‘More people is the last thing this planet needs’: the men getting vasectomies to save the world

With the climate crisis becoming ever more urgent, a growing number of young, childless men are taking the drastic decision of being sterilised for environmental reasons

When Lloyd Williamson lay on his back in a GP’s clinic late last November, it was for the surgical culmination of years of soul searching. Williamson, who is 30 and from Essex, remembers wanting a family as a child, but something changed in his early 20s. “I thought: you know what? I don’t want to bring a life into this world, because it’s pretty shitty as it is and it’s only going to get worse,” he says, two weeks after his vasectomy.

Williamson was largely motivated to sterilise himself by the climate crisis. Given the link between fossil-fuelled economic growth and population growth, he believes that having fewer children is one thing individuals can do to help. “We can’t offset our carbon problem on to the next generation, because it’s not fair on them,” he says.

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