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The Financial Times just published an article detailing the massive impact policies that promote smaller families – for all – have on the climate crisis. Nothing comes close.

And yet people like Matthew Yglesias and the media outlet Vox continue to push women to have kids. Many have said that we should punish climate change deniers for blocking policy reforms that could have mitigated the crisis. But all climate emission flow downstream from the increase in demand population growth creates. It is the fundamental driver. Aren’t the people actually making the crisis worse, usually to grow their investments, just as bad as the deniers? Did Ygelsias pushing women to have kids actually have an impact? The proposals to change federal child tax and care subsidy policy to encourage population growth that followed his advice suggest it did.

Let’s hold him and others, like Lee Raymond, accountable. We have a right to take the resources of wealthy people like Lee and Matthew who profited from poor and unsustainable family planning but never paid that costs that growth imposed on the environment, animals, women, and children. Why? Because every child’s right to an ecosocial Fair Start is the first human right, and it precedes and overrides any other obligation, including property rights.

It’s time to pay up. Those that really profited owe future generations – more than most.

What is Fair Start? It’s about people, not population. It’s about shared values and thinking qualitatively about the future, not using poor and unsustainable family planning to grow economies. Read the Allegory of the River, and why Having Kids talks about constituting democratic communities instead of framing our work around the concept of population, to understand more. Let’s make family planning truly inclusive, and geared around creating democratic communities where everyone has a voice. 

It’s simple: Fair Start family planning means smaller families sharing resources to invest more in every child. For some, the closest analog for this new model would be responsible family planning incentives. But Fair Start resources are actually entitlements held by future children, and funded through non-traditional means. Those opposed to remodeling favor our current system of unsustainable families, unearned privileges, and undemocratic influence, over giving kids a fair start in life.

In a previous blog post, Having Kids argued that his approach — like many others who see babies as economic inputs to be exploited — was actually compelling evidence of the fundamentally unjust nature of our system.

All kids have a fundamental human right, ecologically and socially, to a #fairstart in life. It’s the first human right. Help us secure it against those who threaten our future.

Groups and individuals from around the world are signing on to an effort to change the old model that focuses on what parents want toward a new model that focuses on what all kids need. The new model, called Fair Start family planning, is the beginning of real social justice. The reform can begin with the United Nations secretary general simply acknowledging the need for change.

Sign on, and urge any organization you support or can influence — nonprofit or for-profit — to also sign on. Sign here, or contact us at info@fairstartmovement.org for more information.

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