Climate protection can learn from the AIDS movement

Climate protection can learn from the AIDS movement

LNS’s Jeremy Brecher and AIDS policy expert Kevin Fisher maintain in a new commentary in NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE that governments have ceased any serious individual or collective effort for climate protection. Yet there is no vehicle or venue to draw together scientists combatting climate change with representatives of the billions of people already or soon to be affected by it.  They argue that the International AIDS Conference (IAC) could provide a model for uniting scientists and civil society to advocate for climate protection.  The IAC has become the epicenter of a massive global advocacy effort not only for global access to life-saving antiretroviral drugs, but also for the human rights of those living with and affected by HIV. (more…)

Connecticut AFL-CIO Calls for Collaborative Action to Create Green Jobs and Fight Climate Change

Connecticut AFL-CIO Calls for Collaborative Action to Create Green Jobs and Fight Climate Change

The Connecticut AFL-CIO has approved a resolution affirming that “climate change poses a direct threat to the well being of the lives and livelihoods of working people in Connecticut, the United States, and the world” and calling for bold action to achieve “a just transition to a clean energy economy that creates green jobs that fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a scientifically safe level.”

By approving this resolution during its annual convention held at the MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods, the CT AFL-CIO renewed its support for the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, a collaborative effort launched in 2012 with the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network. The Connecticut Roundtable grew out of a presentation by LNS’s Joe Uehlein to Connecticut labor and environmental leaders.  LNS’s Jeremy Brecher is a member of the Roundtable’s steering committee. (more…)

A Second Ecological Revolution?

A Second Ecological Revolution?

[by Jeremy Brecher]

The summer of 1988 was long and hot.  One scorching day I casually said to a deliveryman, “Awfully hot.”  He responded, “I talk with old-timers who can’t remember anything like it in 60, 70 years.”  He continued, “It’s probably this ‘greenhouse effect.’  If you ask me, it’s a warning.  All the poisons we’re putting into the air and the water – if we don’t get our act together, we’re going to make the earth a place that people can’t live on.”  I sat down and penned an op ed that appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers twenty-five years ago this week.

I noted that as a historian, I’m always on the lookout for subtle signs that indicate deep changes in social outlook.  When that conversation shifted from local weather to the global biosphere, I felt I was witnessing “the opening shot of the second ecological revolution.”   (more…)

Civil Disobedience as Law Enforcement

Civil Disobedience as Law Enforcement

[by Jeremy Brecher; cross-posted with Waging Nonviolence]

Two years ago I was among more than a thousand people who committed civil disobedience at the White House to oppose the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since then many more have been arrested around the country, often blocking the actual pathway along which the Keystone XL is being constructed. Nearly 70,000 people have vowed to risk arrest if the State Department recommends that the president approve the pipeline.

All along I believed that these actions were justified, even though they meant breaking the law. After all, leading NASA climate change specialist Jim Hansen says that the Alberta tar sands, which the pipeline will carry, “must be left in the ground” because “if the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over” for a viable planet. (more…)