More than a third of awarded Nobel Laureates are calling family policies and population the key driver of the crises we face today. That survey follows after two especially prominent Laureates, Steven Chu and Partha Dasgupta, noted the same basic problem.
Steven Chu called our current family and population policies a Ponzi scheme where we use future generations to create unsustainable growth to benefit a few. Partha Dasgupta developed reforms that would point the world towards an optimal world population of roughly five billion, or half the size of where the world is now headed.
Governments Exacerbated the Climate Crisis
But policy makers are ignoring the Laureates. Why? Governments and the wealthy families they protect collude to block family reforms. They make money off of pushing women to have children - off growth, and existing hierarchies. That collusion means more consumers, workers, taxpayers, and soldiers. It means building the base of the pyramids - the ones politicians and the wealthy are sitting on top of.
It means ignoring minimum levels of welfare for kids and equal opportunities in life, blocking the restoration of nature, and avoiding smaller democracies where each voice matters.
FACT: Since the climate crisis unfolded governments around the world adopted policies that exacerbated the crisis by pushing women to have more kids, and increased impacts on the environment.
How We Honor the Laureates and Push Back
Many ignore family and population policy because they feel there is nothing we can do; that family decisions are private and beyond activism. That's incorrect. Family planning is highly responsive to financial conditions, including entitlements and incentives. And because most of us understand that all kids should enjoy equal opportunities in life, or a Fair Start, we should then be able to move to the action of taking and redistributing wealth to change family planning behaviors and to bend the arc of who we are becoming.
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Nothing Has a Greater Impact
Were we to change our family planning systems from the United Nations down, so that they actually empowered children and democracy from the bottom up, the impact on the crises we face today would be amazing.
We were all lied to about family planning ideals in order to protect hierarchies and growth. What was treated as personal is deeply interpersonal, and impacting others and the world around us. And that lie has led us to the crises we see today, the ones threatening our kids. Taking back the wealth for families is our first right and overriding duty.
Young people who want a better future are working with intending parents to model Fair Start behavior and reforms by demanding the wealth they deserve to level the playing field for their kids. Our right to take the wealth - and model sustainable families - precedes and overrides the property rights of people like the leadership at Exxon use to protect their wealth.
Write Ashley@FairStartMovement.org to volunteer to help with protests where we will demand the resources our kids deserve.