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We applaud candidates like Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke for presenting ambitious climate plans. Gov. Inslee has proposed a transition to 100% renewable energy. Rep. O’Rourke proposes net zero emissions by 2050 along with trillions in new investments.

Yes, these are important steps in mitigating the climate crisis. What’s missing though? Like other proposals coming forward by 2020 candidates, they are forgetting to start at the source of the problem. The fact is, anthropogenic climate impact starts with people. Is it time to change who we are, and will be?  

A policy of promoting smaller families that share resources to plan a fair start in life for every child is the most effective way to reduce our impact.

We urge the 2020 candidates to consider policies that would promote smaller and more equitable families. Not only is that the best way to reduce a variety of harmful emissions, but it reduces other anthropogenic effects. And (perhaps most importantly), it creates a population – in quantity and of a resilient quality – that can still thrive in a degraded future environment. No other change is as fundamental, interpersonal or effective.

Better family planning is the most effective solution to the greatest threats that face us and our children. What can we do?

  • Speak out: Break the taboo against talking about the need for better family planning policies. Talk to the organizations you support, to parents, and people considering becoming parents about the facts about climate impact. It’s your future too. Empower yourself and change the world around you.
  • Put direct pressure on wealthy people and corporations to fund Fair Start family planning: Children are the future, and every kid deserves a fair start in life. Wealthy politicians – who have to defend themselves in public – should be able to explain themselves on this issue. What standard of living do they provide their own kids? Other children don’t deserve the same? Why not?

Less than most effective is not an option. Speak out, and put pressure on politicians to include better family planning reforms in their climate change proposals.

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