When I stumbled across this Wikipedia article I though this sounds like a brilliant idea! Who wants to join?
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) is an environmental movement that calls for all people to abstain from reproduction in order to bring about the gradual voluntary extinction of humankind.
VHEMT was founded in 1991 by Les U. Knight, an American activist who became involved in the environmental movement of the 1970s and thereafter concluded that human extinction was the best solution to the problems facing the Earth’s biosphere and humanity.
After coming to this conclusion, he joined the Zero Population Growth organisation and chose to be vasectomised at age 25.
Knight believes that Earth’s non-human organisms have a higher overall value than humans and their accomplishments, such as art: “The plays of Shakespeare and the work of Einstein can’t hold a candle to a tiger”. He argues that species higher in the food chain are less important than lower species.
Followers of VHEMT see abstinence from reproduction as an altruistic choice – a way to prevent involuntary human suffering – and cite the deaths of children from preventable causes as an example of needless suffering. They claim that non-reproduction would eventually allow humans to lead idyllic lifestyles in an environment comparable to the Garden of Eden, and maintain that the last remaining humans would be proud of their accomplishment. Other benefits of ceasing human reproduction include the end of abortion, war, and starvation. Knight argues that “procreation today is de facto child abuse”. He maintains that the standard of human life will worsen if resources are consumed by a growing population rather than spent solving existing issues.
VHEMT promotes a more extreme ideology than Population Action International, a group that argues humanity should reduce—but not eliminate—its population to care for the Earth. However, the VHEMT platform is more moderate and serious than the Church of Euthanasia, which advocates population reduction by suicide and cannibalism.
At The Guardian’s website, Guy Dammann applauds the movement’s aim as “in many ways laudable”, but argues that it is absurd to believe that humans will voluntarily seek extinction. Freelance writer Abby O’Reilly writes that since having children is frequently viewed as a measure of success, VHEMT’s goal is difficult to attain. Knight contends in response to these arguments that though sexual desire is natural, human desire for children is a product of enculturation.
The Economist characterizes Knight’s claim that voluntary human extinction is advisable due to limited resources as “Malthusian bosh”. The paper further states that compassion for the planet does not necessarily require the pursuit of human extinction.
Brian Bethune writes in Maclean’s that Knight’s logic is “as absurd as it’s unassailable”. However, he doubts Knight’s claim that the last survivors of the human race would have pleasant lives and suspects that a “collective loss of the will to live” would prevail.