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  1. Climate Change – Mitigating Ego – Part 2 of 2

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    April 17, 2014 by John Crapper

    In part one we examined our ego and overpopulation.  In part 2 we dive further into the relation of our ego to this problem and examine a solution. 
    Here is a brief excerpt from last week’s post. 

    “…perpetuation of self gets to the essence of our dilemma when trying to deal with overpopulation.  Most of us want our “own” and most of us want too many of our “own” children.  Couples will go to extraordinary lengths to have their “own” children.  The Church of the Holy Shitters believes this to be the most personal, hard to recognize and admit, ass-backward, my shit doesn’t stink thinking pattern we have inside of us.  It needs to be confronted and dealt with in a soul-searching, gut-wrenching, ass-forward, my shit is just like all others’ shit, sort of way.” It is at the root of our overpopulation problem. (I invite you to take the time to read part 1 in its entirety.)

    The world’s population recently surpassed seven billion.  It is continuing to rise.  We need to search for ways to control and ultimately decrease our numbers.  Adoption is one of those tools. It gets scant attention.  That needs to change. It is a tool we need to increasingly use in our fight to control our numbers and sustain our environment.  Let’s take a look.

     

    There are millions of orphans in the world awaiting a family.  There are thousands of families looking to adopt each year.  It is tragic that countless children are growing up on the streets and in institutions because of governmental policies that constrict adoption.
    As the following statistics indicate there are numerous benefits for mothers who place their kids up for adoption and for the children that are adopted.

    Adoption Statistics

    Adoption statistics for mothers who place a child for adoption:

    Significantly, unwed mothers who choose adoption do better than mothers who choose to be single parents:
    They have higher educational aspirations, are more likely to finish school, and less likely to live in poverty and receive public assistance than mothers who keep their children.

    They delay marriage longer are more likely to marry eventually, and are less likely to divorce.

    They are more likely to be employed 12 months after the birth and less likely to repeat out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

    They are no more likely to suffer negative psychological consequences, such as depression, than are mothers who rear children as single parents.

    Source: McLaughlin SD, Manninen DL, Winges LD, Do Adolescents Who Relinquish Their Children Fare Better or Worse Than Those Who Raise Them? Family Planning Perspectives, 20:1 (Jan. – Feb., 1988), pp. 25-32

    Adoption statistics for adopted children:

    Adopted children do as well as or better than their non-adopted counterparts, according to a 1994 study by the Search Institute, a Minneapolis-based public policy research organization providing leadership, knowledge and resources to promote healthy children, youth and communities. This study, the largest examination of adopted adolescents yet undertaken, concludes:

    Teens who were adopted at birth are more likely than children born into intact families to live with two parents in a middle-class family.

    Adopted children score higher than their middle-class counterparts on indicators of school performance, social competency, optimism and volunteerism.

    Adopted adolescents generally are less depressed than children of single parents and less involved in alcohol abuse, vandalism, group fighting, police trouble, weapon use and theft.

    Adopted adolescents score higher than children of single parents on self-esteem, confidence in their own judgment, self-directedness, positive view of others and feelings of security within their families.

    On health measures, adopted children and children of intact families share similarly high scores, and both those groups score significantly higher than children raised by single parents.

    Seven percent of children adopted in infancy repeated a grade, while 12 percent of children living with both biological parents repeated a grade.

    Compared with the general child population, children placed with adoptive couples are better off economically.

    Data indicates that adopted children:

    Do better in educational attainment than single parent children and children raised by grandparents.

    Enjoy a quality of home environment superior to all the other groups.

    Have superior access to health care compared to all other groups.

    There are more than 118,000 children in public foster care awaiting adoption (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005).

    Despite the numerous positive benefits of adoption as outlined in the above statistics the trend for the number of adoptions is going down. 

    Domestic adoptions are  on the decline.  There are just not as many women placing their children up for adoption because of the increased acceptance of single parenthood.  According to an article appearing in USAToday dated January 11, 2013.

    As a result, the number of U.S. infant adoptions (about 90,000 in 1971) has fallen from 22,291 in 2002 to 18,078 in 2007, according to the most recent five-year tally from the private National Council for Adoption. Though the numbers are only current through 2007, the group’s president, Chuck Johnson, expects the number has remained fairly stable since 2007, citing efforts to promote adoption.

    The overall number of kids in the system, 401,000 in 2011, has hit a 20-year low. The number waiting to be adopted fell from 130,637 in 2003 to 104,236 in 2011, according to the U.S. Children’s Bureau. Their median age is 7 and they’re a mix of races (28% black, 22% Hispanic and 40% white.)

    From 2004 to 2010, the number of international adoptions to the U.S have dropped by 51%.    That trend is likely to continue. 

    Take for example the recent decision by Vladimir Putin who signed a bill that practically stopped all adoptions starting January 1, 2013 in retaliation for a new US law that forbids Russian officials accused of human rights abuses from travelling to the US.

    It’s hard for many Americans “to fathom why Russia’s leaders were willing to take such a drastic and unpopular step.”

    Marsha Lipman, of the Moscow Carnegie Center, says the answer has its roots in resentment of the fact that Russia, once on a par with America in terms of power, has now been relegated to second-class status.

    Once again we see the detrimental interference of human ego when it comes to taking sensible steps to solve our pressing problems. 

    Here is where children being adopted in the U.S. currently come from.

    imageYou can see the overall trend for the past several years has been downward and the recent decision taken by Russia will only accelerate that downward trend. 

    “It’s been a cataclysmic implosion of intercountry adoption,” said Tom DiFilipo of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, a non-profit. “It’s truly the children who are suffering,” he said, as countries accused of adoption fraud refuse to make changes and others acting out of nationalistic pride insist they can provide for their own.

    Citing once again how our ego gets in the way. 

    Last week, in part 1 we discussed how our ego gets in the way of taking effective action with regard to overpopulation.  Most mainstream religions teach us we are special, chosen and made in the image of God.  They inflate our individual importance by emphasizing our uniqueness.  We therefore desire our “own” children and anything less is often seen as some kind of failure.

    Infertility is the main reason parents seek to adopt children they are not related to. One study shows this accounted for 80% of unrelated infant adoptions and half of adoptions through foster care.

    Couples go to extraordinary lengths to have their “own” children and turn to adoption only as an option of last resort. Just to remind you of those extraordinary measures being taken let’s briefly look at them.

    Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): This is sometimes called artificial insemination, but really there is nothing artificial about it.  Sperm from the partner or from a sperm bank is inseminated at time of ovulation.

    In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): This involves taking fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries.  Later the eggs are removed and fertilized in the IVF lab.  Several days later the embryos are returned to the uterus.

    Donor Eggs: Here another women undergoes in vitro fertilization and donates her egg.  If the partner’s sperm is used the baby is genetically his but not genetically hers. 

    Embryo Adoption: Here extra embryos produced through in vitro fertilization are donated to an infertile woman.

    Why don’t we consider adoption ahead of these extraordinary measures?  Once again let me say -it’s our ego. 

    The Church of the Holy Shitters believes the status of adoption needs reevaluation and elevation to being seen as much more desirable both by governments and individuals.

    Let me ask a couple of questions.   Isn’t a child who is already in the world deserving of more consideration than one that has yet to be conceived?  Isn’t a life that is already here, with heart beating more precious than one who isn’t even in the womb? 

    Our religion teaches us to look at things in an ass-forward waste-end first way. When we look at overpopulation in an ass-forward waste-end first way we realize the most egregious way to waste is to waste a human life.  The most precious and vulnerable of human life is that of a child.  Letting children already here starve to death, or suffer the ravages of poverty just because our egos get in the way is morally indefensible. 

    An increase in the acceptability and use of adoption offers a way to alleviate this situation.  We strongly believe that any human being who forgoes having their “own” child and opts instead to adopt a disadvantaged child is performing an act that rises to the level of a sacrament in the eyes of our Church.  We call it the “Sacrament of Saving Little Poopers”.

    In the performance of this Sacrament you are saving a child from being wasted.  You are giving a child already alive a better life full of new opportunities and promise.  Also, not inconsequentially you are helping to ease the environmental pressures on the planet and improving the quality of life for all of humanity by reducing energy use, consumption, and waste production in the process.  This is truly an act of selfless ass-forward action!

    Adoption is not the only way a person can receive this sacrament. The critical element for receiving the Saving Little Poopers Sacrament is to refrain from having your own child.  Doing any of the following in conjunction with making this sacrifice entitles you to receive this Sacrament. 

    1.   Become a foster parent.

    2. Provide financial assistance for living expenses to an underprivileged child until they are of age.

    3. Provide educational assistance to an underprivileged child.

    4. Work for an NGO, in the Peace Corp or other charity organization involved with the betterment of children’s lives.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters believes our desire to want and have our own children to be the most personal, hard to recognize and admit, ass-backward, my shit doesn’t stink thinking pattern we have inside of us.  It is hard to think about and come to terms with.  But we need to for our sake and the sake of all our children. 

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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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