Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Baby decisions - adding to the world's woes?

Joanna Benn
VIEWPOINT
Joanna Benn

Baby in pram on skyline

How responsible is it to have children in a world whose environmental health is already under stress? That's the question Joanna Benn poses this week in the Green Room. On the other hand, she wonders, will a couple more hungry mouths make much difference?

I came out of my house last week and got caught up in a fleet of mothers and prams.

They were wearing a middle class yummy mummy uniform combining comfort and fashion - skinny jeans, UGG boots, black tops and large sunglasses.

The prams were all state-of-the-art three wheeled, balanced, air-bagged mini cars that can fold to the size of a postage stamp and carry the week's shopping.

"Stop Children" sign
When I see babies, not only do I see the beauty, joy and miracle of life, I also see nappies, landfill waste, vast amounts of food and money needed, and a very shaky, unpredictable future

The urban mother tribe looked chic, proud and collectively cool.

It got me thinking. I love kids, I love babies.

I love the idea of the Brady Bunch, of close-knit large families and a stream of brothers and sisters of different heights with crazy hair.

However, perhaps it's my age; suddenly everyone I know has children and it is confusing me.

I don't even know when it all happened. I remember conversations about university, jobs, flats, boyfriends and partners, but I seem to have missed the pre-baby musings.