New York Times climate reporter Cara Buckley issued a weirdly casual “news” profile of the “gentle” leader of a radical anti-humanity movement called Voluntary Human Extinction, datelined (naturally) Portland, Oregon, under the admirably honest headline: “Earth Now Has 8 Billion Humans. This Man Wishes There Were None.” So enthusiastic was Buckley that this sentence was included in her online byline: “Buckley interviewed Mr. [Les] Knight in Portland and was surprised to find him curiously uplifting.”
The praise for the humanity-loathing human began at the start. Not even Tucker Carlson could hamper Knight’s good vibes.
For someone who wants his own species to go extinct, Les Knight is a remarkably happy-go-lucky human.
He has regularly hosted meteor shower parties with rooftop fireworks. He organized a long-running game of nude croquet in his backyard, which, it should be mentioned, is ringed by 20-foot-tall laurel hedges. Even Tucker Carlson proved no match for Mr. Knight’s ebullience. During a 2005 interview with Mr. Knight on MSNBC, Mr. Carlson criticized him for espousing “the sickest” of beliefs but then added, “You are one of the cheeriest guests we’ve ever had.”
Then came the hammer blow inside the velvet glove:
Mr. Knight, 75, is the founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction movement, which is less a movement than a loose consortium of people who believe that the best thing humans can do to help the Earth is to stop having children.
A voluntary die-off of humans to clear Planet Earth, in other words.
Mr. Knight added the word “voluntary” decades ago to make it clear that adherents do not support mass murder or forced birth control, nor do they encourage suicide. Their ethos is echoed in their motto, “May we live long and die out,” and in another one of their slogans, which Mr. Knight hangs at various conventions and street fairs: “Thank you for not breeding.”
“Voluntary” for now, anyway. It’s always best to hedge when it comes to radical left-wing wish lists, where living longer and no longer dying young aren’t considered positive trends.
On Nov. 15, the Earth became home to a record eight billion human beings. Despite declining birthrates, the number is forecast to peak at 10.4 billion in the coming decades, in large part because of increases in life expectancy and decreases in child mortality.
Buckley briefly noted qualms about “racist theories like eugenics” surrounding population control, but let an outside source rebut them.
Yet Stephanie Feldstein, director of population and sustainability at the Center for Biological Diversity, said while greater human longevity and health were good things, they have come at a cost to other living things on the planet.
Buckley nudged readers to ignore the stark literal inhumanity of the group’s ideals and to focus instead on Knight’s beaming personality.
Tall and gentle, Mr. Knight comes across as clear-eyed and thoughtful, like a mash-up of Bill Nye and Fred Rogers. While Mr. Knight may be against the creation of more humans, he shows great compassion for the ones that already exist.
Perhaps the piece’s most casually chilling line was this:
….Research has shown that having one fewer child is perhaps the most significant way to reduce one’s carbon footprint, and while Mr. Knight doesn’t like to push his beliefs on people, he likes to think there are some humans who don’t exist because of his efforts.
Earlier this year, Buckley applauded the violent eco-nuts of UK “climate” activists who have “taken hammers to gas pumps and glued themselves to museum masterpieces and busy roadways.”