These are some basic facts about climate change:
- Climate change is now harming fetal and infant health harm, primarily in vulnerable families of color, as heat increases threaten to kill millions in the future.
- Roughly three quarters of attempts to mitigate the crisis has been undone by growth policies, policies that exacerbated the one-tenth wealth gap between black and white families, which violates basic provisions in the Children’s Rights Convention.
- Wealthy families and companies, governments, and media who made their money on unsustainable growth are trying to actually ramp up those policies, urging women to have more children without safeguards, to profit from the growth that would create.
- These same entities are intentionally hobbling each citizens ability to influence these risks and harms, through their democracy, by using growth to dilute the average citizen’s voice.
- Those same entities avoid discussions of this as they greenwash their work and policies – hiding their liability for climate reparations. Academics are assisting, trying to skew the baseline for climate reparations and minimize payments by moving the goalposts and what it means to self-determine, and minimizing the harm caused by the systems of wealth they relied upon and benefitted from at deadly cost to others their entire lives.
- As a public interest attorney for many years I was not allowed by the organizations I worked with to ensure these facts were disclosed in their messaging, and organizations funded by wealthy white families have quietly killed attempts to change the policies. According to a senior administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this hid the reality of ecocide and created a fantasy world of victories and progress that ensured the climate crisis.
- There now are concerted efforts by the most at-risk communities to publicize these facts, seek birth-equity reparations, and reverse the policies and their impacts. These efforts operate from the United Nations, to national courts, and to local efforts, as well as to corporate certification and celebrity role-modeling campaigns. Because many avoid this issue do so because they face less risk than future generations, we encourage activist to include the adult children of those you need to take action in your activism.
- These efforts urge concentrations of wealth and power to offset the harms they are causing and their wealth externalized on future generations by paying family planning and birth equity and development reparations that change the location, timing, manner, and with what resources women have children to ensure those children thrive rather than suffer because of the wealth-driven climate crisis.
- This is not altruistic. This about liberation. Neither I nor you can be free in world with people who did not get enough what they needed growing up to constitute groups of free and equal persons actually capable of asserting authority and obligating persons to follow laws, especially when that allows the creation of so many people that we lose nature, which is simply the relative absence of the power of other persons. That is the logic of self-determination in a world with more than one person.
- State legitimacy and authority conditioned on democratic and equitable empowerment of each child, which requires climate and biodiversity restoration through ecosocial birth equity as the first human right. Any other standards hides deadly harm, including harm to our freedom or self-determination, a value we can measure that loss of as it is converted to wealth for a few. The holding of elections is evidence that state legitimacy is based on the will of the people, but vote dilution, inequity, and other factors have severely degraded the influence of the average citizen in those elections.
- Hence, birth-equity entitlements and reparations are equally self-determination reparations, ensuring climate and biodiversity restoration through the realization of equity-based child rights as the first and overriding human rights. We can limit and decentralize the power others have over us – under the idea of constitutionalism, whether through the climate crisis or in terms of wealth-based control of employment opportunities, by all means effective because government derives from free and equal citizens, a status which depends on how, when, with what resources, etc. they are created.
- These reparations are the most just and effective way to offset the harm caused by the crisis, and they can long-run help evade acts of mass violence driven early childhood trauma, a sense of disempowerment, the rising heat, and frustration with traditional justice systems.
- Many are already paying these reparations directly, and concentrations of wealth and power that do not can be forced to using their legal liability for deadly greenwashing that hid the need for reform in a way that will kill many.
- Many in positions of power like Peter Singer evade this discussion and refuse to exit a political system that benefits them at deadly cost to others. How they handle this issue – from their position of wealth and entitlement – screams that it’s not their life on the line; that it’s other lives, and other parents’ children’s lives, on the line. Singer’s evasions is unique give his urging policies to liberate animals, the benefit of which were undone by family and growth policies. Also, by siloing off the liberation of nonhumans from social justice more generally, he ensured concentrations of white wealth and privilege, at cost to general justice.
- But their positional privileges – including race, intergenerational, wealth and income, etc. – all derive from a lie developed between 1948 and 1968 that gutted family planning policy of the child rights, birth equity, democratic anti-dilution measures, nature preservation and other requirements that are required for political processes to remain inclusive and therefor legitimate.
- Influential persons’ heightened influence relative to that of the average citizen is based on that – a lie that ensured artificial perceptions of truth and value (at cost to the true values above) that drives demand, in a world of vast birth-based inequity. Our perceptions of truth and value come from power relations created in the stages of our birth and development. This fundamentally placed them where they are relative to you. This fundamentally created the climate change is now harming fetal and infant health harm, primarily in vulnerable families of color, as heat increases threaten to kill millions in the future.
- For example, Elon Musk makes money selling electric cars to a growing population that needs them because that growth is destroying our atmosphere. The policies that ensured that growth also ensured birth-based black poverty relative to the massive head-start position in which white South African Musk was born, and a dilution of the average citizens power to use their democracies to reverse things like the climate crisis and birth inequity. Those policies did more harm, especially using a metric like self-determination, than Musk and his car sales did good. Or in terms of truth, consider prestigious academic brands and hierarchies built on random aptitude tests and family influence, or other criteria that hid deep (and thanks to the climate crisis, very deadly) misconceptions of simple things like full positionality, animal liberation and social justice.
- Remember that – and that their wealth was created at cost to your freedom and the lives of others – when you engage those in positions of power as co-subjects in a shared democracy, and bring them the reality of their position.
Urge anyone or organization you work with to choose child rights, and self-determination for all, over unlimited ownership of wealth and to pay equity-building reparations as an obligation.