Looking for a new way to help the environment? How about have fewer kids. According to a study at Oregon State University a child adds nearly 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and having one less child is 20 times more effective than driving a high mileage car, recycling and other “green” practices that people do in their entire lifetime.

This finding is not new; the British Medical Journal advocated this last year.

Divorce and the obesity epidemic also cause large environmental impacts. Two individuals, who once shared resources, use twice as much when living under separate roofs.  Food production is also thought to be a major contributor to global warming.

Each of these studies were careful to say that they were not advocating for a change in law, but merely to make people aware when making reproductive choices. Should the impact a child has on the environment really have any weight when deciding whether to bring a new life into this world? Let’s hope not and let’s also hope that if cap and trade doesn’t work out the Government doesn’t get desperate for ideas.