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Many companies, politicians, nonprofits, media and academics have been knowingly undoing the climate and other forms of progress they were claiming. They have been quietly choosing unsustainable, growth-based and inequitable family policies from which they benefitted, maintaining consumer demand, high long-run emissions, and favor among funders, at deadly cost to others.

A recent study, published in the latest edition of the Journal of Population and Sustainability, finds that more than three-quarters of the reductions in carbon emissions achieved since 1990 by increased efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions have been cancelled out by these growth policies. That means pockets of massive wealth were created by misleading claims, and by externalizing basic costs on others, now putting millions at deadly risk.

Those quietly undoing their claims are driven by sources of funding that make money on growth, and as a result, as was reported in Newsweek, choose fundamentally unjust systems that will harm many. What caused the climate crisis? The lies about progress these entities told, and the fantasy world they created.

There are ways to fix this.

Always ask this question about fundamental power relations (a better concept than population), the place where many hide injustice.

Ask anyone claiming to do any form of good, whether they are conservative, liberal or otherwise inclined, how they have accounted for children being born into the world, and whether they are investing in those children to give them a fair start, or exploiting them for growth. Do they support family planning entitlements that ensure parental delay and readiness, relocation, leveling the playing field for all kids, and smaller or more ecocentric families? Or are they putting millions of innocent lives at risk to make money?

Family reforms, like elevating an ecosocial Fair Start in life as the first and overriding human right that enables redistribution of resources from the wealthiest to the poorest, can save millions of lives. Read our petition before the United Nations to understand why fairness is the first human right. And there is no democracy without human rights.

Family planning, for decades, should have been determined by the incentivizing presence of ecosocial birth equity resources. Instead – according to one Nobel laureate – that wealth went to the top and created the climate crisis and vast inequity. Those continuing that system are skewing the baseline for climate reparations, benefitting themselves at cost to others, and putting millions of lives at risk.

The family reforms that would prevent these harms, 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 which are able to actually and fairly assign property rights. 

Fairness comes first.

No theory of obligation to follow the law and respect the rights of others (including their claims to own their wealth) works unless it accounts for the creation of just power relations that give all a fair level of influence, and all power relations are fundamentally created at birth. Ignoring that fact is a scam that benefits some at cost to others, rather than discursive act of constantly reconstituting democracy – from the roots – through birth equity as an equal share of the power pie, so that all can freely negotiate things like written constitutions, contracts, corporate formations, employment relationships, etc. and other things that define our day to day lives.

Ending the greenwashing, the lies, can save lives. The most effective way to save children, animals, the environment, and human rights and democracy is through Fair Start reforms. Don’t get scammed.

Urging high profile persons and organizations to tell the truth and pay what they owe and change course will save those lives. And It is better to use things like voluntary climate reparations and other just entitlement systems to fund family equity, than to react to disempowerment in violent ways, the way some have and will, targeting innocent victims rather than those who actually benefited from the disempowerment.

Can this work in practice? Yes, we can derive obligation all the way back. Look at the Seeds program in Uganda, and give if you can. We are changing the fundamental nature of obligation, doing what the United Nations and other organizations that failed to uphold basic human rights should have done decades ago.

TAKE ACTION: Loudly engage those who benefitted most from unsustainable growth and the climate crisis – like the adult children of the wealthiest – to change course.

Or engage media directly, like the lead at the New York Times, to tell the truth.

Be effective.
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