A new TUED Working Paper draws attention to the alarming implications for human health caused by pollution and by climate change, both of which are being made worse by the growing use of coal, oil, and gas.
Authored by Svati Shah and Sean Sweeney, An Illness to One is the Concern of All presents the main findings of recent landmark reports in a way that unions can use to more effectively advocate both for their members and the broader public.
Read more, and download here.
For a while, it looked like we’d have to choose: labor or climate; jobs or the planet. But with unions like the CWA increasingly calling for action on climate change, some of these once-divergent interests appear to be coming into alignment. As Samantha Page wrote in an article in ThinkProgress last week:
The Climate and Community Protection Act passed the Democrat-led Assembly this week and is now at the Republican-controlled State Senate. NY Renew, a coalition which brought together labor, climate, and social justice groups, helped pass the measure. The bill sets a goal of 50 percent renewable electricity generation by 2030 and focuses on clean energy job creation, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
While unions have traditionally fought for workplace and economic improvements, climate change represents a serious threat to everyone, including union members, [CWA Political and Legislative Director Pete] Sikora said, so an alliance with green groups makes sense. Continue reading Labor and Climate Change: What Comes Next?
The International Union of Food Workers and the Tunisian national center, the Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT), have joined the Trade Union Call for A Global Moratorium on Fracking.
The statement sends a strong message calling for “a global moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas, coal seam gas, and shale oil,” stating that “[f]racking has led to attacks on land rights, and the large amounts of water used in fracking also threatens to increase water scarcity in areas where water supply and access pose real problems for people, particularly those in poor rural communities.” Moreover, “[t]he experience of fracking in the United States since 2002 has shown that the process threatens the health and quality of life of communities situated near drilling sites.”
See the full statement and a list of signatories here.
Photo by Simon Fraser University via flickr (CC-BY).
Last week, Murphy Professor Sean Sweeney appeared on City Watch to talk with Mark Dunlea about the upcoming climate summit in Paris, and the fight against “not letting science get in the way of business as usual.” The two discuss the climate justice movement, mobilizations and global emissions.
Photo by John Duffy via flickr.
By Laura McClure
I have a feeling that our children and grandchildren will look back on this as the era of mass denial — a strange period when almost everybody in the U.S. knew that catastrophic climate change was upon us, but for some weird reason, just went about their lives pretending it wasn’t. It’s a kind of insanity, because by our inaction, we’re creating a world of trouble for ourselves and those who will come after.
A quick review of the facts: scientists tell us that climate change is proceeding more quickly than they had predicted, and that human civilization is in danger. (If you think I’m exaggerating, please see the latest report by the International Panel on Climate Change.) There is no quick fix in the works. Continue reading 10 Ideas to Rethink in Light of Climate Change
Sean Sweeney recently joined the Murphy Institute to direct the International Program for Labor, Climate and the Environment. This past December, Sweeney spoke with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! about the potential effects of the since-vetoed Keystone XL pipeline on job creation. See the video here.