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Here is a simple test for whether any particular person, corporation, nonprofit, politician, etc. is making the climate crisis worse by adopting misleading climate policies, especially as we account for how people will actually experience the crisis:

Do you or they support loss and damage climate reparations to places like the drought-ridden Amboseli, Kenya from perpetrators like Exxon, and as a matter that overrides Exxon’s property rights to its wealth, if the resources would be used to ensure climate restoration? Do you or they support that override if it includes redistribution of wealth to poor families – like culturally-sensitive equivalents to steeply progressive #birthequity baby bonds that will help mothers and children be resilient in an ecologically degraded future?

Do you or they support simply ensuring that children are born and raised in the eco-social conditions promised to them by the Children’s Convention, so that we can actually constitute just and democratic communities?

Drought in the Amboseli.

Prior responses (supported by Exxon and many charities) to the climate crisis have been a failure, harming many children already, and more with generations to come. Even the current rise in world temperature inflicts serious harm on children and disproportionately so based on their being born rich or poor. And that gap of inequality is widening.

Let’s keep this test true and simple: People who support policies that do not include climate restoration and #birthequity are making the climate crisis, and how people experience it, worse. Consensual governance and freedom, where people actually consent to the influence of others, are impossible without these things.

What’s an alternative? Truly free people will fundamentally limit and decentralize the power (including subtle influences like climate emissions, the slow dilution of democracy, the concentration of wealth, power and control in a few, and the impact of bad parenting on communities) others have over them. They will not allow themselves to be subject to political systems, including taking property rights the system may give, where they are not democratically empowered.

How do we ensure this true form of freedom? Fair Start family reforms, like climate restoration and #birthequity baby bonds to physically constitute democracy and consensual governance using an inversion test and whether polices first ensure compliance with the Children’s Convention, to ensure that people are actually empowered long-run – in places like town halls – to make the ultimate rules under which all must live.

Climate driven drought in the Amboseli, Kenya.
Drought in the Amboseli.

These reforms correct something called the constitutive fallacy: Ignoring the way our creation and development does and (assuming we use baselines like the Children’s Rights Conventionshould – fundamentally – constitute actual power relations, between humans, and between humans and the nonhuman world or nature upon which freedom is based. Each person chooses to commit or evade the fallacy in every normative (or “should”) claim they make by accepting or rejecting particular forms of fundamental political obligation like written constitutions and choosing to orient from a relatively just or unjust place.

If they did not the idea that governmental authority derives from groups of people, the authority of which depends on the individuals in those groups, would make no sense. This is about the creation of power relations – or constituting – and relative self-determination more than “population.” It’s about treating every child’s right to a Fair Start in life as the first and overriding human right so that we can actually – in terms of our fundamental power relations – be fair and thereby free.

Are you for Exxon, or freedom and Amboseli?

TAKE ACTION: Urge the United Nations to side with Amboseli over Exxon and choose Fair Start family reforms as the first and overriding human right.

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