The claim: Video with anti-natalist sentiments is a commercial by the World Economic Forum
A recent video connecting reproduction to the climate crisis has racked up over 20,000 views on Facebook, and according to the post’s caption, the video is a commercial created by the World Economic Forum.
In the video, a man and a woman sit in a transportation center, with the woman’s son nearby. After chatting for a few seconds, the man asks the woman why she had her son, and when she took aback by the question, he begins to list environmental costs.
“He will produce 515 tons of carbon in his lifetime,” the man says. “That’s 40 trucks worth. Having him was the equivalent of nearly six and a half thousand flights to Paris. … His birth was a selfish act. It was brutal. You have condemned others to suffering.”
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Procreation and its connections to climate change have made headlines in recent years. As population growth slows in developed countries, analysts have found that fear over child-linked climate change costs has led some families to decide not to have children at all. Others, concerned about the quality of life of their children would experience if climate change leads to disaster, are also opting against becoming parents.
But the scene in this post is not from a well-respected international group. It’s from a TV show.
USA TODAY has reached out to the user who posted the claim.
Video from a British TV series, not the economic forum
The clip seen in the Facebook post comes from the opening scene of season 2, episode 6 of the British drama series Utopia.
USA TODAY also confirmed the clip’s origins via Amazon Prime Video, where Utopia can be streamed.
IMDB says the show portrays a group of young adults who find a mysterious graphic novel but then “find themselves being tracked down by a merciless organization known merely as ‘The Network'”
Fact check:Warming varies across oceans and atmosphere, doesn’t contradict climate change
The World Economic Forum also has no ties to the clip or the TV show. USA TODAY found no material from the economic forum that indicates a negative stance on procreation as it relates to the climate.
Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, the World Economic Forum says it aims to bring together political, business and cultural leaders to “shape global, regional and industry agendas.” Politicians and experts have gathered annually in Davos for conferences.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the Facebook video was created by the World Economic Forum. The clip is taken from the British drama Utopia.
Our fact-check sources:
- The Guardian, November 14, 2019, I wish I’d never been born: the rise of the anti-natalists
- CNBC, August 13, 2021, Climate change is making people think twice about having children
- IMDB, accessed April 28, Utopia
- World Economic Forum, accessed April 28, Our Mission
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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.