Almost all talk of climate and inequity ignores family policy. Ask the questions that bring out the basic truth, and identifies who – fundamentally – owes what.
Many companies, politicians, nonprofits, media and academics have been knowingly undoing the climate and other forms of progress they were claiming by quietly choosing unsustainable, growth-based and inequitable family policies from which they quietly benefitted at deadly cost to others.
Exploitative growth policies have now put the planet and millions of lives in peril. The climate and inequity crises we face today were caused, fundamentally, because as we described in a recent Newsweek op-ed, world leaders did not ensure every child an ecosocial fair start in life as required by the Children’s Rights Convention.
Their lies about or progress created a fantasy world of change that ensured the climate crisis. Those same backwards family policies – hidden by greenwashing – are now putting millions of lives at risk.
Many, in the face of the climate and inequity crises threatening so many lives, are pushing women to have more kids in order to profit from the growth it would create.
They are doing so with no minimum safeguards for the would-be mothers, or their children.
Require disclosure of past, present, and future family policies. Break the fantasy.
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?
By knowing the truth, we can move from a paradigm of family planning where would-be parents just randomly have kids to one where they are able to plan based on the incentivizing availability of resources that would give their kids an ecosocial fair start in life. We can take the money some made on a system that created lots of people for shopping malls and use it to fund a system that invests in kids to empower them in democratic town halls.
Those blocking this change operate from a false premise, and a misunderstanding of freedom. Any obligation to follow the law – including respecting property entitlements – is contingent on the basic limitation and decentralization of power, which has to start with being empowered to control the law and obligation in the way we are created and reared. The first obligation has to do with our creation, not our behavior, and is based on child ecosocial equity, not procreative autonomy. That means first moving towards hard metrics for inclusive democracy, biodiversity and climate restoration via an ecosocial human right to birth equity and development.
We can get there through a simple discourse around resources, or the physical constituting of just communities, the sort of cooperative family planning that can create the equitable power relations that must precede legitimate constitutions. If we take the idea of freedom or self-determination seriously, it has to occur primarily if not exclusively through the ecosocial conditions in which we are born and raised – through things like what the Children’s Convention promises.
Free people will recognize their obligations to such a mutually empowering system – true human rights – as overriding obligations to downstream or more traditional legal/political systems that do not derive all the way back.
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.
Urging them to tell the truth 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 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.
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JOIN THE WORK FOR FUNDAMENTAL JUSTICE HERE.