the word.


Category: American Culture, Overpopulation, Sustainable Living, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Mike M. says:

    Here’s an interesting exerpt from a talk by Terence McKenna that digs into this issue of overpopulation:

    What we’re really going to have to do if we’re going to–if we take sustainability seriously, is reconstruct our civilization from the ground up. And in trying to think about what that would mean, over a number of years, the only thing I’ve been able to come up with is the problem of population. And the most radical thinkers in the population field suggest that we should shoot for zero population growth, which would leave us in the hideous mess that we’re in. I think if you’re talking seriously about sustainability, then the idea that I’ve kicked around in various forms is: one woman, one child.
    Do you realize that, if this were in place, magically, instantly, that the population of the planet would drop 50% in 40 years? Without war. Without pogram. Without famine. The population of the planet would drop in half in the lifetime of your children. That’s astonishing! Because we’re accustomed to thinking there’s no way out. There’s no way out. There’s that way out.
    But let me anticipate this. Some people say, well, but traditionalism, you can’t make people do that. That’s right. A woman who has a child in a high tech, industrial democracy, that child will use 800 to 1,000 times more resources than a child born to a woman in Bangladesh in its lifetime. These women in the high tech, industrial, democracies are educated, aware of gender politics. They’re with it. They should be the easiest converts to this position. And through insurance and tax incentives and all kinds of incentives, this should be made the operable option.
    Within a very few years, if a small percentage of women in the high tech, industrial democracies took this route, we would begin to see the strain on world resource extraction ease. And so, what is going on here? The goals of the individual have at last been made commiserate [sic] with the goals of society. Because you go to these women and you say, How would you like increased leisure time? How would you like cradle to the grave medical insurance and no income tax? And how would you like genuine status as a hero in the struggle to save the planet? This is the most politically, intelligent and courageous thing you could possibly do. And what will it get you? More money. More leisure time and social status. So people would do this. Why has this never been talked about? Because we are unwilling. And I bow to my friend here; we’ve mud wrestled over this before. We’re unwilling to hang the Pope, essentially, and his Islamic fundamentalist friends, who together, every year, produce a combined ethical and moral disaster that makes the Holocaust look like a dinner party. And, do liberals step forward to condemn the fact that tens, if not hundreds of millions of people are shoved into death, degradation and disease because of these population policies? These are crimes against humanity. The Nuremburg Tribunal should deal with people who take these positions. It is not simply a political position to be expressed over dinner table conversation. It is a crime against humanity. It is genocide and the ecological [laughter] movements, the political movements don’t seem to be able to find their voice on this. The only way out is population reduction. The fewer people there are, the richer those who would remain are, the more land is freed, the less we have to extract resources because the existing standing crop of metals can be recycled and on and on and on. It’s an obvious answer. What’s holding it up? Politics, fear and religion.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike: What amazes me is that we cannot even have a conversation on this topic. When you buy a house, it’s the first thing you ask: I’ve got a family with X members; how many rooms does the house have? It’s not often that we invite dispassionate discussions regarding the carrying capacity of the Earth. Rather,with the Earth, many of the nay-sayers have been wrong over the decades (e.g., Paul Ehrlich). That gives many people the confidence to say that technology (or the “free market”) will keep coming to the rescue. And of course no one wants to get into the game of telling anyone else how many children they should have, because it might come back to haunt ME. And no one wants to tell desperately poor folks in third world countries to stop having children when we are talking from our materially privileged perch–over here in the U.S., we consume 30 times the resources per person compared to people in third world countries, and we are lecturing THEM?

      In the meantime, the world really does seem to be bursting at its seams, with many natural resources getting close to being gutted (including, in many places, water). It seems like we ought to be talking, because many of the things that ail us can be viewed (and arguably solved) by having fewer people on the planet. Whenever it comes down to having fewer people by watching them starve versus not having babies in the first place, I’m for avoiding starvation. But this is such an incredibly wrenching issue, perhaps because so many people think that it’s not an issue at all, because somehow, the Earth will figure out a way to hold 10 billion and then 12 billion people. I’m not convinced.

  2. Edgar Montrose says:

    I anticipate, with great sorrow for the horror that is to come, that Nature will take care of this problem if we do not.

  3. Mike M. says:

    Erich: Yep, population control talk is one of our culture’s Great Taboos (which also means that the idea has some intrinsic spooky power and resonance). But this sort of rational family planning concept pushes against the grain of the biblical God’s exhortations to “Go Forth And Multiply”, and have dominion over the land. The preferred method of poulation control amongst the Church & Flag crowd is War, Genocide and Starvation. This is not my opinion, but History. In this moral inversion, the religious and political fundamentalists see blood sacrifice and suffering as “honorable” and “holy”, and birth control as “Evil” and “Wicked”. They are the enemies of humanity.

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