Les Knight is a happy-go-lucky human who wants his own species to go extinct.

He has hosted firework shows. A game of nude croquet is held in his backyard, which is ringed by 20-foot- tall hedges. Tucker Carlson couldn't match Mr. Knight's aggressiveness. Mr. Carlson praised Mr. Knight for being one of the cheeriest guests he had had.

The founder of the voluntary human extinction movement is Mr. Knight, who believes that the best thing humans can do to help the Earth is to stop having children.

Mr. Knight added the word "voluntary" decades ago to make it clear that they do not support mass murder or suicide. Their motto is "may we live long and die out" and one of their slogans is "Thank you for not breeding".

The Earth has a record eight billion humans. The number is expected to peak at over 10 billion in the coming decades due to increased life expectancy and decreases in child mortality.

Mr. Knight believes that overpopulation is a major factor in the climate crisis. Poor countries with a lot of people, such as India, don't contribute much to greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the pollution that is driving global warming is coming from wealthy countries like the US.

The director of the United Nations' population division said that focusing on population limitation as a potential climate fix diverts attention from the urgent need for everyone to ditch fossil fuels. The economic incentives that make it possible to make money off of pollution need to be changed.

Card 1 of 5

The Saudi plan. Despite the scientific consensus that the world must move away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, Saudi Arabia is using lobbying, research funding and diplomatic activity to keep oil at the center of the world economy.

The people are being tracked. Climate TRACE uses data from satellites to track emissions from power plants, oil fields and cargo ships. A hyperlocal Atlas of the human activities that are altering the planet's chemistry has been created by the group.

Climate threats in the U.S. The effects of climate change are already far-reaching and worsening throughout the United States, posing risks to virtually every aspect of society. The United States has warmed more quickly than the rest of the world over the past 50 years.

Forced sterilizations and measures that have proven inhumane have been linked to racist theories.

Increased human longevity and health have come at a cost to other living things on the planet.

The population of humans doubled in the last fifty years. She said that lowering fertility rates wouldn't change emissions in the short-term, but that it would put more pressure on the natural resources that depend on them.

Ms. Feldstein said that the loss of biodiversity can be devastating. We use more resources than the Earth can replenish in a year.

Climate activists and those concerned about overpopulation agree that one of the most effective ways to combat global warming is to increase access to education for girls around the world. Unintended pregnancies make up nearly half of all pregnancies around the world. The Center of Biological Diversity gave out a million condoms with slogans such as "for the sake of the horned lizard, slow down, love wizard"

ImageSmoke in a valley during twilight.
Smoke from a wildfire over the Klamath National Forest in California. Mr. Knight said he had begun to see humans as the most destructive of invasive species.Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

It's rare to find someone who goes as far as Mr. Knight, who had a vasectomy at the age of 25. The lack of freedom to not procreate is one of the things Mr. Knight calls reproductive fascism.

Mr. Knight said something to the effect of, "Look what we did to this planet." We are not a great species.

It is not clear how many people are in the group. The group became popular when Mr. Knight created a website. The site includes quotes from the philosopher Schopenhauer and cartoons by the artist, as well as arguments against procreation and foradoption. It has been translated into 30 different languages and is still a place of refuge.

Mario Buenfil is a water engineer in Mexico City who has been involved with the movement for 20 years.

The words "voluntary human extinction" are often used to describe the group. The president of Population Connection likened it to a sideshow. If the group's provocative name and seemingly pugilistic stance suggest an embittered or even menacing founder, Mr. Knight seems nothing but a lie.

Mr. Knight is similar to Bill Nye and Fred Rogers. Mr. Knight shows great compassion for the ones that already exist even though he is against the creation of more humans.

Mr. Knight was a substitute teacher for a long time. He picks up litter from the main road on Sundays. During an interview, he paused to appreciate two garden spiders taking in the sun on gossamer webs. After so many animals were killed during the heat dome in the Pacific Northwest, the sight was a cause for celebration. He lives alone, but his girlfriend lives next door, and they are all on board with his cause.

Marv Ross was Mr. Knight's college roommate and a long time friend. He was always making it fun to get his message across and he did it many times. People would get upset with a joke or smile.

Mr. Knight watched timber companies cut down the state's forests when he was a kid. He joined the local chapter of Zero Population Growth because he didn't want to have children after being drafted in the Army. He said that it was always because of the ecology that it happened.

His beliefs were based on the idea that other species are just as important as humans. Mr. Knight believed that humans were the most destructive of invaders.

Mr. Knight’s message on a sweatshirt. Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

Mr. Knight said that they ran amok after coming to be. We should know enough to stop it.

They don't mention the bad things we've done because they mention the good things. I don't believe the whales will miss our music.

One in four Americans who did not have children cited climate change as a reason, according to a 2020 poll. According to research, having one fewer child is the most significant way to reduce one's carbon footprint.

Mr. Knight was able to grab peoples attention and start conversations.

She said that he was advocating for many of the same things as the rest of us.

The world's population is at a record high.

He didn't think he would succeed. That's the secret to not burning out.