[by Jeremy Brecher, original posted at the Nation.com]
In an era in which our political system is dominated by plutocracy, grassroots social movements are essential for progressive change. But too often our movements find themselves at loggerheads over the seemingly conflicting need to preserve our environment and the need for jobs and economic development. How can we find common ground?
The problem is illustrated by the current proposal of the Dominion corporation to build a Liquefied Natural Gas export facility at Cove Point, Maryland, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Seven hundred people demonstrated against the proposal and many were arrested in three civil disobedience actions. But an open letter on Dominion letterhead endorsing the project—maintaining it will “create more than 3,000 (more…)
A study released today by the Labor Network for Sustainability, a member of the Maryland Climate Coalition, finds that Maryland workers are already facing serious consequences from climate change and will face worse consequences if greenhouse gases are not sharply and rapidly reduced.
While there have been many previous studies of the impact of global warming on Maryland, The Impact of Climate Change on Work and Working People in Maryland: A Guide for Working People, Organized Labor, and Climate Protection Advocates is the first to examine its impact on workers and unions.
Among the consequences the study reports:
Port workers: The fifty thousand jobs created by the Port of Baltimore and the 120,000 maritime jobs linked to the Port will be seriously (more…)
[by Brendan Smith, May Boeve and and Kristen Sheeran]
In the coming months, President Obama will decide whether to approve the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude tar-sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. We know that the pipeline would greatly aggravate climate change, allowing massive amounts of the world’s dirtiest oil to be extracted and later burned.
The payoff, say supporters such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is a job boom in construction industries, which are currently suffering from high unemployment. Earlier this month, Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue called on the president “to put American jobs before special interest politics.” (more…)
Scientists and climate protection advocates once expected that rational leaders and institutions would respond appropriately to the common threat of climate change. As Bill McKibben said of Jim Hansen and himself, “I think he thought, as did I, If we get this set of facts out in front of everybody, they’re so powerful — overwhelming — that people will do what needs to be done.”
It didn’t work. Those who are fighting to save the climate need a new strategy. One such strategy to consider is a global nonviolent law-enforcing insurgency.
Here’s LNS’s latest discussion paper by Jeremy Brecher suggesting this strategy. Download it here: “Global Nonviolent Law-Enforcing Insurgency: A Plausible Strategy for Climate Protection?“
Famed international lawyer Richard Falk says:
“Global Nonviolent Law-Enforcing Insurgency” (more…)