Many nonprofits raised billions of dollars over the last several decades claiming to have protected various ecosystems, saved animals from factory farms, hauled children out of dangerous conditions, or improved human rights and democracy.
Media ran thousands of stories containing stealth advertising, claiming reductions in climate emissions from things like dietary change, or energy conversions, while simultaneously pushing women to have more kids in order to grow the unsustainable economies relied upon by their advertisers and parent companies.
Businesses sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising their green, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and other claims.
Fair Start reforms work by taking the wealth made through unsustainable growth – which externalized costs on the most vulnerable – and using that wealth to invest in equitable family planning that creates smaller, more equitable and biodiverse communities where each person is empowered with an effective voice in their democracy.
That’s basic justice, there are programs underway to do this, and nothing has a greater impact.FairStartMovement.org
None of those claims told the whole story, and they almost always omitted a crucial fact.
Those claims hid the fact that those making the claim maintained policies simultaneously increasing demand in a way that was undoing the claims, and ensuring ongoing and unsustainable population growth. That growth – the whole time – was reversing the beneficial impacts underlying the claims being made, growth that was enriching leadership at the entities described above, and exacerbating the climate crisis – reversing roughly 3/4ths of the climate emissions reductions the world was attempting.
The climate crisis will cause extreme suffering and death to the vulnerable many nonprofits and others claimed to be protecting.
The claims almost always left out the fact that the claimants’ family and population growth policies were putting more animals in factory farms and other horrible places, ensuring more children were born and raised in conditions of suffering and deprivation, and ensuring each person had less of an effective voice in their political systems – the systems that might have otherwise prevented the crisis. The claims at the same time hid the need for fundamental family reforms that, through family planning incentives/entitlements, could have saved millions of lives.
That growth, which benefitted few at cost to many, is setting us all towards a future of ecocide, extinction, and death to many of the most vulnerable children. Hiding that growth evaded policy changes that save lives, like the ones described below, including equitable family planning entitlements.
These claims all hid the impacts of what one Nobel laureate called a pyramid scheme of unsustainable but profitable overpopulation in rich, industrialized and high climate emissions nations, growth all of these entities knew was simultaneously undoing the majority of climate change and other environmental protection efforts, and ensuring dangerous and destabilizing vast inequity between rich and poor. The claims hid the fact that the entities described above – or really their senior leadership – chose self-serving family policies that were undoing the claims by increasing demand for ecocidal, but profitable, production and pollution.
And the wave of deadly climate emissions that flowed directly from the population growth and expanding inequity these claims routinely omitted and covered up will now help ensure the death of millions as the climate crisis accelerates.
Why cover up these growth-based or fundamental impacts? The family reforms that would prevent them, when correctly researched and assessed, ensure all children a fair start in life by overriding current property rights to ensure that all children get enough of what they need in order to physically compromise legitimate democracies cable of actually and fairly assigning property rights. Fair starts come first.
If justice and systems of justice (that obligate us) start with fairness to all, how do we get there without fair starts in life for all kids? We do not. Being free means being obligated only to follow laws which begin by empowering each person, to be relatively self-determining, in a measurable way.
They hid the fact that family reforms enable truly just climate reparations that correct a fundamental baseline error (inaccurately assigning costs and benefits by ignoring externalization in economic modeling) which created the climate crisis, and avoid a situation in which those least responsible for the climate crisis suffer its worst impacts.
They avoided reforms that reveal that rich white families in the United States (like Ezra Klein and his family) and Europe were literally using deadly growth to create population-based profits for their already wealthy white kids, at cost to children of color in the global south.
This change is doable, and for the global majority who would receive funding, very desirable.
That is the truth many uber-wealthy funders (mostly white rich families in the United States and Europe) backing nonprofits, media and businesses wanted to hide. They would rather exploit children as consumers, future workers, and taxpayers in a pyramid scheme of growth the puts growth based and unsustainable wealth in the hands of a few at cost to the majority.
They are hiding the baseline error because solving it increases their liability for climate reparations, both in terms of 1) the amount owed and 2) the way those reparations are prioritized relative their claims to their wealth. Not only were many of the growthwashing claims false, they are now skewing the standard for climate reparations.
The Fair Start Tell the Truth campaign seeks to solve the rampant growthwashing by nonprofits, media and businesses that helps drive the climate crisis and will ensure the death of millions.See https://havingkids.org/justice-without-a-fair-start-in-life-dont-fall-for-it-help-us-target-companies-greenwashing-population-growth/
Any claims that suggest progress, while the claimant’s underlying family and other environmental policies are exacerbating overshoot, will constitute growthwashing and can be subject to litigation. To the extent those making the claims rely on the fact of falling birthrates to justify their claims, they can be urged to back policies to accelerate that fall and improve its qualitative aspects, like promoting birth equity.
These lies disempower us at the most fundamental level.
That growth has also been converting the freedom of functional democracies comprised of citizens who were born and raised with what the Children’s Rights Convention promises them into a system of overcrowded shopping malls filled with people born and raised in conditions that fell well below the Convention standards and who are all the while destroying their own ecosystems.
Freedom for many has been converted into wealth for a few, according to one Nobel Laureate.
Organizations that work in public interest ignore growth because in many cases their wealthy funders are making money on that growth, the same funders who are driving a popular media narrative that the world is simply underpopulated. Organizations that claim progress while ignoring growth, and the inequity and ecocide it causes, are not being accurate. It’s a way of fundraising, called the #famscam, that has disastrous consequences. The harm to future generations, especially in the Global South, is immense.
I’ve sat with uber-wealthy funders who were making money on growth through things like their plant-based investments, growth which was doing more harm to animals than the nonprofits, media and businesses they funded were doing good through their low-impact campaigns, and these funders simply decided to continue what they were doing. I’ve sat with foundation managers given the position by their wealthy parents who refuse to fund campaigns that simply urge conversations about birth equity. I’ve seen tenured professors at leading law schools choose to promote funding for family models that undercut everything they proclaimed to value because those models gave their kids – their rich, white kids – underserved head starts and massive privileges in life.
They are choosing wealth over children, animals and the environment. As many die in the climate crisis, we can ensure justice by targeting high-profile concentrations of wealth and power pay what they owe.
Urge anyone making claims about bettering the world to disclose their underlying family policies and how they have impacted the claims, and to back mandating those disclosures by law under ESG frameworks. If they refuse understand that they are likely to back systems that exploit and oppress the most vulnerable, and as such threaten your and your family’s freedom.
We can reverse this process by moving the wealth that was made at cost to others into programs like the Seeds for the Future campaign, a process of reforesting the land, and creating savings accounts for kids in a way that pays them back for what we did, and sets a norm of smaller and more equitable families as the first human right and obligation.
We can also target those, like Lee Raymond, as well as his son John T. Raymond, who both converted our freedom – in nature and functional town halls – into their wealth, to return the costs they foisted on others to give back the costs and, do so by all means effective.