For sale: My childless carbon credits

Be as green as me!

Jeffrey Denny
5 min readSep 16, 2021


Jeffrey Denny

I love Earth.

It’s my home, and only place I’ve ever lived. Or is it?

Either way, naturally I worry about climate change. Especially when my basement floods and I blame climate change.

I also vote green — not GOP green, for money, but as a Democrat who wants to protect Earth’s viridescence.

Except for many beautiful Earth parts that are brown. Like the Grand Canyon. Or Afghanistan, where Republicans as usual got America into a terrible mess for Democrats to clean up and get blamed for. Or blue, like our oceans and liberal zip codes. Or white, like the dwindling polar ice caps and Republicans who deny climate change.

You can tell I care deeply about my planet.

Even without marveling our lonely blue marble from space like Elon Musk, Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos cosplaying Elton John’s Rocket Man or David Bowie’s Major Tom.

For instance, Bezos probably doesn’t miss his wife, or want ground control to tell his wife he loves her very much, she knows.

From all of this, one might assume I’m living the Green Life to a capital G and L.

For instance, eating miracle vegan burgers “with all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger.” Feeling lethargic in spite of the vegan burger pea proteins. Gassing like beef cattle from eating vegan burgers.

Green Life also means going carless, or if you must drive, showcasing your reluctance by driving a Prius. Better yet, walk, bike, e-bike, scooter, Heely, wheelchair, or trudge to mass transit hell loaded with shopping packages, stayed not by snow, rain, heat or gloom of night like the U.S. Postal Service hates.

Green Life means being really hot or cold and miserable, drenched with weather or sweat all the time, like our grandparents and superior Europeans. Also guilting everyone that they need to love it. For Earth.

Green Life also means going full solar — not just roof panels that don’t pay off, but hanging laundry to dry in the “fresh” air for neighbors to abhor. Also, taking NPR tote bags to Trader Joe’s to signal $5/month donations to smart media and delight in healthy frozen foods.

Not to mention religiously recycling, even racially discriminating glass by color, and composting vegan garbage for your organic garden so essentially you can eat your waste.

I’m too selfish for any of that.

Sure, I try my best. I’m no climate denier, like those people who also deny Covid-19 can kill, vaccines save lives, Trumpism is destroying America, and 2+2=4, not whatever Tucker Carlson snickers.

But I’m not so Gandhi, being the change I want to see in the world.

Like many in my caring liberal community, I drive a gasoline-powered SUV, fly on big jet airliners, eat big juicy steaks, and shop at Whole Foods for my big juicy steaks. We don’t care that Whole Foods is owned by the greedy, rapacious, Amazon rain forest-destroying and enriches Rocket Man, aka, Major Tom, Jeff Bezos.

My climate-concerned community also powerfully defends its exclusionary zoning to keep out climate-friendly, transit-oriented denser housing that would ease the affordable housing crunch and possibly diversify our majority White community in our majority Black city.

We’re smart, though. We never come clean about our selfish personal NIMBY interests to protect the “character of our community” like a redlining racist. We nitpick that denser housing would kill heritage trees and pave green spaces where children need to play; bring more carbon-belching traffic that threatens children; and, erect taller buildings that reflect heat, contributing to climate change that destroys our children’s planet.

We also know how to use semicolons and we will use them.

No question the oil industry and its useful idiots that parrot the spin that the climate crisis is a hoax are much worse than progressive NIMBYs. Everyone knows that Big Oil execs and their Republican puppets are dinosaurs, like the ones that gave us fossil fuel.

Point is, maybe we’re all hypocritical about climate change.

Except me.

Why? I never had children who create children who create children, and so on.

Not reproducing beautiful, life-changing, difficult, costly and marriage-killing devil spawn of course has left me sad, lonely, hollow, bereft of joy and endlessly longing for children who will fight over who will grudgingly care for me in my dotage while resenting my narcissistic parenthood.

Unlike on “Ted Lasso,” I can’t give anyone daddy issues.

On the upside, being childless has accrued to my benefit of sleep, money, mental health, and reduced stress from not having to manage difficult grandparents or write the kids’ college and/or retail job applications to get my little dears the hell out of my house already and forever.

Best of all, being childless has reduced my carbon footprint by 25 billion to 500 trillion megatons over my lifetime, according to my gross exaggeration.

Yes, I’m raising a controversial issue.

The pushback against “environmental anti-natalism” cannot be denied:

· We need to repopulate, in spite of overcrowded Delta flights and devolutionary MAGAs;

· We need to celebrate biological hormonal baby-craziness taking over frontal-lobe executive function;

· Besties are having babies, putting pressure on other besties to spawn and have competitive gender reveal baby showers;

· Parents and aunts are also pressuring for procreation because they are desperate for babies to love, coddle, spoil and hand off when they’re poopy, whether emotionally or diaperly;

· Men need to grow up already and become fathers, eventually to divorce for being bad husbands and fathers;

· Today’s progressive climate policies will reduce how much our children will kill the planet we bequeath to them.

All said, I’ll always be greener than even the greenest parents.

Even if I drive 0 mpg monster truck, consume megatons of Texas BBQ, and have my fireplace roaring in summer with the a/c on, like Environmental Protection Agency founder President Richard Nixon did at the White House.

So let me propose a Republican market solution to the climate crisis:

I’ll sell you my childless carbon credits so you can emit the carbon you need to reproduce and still come out climate neutral or even ahead.

Whether you’re liberal climate conscientious or conservative climate curious, you can buy my carbon credits to breed hypocrisy-free.

Yep, I’m monetizing climate guilt.

I take Amex, debit cards, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, cryptocurrency and of course, cash on the barrelhead. No checks please.

“Win-win” is a hoary cliché and usually isn’t. But if my childlessness supports both your spawning and care for the planet, who loses?

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.



Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.