Lee Raymond may have done more to exacerbate the climate crisis than any other one person on the planet. His active burying of the truth of the emerging crisis and how Exxon was responsible stands out among those who have done the greatest harm to our environment.
And yet he and his family – like his son John T. Raymond – are still holding the millions they made through oil and gas, the industry that fundamentally drove the crisis. What they contributed to is literally killing people, exacerbating the deadly droughts in places like the Amboseli.
What should we do? Our government, and many unscrupulous environmental organizations that helped worsen the climate crisis by choosing not to act, will not tell you the truth. Most politicians and nonprofits are exploiting increased consumption that undoes much of the progress they claim, growth that enriched people like the Raymonds. They will accept a status quo where we do not restore the climate or ensure children equality of opportunity, because they protect concentrations of wealth and power, not people.
The truth is that the property rights – like those the Raymond family think they have to their wealth – are conditioned on family policies that constitute communities of free and equal people capable of agreeing to give people such rights. We have a right to take the wealth the Raymond family made through hurting the children of Amboseli, if we use it to pay reparations to Amboseli for this purpose.
Using concentrations of wealth and power to fund family reforms is the most just and effective way to respond to the climate crisis, restoring our environment and building resilience in children at the same time. This would also help guarantee the right to a healthy environment, now recognized by the UN. An ecosocial Fair Start in life for all children is the first human right, and we can ensure it by all means effective. Why? We are before we do, so true justice comes in creation; it is existential.
Free people who want justice will target concentrations of wealth and power, like the Raymond family, to limit and decentralize the power they would otherwise have over us in this way. Free people will help constitute true democracy though funding parental readiness, birth equity for all children, and smaller families.
TAKE ACTION: FIND AND ENGAGE THE RAYMOND FAMILY, IN A PEACEFUL AND LAWFUL WAY, TO PAY WHAT THEY OWE. THAT WEALTH IS NOT THEIRS.