A ‘Just Transition’ from Fossil Fuels

All agree that there are no jobs on a dead planet, writes Linda Flood. But the road to fewer emissions is full of opinions.

By Linda Flood
in Stockholm
Inter Press Service

The trade unions’ solution for a greener world is new jobs with good working conditions. The critics argue that there’s not enough time. ”We can either protect industrial jobs in the global north or save the climate,” says political scientist Tadzio Müller. 

Politicians, businesses, and unions all agree: there are no jobs on a dead planet. But the road to fewer emissions is full of opinions.

While the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is expected to reach record levels this year, the work towards a “just transition” continues. The aim is to secure workers’ interests when countries and employers convert to more climate-friendly ways of doing business.

“It is extremely urgent and I’m worried. But if employers, governments, and big financial interests had been more interested in the carbonization two decades ago we would have been in a great position,” says Samantha Smith. She’s the director of the Just Transition Centre, created three years ago by the International Trade Union Confederation, the ITUC, to bring more attention to the matter and to gather unions, organizations, businesses, and countries in a social dialogue.

The UN climate change conference COP 24 took place in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland, and “just transition” was high on the agenda.

(IPCC Summary for Urban Planners)

(IPCC Summary for Urban Planners)

The concept of “just transition” was first used by union activists in the U.S. in the 1980s. It took until 2013 for the United Nations’ agency ILO to create guidelines for “a Just Transition towards environmentally-sustainable economies and societies for all.” The Paris Agreement of 2015 also includes mentions of “just transition.” Through the Paris Agreement, governments commit to making sure that workers continue to have fair conditions during the climate adaption.

Fifty three countries, including Sweden, signed the “The Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration,” which states that the countries must consider workers’ perspectives while shifting to climate friendly policies.

In Sweden, issues on this matter are being discussed regularly at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO, and Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, among others. Sida recently donated 1,5 million euros to the organization Bankwatch, to support the transition towards a coal free Eastern Europe.

Samantha Smith points out that every sector in every country will be affected in order to stay within the target of 1.5 °C warming above preindustrial levels that the report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends to avert the worst risks of heat waves, droughts and floods in areas of current human habitation.

“We wanted to start with rich countries because they have the wealth and capacity. In some poor countries you have a number of issues going on at the same time, one is recognizing basic labor rights which is also human rights.”

Tadzio Müller, political scientist and senior advisor on climate justice for the leftist foundation Rosa Luxembourg, says he supports workers’ interests. “I am absolutely for giving workers every social protection that we can manage. I would even argue that a universal guaranteed income would be a great way to transition in heavy industrial regions, like western Germany or the north of France. I don’t oppose just transition, but the fact is that the function of ‘just transition’ has been to slow down ambitious climate action.”

Müller adds: “If Sweden, Germany and Great Britain want to do their bit to save the climate they have to shut down old industrial infrastructure within the next 10-15 years so that the rest of the world can still emit some carbon emissions.”



Müller is critical of the trade union movement. “We have to be honest that it was, at least in part, the same industrial trade unions that called for a just transition that were fighting against ambitious climate politics and policies to save jobs,” he says. He mentions Germany’s mining unions as an example.

Samantha Smith at the Just Transition Centre says to her critics: “What is your alternative? Especially in a democracy, like for example Germany. How are you going to shut down coal mines if local government and all the people working in the mines don’t agree to it?”

She points out that it’s better to do something than nothing.” And it’s better to do something that will support social justice and strengthen the labor movement and democracy to get down emissions.”

These are the 25 biggest carbon emitters in the world. These companies produced a fifth of the global carbon emissions, according to a review by Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.

1. Coal India
2. PJSC Gazprom
3. Exxon Mobil Corporation
4. Cummins Inc.
5. Thyssenkrupp AG
6. Rosneft OAO
7. Royal Dutch Shell
8. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
9. China Shenhua Energy
10. Rio Tinto
11. Petrochina Company Limited
12. BHP Billiton
13. Petróleo Brasileiro SA – Petrobras
14. Korea Electric Power Corp
15. BP
16. Total
17. Valero Energy Corporation
18. Chevron Corporation
19. Toyota Motor Corporation
20. Wistron Corp
21. United Technologies Corporation
22. Peabody Energy Corporation
23. YTL Corp
24. Phillips 66
25. Volkswagen AG

Linda Flood is a reporter for Arbetet Global.

Translation by Cecilia Uder. 

This story was originally published by Arbetet Global.


56 comments for “A ‘Just Transition’ from Fossil Fuels

  1. May 29, 2019 at 23:46

    In a command economy, massive change and full employment are not incompatible, they are one in the same.

    It is only the requirement that everything be maximally profitable to the masters that makes complete change of energy systems and full employment incompatible.

    The few thousand human survivors a half millenium from now will see what extraction-based growth capitalism/imperialism leads to, almost inevitably.

    Too little too late corrections don’t change the ultimate outcome, only the timing.

  2. dean 1000
    May 24, 2019 at 12:33

    Climate change or not, I’m all for solar power or any alternative that gets the US and the world off oil, off the grid and that doesn’t require perpetual payments to heat and cool homes and keep cars running.

    Are solar highways feasible? http://www.solarroadways.com

    If there is going to be a carbon tax 20% of it should go to a green lottery that gives away electric cars or roof top hybrid systems every week. Winner’s choice.

    I believe climate change is real and serious. But i’m not a fan of Thomas Malthus. We can work it out.
    A guaranteed income will be the biggest scam yet. Full employment is harder to do but much better.

    • LJ
      May 25, 2019 at 16:45

      Dude don’t bite the pill. Global Warming is real. Remember Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth? I know it was a long time ago and he was the Fortunate Son and all that but, One thing he did do, no, not create the Internet, he had help there, what he did do was to get the stats published from Artic Ice melt. There were extensive records from the nuclear subs that were patrolling under the Artic Ice Sheet area for 50 years . The Artic Ice has melted significantly. It will disappear in your lifetime I’m guessing perhaps not mine. I am a bit reckless.This is undeniable fact at any level of debate. FACT. . And yes Greenland’s Ice sheet is in full retreat. This is undeniable fact as is glacier melt all over the world. You don’t need to swallow the bullshit and qualify remarks by saying “even if Global Warming isn’t real”. The facts are unequivocal. It is real and happening at a rapidly increasing rate. IF you don’t carethat’s OK , then qualify your remarks by saying…. I DON’T CARE BUT… There at the is no real debate. most people don’t care. It’ OK to be uninformed and in the majority. It is what Democracy is all about.

  3. Robert Mayer
    May 23, 2019 at 23:43

    When I was a pol neophyte, I remember believing Cal big ag claim “half Cal $$$ from growing”… More recent net info puts true rev closer2: 1 to 2%… So… these chamber of commerce types will LIE ’bout their $$$ importance!

    Point?: TOTAL US OIL JOBS under 1/2 MIL!!! (assume includes gas sta attendants… US oil production/ refining jobs measure in THOUS!!) Source: US Bureau Labor Statistics

  4. Truth
    May 23, 2019 at 05:35

    Technology clueless. New world order clueless. Appears to be stamped model of the global disinformation university system. Gasoline was outdated in the 90s, fossil fuels are renewable and and clean and sorta safe but still outdated since water to hydrogen tech,yes any water clean dirty sea or fresh, on demand was perfected. 90 mile to the gallon gasoline trucks were produced in the 1970’s and shortly sold. Just like all the nano meds that american inventors have created that never hit the market, they all vanish. The fact that aluminum in big pharma meds causes almost all forms of dementia. Nice little articles like this keep the ladies in cash while they appear modern and can continue to politely ignore reality.and stay fashionably supportive of the latest false premise foisted by the globalists. Congratulations!

  5. May 22, 2019 at 23:25

    The list forgot to list the Pentagon — US/NATO as one of the biggest all time polluters.

  6. Tom Kath
    May 22, 2019 at 20:20

    The weather is lovely where I am and the forecast for tomorrow is even more beautiful. Beyond that, predictions are extremely unreliable.
    Those who are alarmed about what it might be in 10 or 50 years, are probably wise to refrain from having children or grandchildren.

    • oldgeezer
      May 23, 2019 at 18:49

      the same advice was given 45 years ago by peeple like paul ehrlich.
      i was supposed to starved to death by now.

  7. Dunderhead
    May 22, 2019 at 19:47

    Perhaps miss Flood might’ve done better with this argument had been to a class of nine-year-olds on the other hand that is about the mentality of the American sheepeople This is the most profoundly authoritarian Power grab in recent history the banking crisis of 2008 Will pale in the annals of theft can peered to this idea of a global new deal.

    Right off the bat the burden on whatever nebulous plans on how to combat some supposed Global warming, 1.5° compared to the immense climactic changes over the millennia is absolutely preposterous.

    Does man reduce I hold a lot of carbon? Yes

    Does the power of the sun outweigh all other effects to our biosphere? Yes

    I could take the time to research Mrs. flood a bit more but honestly I really don’t Think it’s necessary as anyone belonging to something known as commies sounding as the trade union has all the markings of those who have been touched by the one true faith and why waste the time therefore, I would just like to say to the global warming fanatic have there if you truly believe that global warming is the problem that most threatens the human race join with those who are protesting war as the US military is a good disproportionately heavy polluter, also it would not hurt to support nuclear technology as that has a very low carbon footprint particularly the thorium variant reactors, it might also be helpful if any of these folks were to study up on the Haber bosh process and those potential’s, these things would not break the bank they would actually be a hedge on future Energy rate hikes. I would finally just say to those wishing to help their fellow man and save the environment, stop trusting the government.

  8. vinnieoh
    May 22, 2019 at 15:48

    Wow. Many of the comments here are just so… ridiculous. First, note that whenever an article about global warming aka climate change is posted (and for some reason especially on CN) a plethora of posts suggesting government conspiracies, hidden knowledge and technologies, etc. My conclusion is the purpose of these is to turn any conversation into a farce. If those that post such noise really believe those things, then may nature have mercy on them.

    Population growth. A solution already exists, it has already had a profound effect, but all the world is not on the same playing field. As noted by A-J Eadie below that solution is education and access to birth control. In developed nations, “western” or not, in the last several decades there have been prolonged periods of ZPG or even declining population. Most of those places have greater gender equality and a higher overall basic literacy as well as a greater proportion of highly educated.

    I would expand Mr. Eadie’s comment to: 1st – gender equality which would absolutely mean a recognition of the basic injustices of patriarchal edifices; 2nd – education, widened and abetted by gender equality; 3rd – birth control availability, and once again strengthened by gender equality and empowerment where it does not now exist. If “gender equality” seems too sanitized and lofty, lets just call it by its first name – Women’s Rights.

    How much the declining or stagnant birth rates of developed nations has to do with citizens basic needs being met and with social stability despite the not yet extinguished remnants of patriarchy also needs to be explored.

    Many lavish praise on India’s rich and deep cultural heritage and history. I look at India and see one of the worst steaming messes yet on the face of this planet. Ignorance, superstition, class oppression, and lurid patriarchy. If India’s cultural inheritance is so wonderful how come it is such a sh*thole? Ignorance, superstition, tribal competition, and brutal patriarchy also hold much of Africa in its grip. Both continents are now the main drivers of rampant population growth.

    A “just transition” is a code phrase used and to be used by the ownership class to maintain fear and doubt among the working class and poor. It only has agency so long as “market-based” solutions are the only solutions being bandied about. Massive Keynesian type intervention both nationally (many or all nations) and internationally might avert the present crisis. The human tendencies to hoard wealth and property (capitalism) and consolidate power and control won’t disappear, but at least future generations would exist to have their moment to deal with those problems (once again.)

    • DavidH
      May 22, 2019 at 18:40

      Ignorance and superstition? Russiagate.

      • vinnieoh
        May 23, 2019 at 11:37

        Russiagate seems to have much more traction and appeal to the pols and the media. To the general (US) public – not so much.

    • Tim Jones
      May 22, 2019 at 19:57

      Hi Vinnieoh,
      An unlimited new energy source has direct bearing on the discussion here today. On 911, we were told what to believe about 911 even before evidence was discussed. Have you or anyone here ever read Dr Judy Wood’s research on 911? I have her thick book with the research. Yes, that’s good old research, not speculation. Her book, ‘Where did the towers go’ discusses a new source of energy that was used as a weapon to take down the towers that day. That energy is not hidden, nor is it a conspiracy, because Wood proved altogether that an unconventional weapon was used. The disifo campaign against Dr. Wood has been largely successful. Paul Hellyer, former Defense Minister for Canada is one person who has read her book and knows it’s true.

  9. May 22, 2019 at 14:40

    “We’re not going to stop this train wreck.
    Wright described an earlier time when the oceans became acidic as they are now, when the planet experienced mass extinction events. They were drive out by ocean acidity, he told me. The Permian mass extinction approximately 252 million years ago], where 90 percent of the species were wiped out, that is what we are looking at now.”
    From the book “The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

  10. evelync
    May 22, 2019 at 13:33

    Thanks Linda Flood for bringing up this critical point! Namely that human beings are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Perhaps chewing gum at the same time as walking helps to relax the mind and makes the walker more focused on surroundings….just saying….

    Here’s the shocker of the piece spoken by an unimaginative political scientist, IMO:
    ”We can either protect industrial jobs in the global north or save the climate,” says political scientist Tadzio Müller.

    Mr. Müller, I guess, has never considered the synergy of two different objectives. Sounds like he is prone to compartmentalization instead of being able to see how most everything is interrelated.

    His way of looking at things may be very useful to powerful interests who wish to keep things going along as they are. If so, it’s an obstructionist viewpoint.

    The truth may be that there’s a synergy between paying attention to a just jobs program while shifting to clean energy. It’s just possible that workers whose jobs are at risk, if a little effort is made to see to it that these people have the opportunity to participate in the shift to green energy may themselves become energized and excited to make this contribution thereby helping to make the shift faster and more efficient.

    I’m reading Daniel Immerwahr’s new book “How to Hide an Empire” and I’ve been learning how far flung our territories spread around the earth with “roughly 800” territories “plus agreements giving access to still other foreign sites” – see page 400. While there are about 30 bases total held by all the other countries including Britain, France and Russia.

    Another “synergistic” idea I’ve had recently is – how about giving most of those territories, devoting the savings to making green energy happen and bringing our soldiers home to contribute to our shift to sustainable energy!!! If we did that we’d prove that we’re serious about this.

    • evelync
      May 23, 2019 at 09:18

      sorry…..I meant to say – how about giving UP most or all of those territories! putting those savings to work avoiding a climate debacle while hiring those returning soldiers to help with the project to reach a sustainable energy solution to the looming climate disorder…

  11. Brian James
    May 22, 2019 at 13:23

    October 24, 2016 ‘Clean Power Plan’ relies on dirty climate science

    Draconian energy regulatory policies are being premised upon tax-funded climate alarmism promulgated by government agencies we are supposed to trust.


    Apr 21, 2016 Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy

    To make earth cleaner, greener and safer, which energy sources should humanity rely on? Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains how modern societies have cleaned up our water, air and streets using the very energy sources you may not have expected–oil, coal and natural gas.


  12. Pablo Diablo
    May 22, 2019 at 13:06

    Where is the U.S.Military in this list of polluters?

    • Ash
      May 22, 2019 at 16:20

      At the very top.

    May 22, 2019 at 12:03

    ” Nobody can survive in a world with a temperature increase of 3 or 4 degrees .” Sharan Burrow ITUC.

  14. Antonio Costa
    May 22, 2019 at 11:30

    We are the proverbial frog in the pot of slowly boiling water…soon it will be too late.

  15. Eva Coombs
    May 22, 2019 at 10:05

    Governments HOLD patents for FREE ENERGY FROM THE VACUUM, see James Bearden at Cheniere…have with held them from the public…all the NICHOLAS TESLA technology exists for over 100 years, but the cabal has held it back for their own profit motives

    • Tim Jones
      May 22, 2019 at 20:14

      Yes Eva, The US government holds at least one patent that I know of. Tesla discovered how to use this unlimited energy source. That is why the US military, upon Tesla’s passing, siezed all his papers and did not return them to his family until the 1950’s, according to a credible biography. 911, because of it’s shocking and surreal nature, was definately a psyop if ever there was one and folks have not recovered from it. We won’t have a thorough investigation because it will show that a schism has occured within the power structure and a fight is going on to control that very technology that was displayed for all to see on 911. Who controls it, controls the world.

  16. Chris Cosmos
    May 22, 2019 at 09:37

    Unfortunately no matter how we slice this issue efforts to make the world more livable in the future will come to nothing. The leading nation in the world is the USA and its population is not interested in doing anything about the issue because it has fully embraced the post-rational historical moment which other societies are merely drifting into. Americans live in fantasies not what we would have once termed reality and will oppose rational solutions to any problem. So we can prove facts, invoke science all we want and it will make no difference unless the oligarchs program citizens to want to do that. It is the oligarchs we must convince not each other or the average citizen. Let me put it even more simply–Americans want to be asleep and they’ll do anything to avoid waking up–with the exception of about 20%. This could change should the System collapse but not before then.

  17. Tom Graf
    May 22, 2019 at 09:11

    Somehow this article reminds me of the JFK quote to the 1962 Yale graduating class, “We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

    Of course, that comfort of opinion is the religion of our day. Industrial jobs aren’t confined to coal, steel, oil, etc. It applies equally to the giant medical industrial complex where our solution–medicare for all–seeks to pay the complex of doctors and big-pharma without ever asking why do 60% of Americans have chronic illness in the first place? This, and virtually every popular cause requires that discomfort of thought beginning first and foremost in our own home and community.

  18. May 22, 2019 at 08:57

    It is ludicrous that this should even be a discussion at this point. If we had proper leadership we could be seriously solving some of the problems of climate change. As it stands today, we are well on our way to climate catastrophe. Glaciers are melting, the Arctic is spewing methane and nitrous oxide, the oceans are acidifying, sea level is rising, species are dying – all while we sit and twiddle our thumbs. God forbid we would make this THE most important topic EVER not only for the human race but for the planet. No, we’d much rather argue the point while driving our cars, fouling our water, polluting our air, poisoning our food and not caring one iota what kind of life we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Humans are undeserving of this beautiful Earth – much less any other planet. In the end, we have all earned what we ultimately will get…

    • Kevin Bradley
      May 22, 2019 at 14:54

      Eloquently stated. I agree with every word.

  19. May 22, 2019 at 08:51

    Mike hit the nail on the head, that overpopulation is the problem not addressed, but to add to that is the issue of overconsumption. The rich dominate that yet many of them simply “greenwash” while overconsuming. Corporations drive the train of ignorance while humans head for the cliff. And how many of these politicians even know the age of Earth, about 4.5 billion years, that the Sun actually is the driver of our climate and weather? There have been numerous glacial cycles on Earth and we are presently in an interglacial cycle. Politicians are incredibly misguided and ignorant to drive this dialogue, and unfortunately, there are many compromised scientists besides. Also ignored is climate geoengineering and electromagnetics that humans have used to alter Earth so that we have literally imperiled all life and threaten ourselves ultimately. And the latest threat is 5G electromagnetics, one more driver of this onslaught.

    • Tedder
      May 22, 2019 at 13:16

      Conspicuous consumption is still a driving force in the American, perhaps worldwide, psyche. In essence, consumption proves status. Once centered on how many wives the patriarch held, e.g. Solomon, now its how many boats, cars, and planes, and for those without means, the number of children. For countries, I suspect that status might depend on population. This human nature is hard to change.

  20. Skip Scott
    May 22, 2019 at 07:59

    I think that fundamentally we must argue for a planned economic future, rather than the “invisible hand of the free market”. These same 25 corporations are heavily invested in maintaining the status quo even at the cost of destroying the planet, and the problem is their undue influence on government policy all over the world. As the video with this article shows, we know how to get where we need to be, we just lack the power to influence governments in any significant way compared to corporate power.

    The irony is that these corporations are now deemed to be “people” by our Supreme Court. The real individual people that make up these corporations will be living on a dead planet with the rest of us if they don’t change their behavior, yet they are trapped by the “maximum short term profit” mandate from making the necessary changes for our survival. If they continue to rule our governments (rather than governments ruling them) we are doomed.

  21. john wilson
    May 22, 2019 at 04:27

    If there was no CO2 in the atmosphere we all would all be dead.

    • Tedder
      May 22, 2019 at 13:17

      Well, John, if there were no O2 we would all be dead. If there were too much O2, or too much CO2, we would also all be dead.

    • David Hamilton
      May 22, 2019 at 15:41

      And if there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere, then incoming solar radiation cannot escape back into space like it must to prevent overheating….. why? because the natural blanket of water vapor – which keeps us from being a frozen wasteland like Mars – must have several ‘escape portals’ for some of the atmosphere’s heat to radiate out into space (to maintain a tension or a balance) – something that excess CO2 plugs up.

  22. sorcery
    May 22, 2019 at 02:38

    Birth control eliminates future workers.
    We, the elderly, should not be kept alive artificially.
    The ethics of medical research should be revisited.
    Even if the anthropogenic warming hypothesis tuout to be faulty.

  23. Tiu
    May 22, 2019 at 00:08

    “Tadzio Müller, political scientist and senior advisor on climate justice for the leftist foundation Rosa Luxembourg, says he supports workers’ interests.”
    Credentials such as being a “political scientist” and working for the “Rosa Luxembourg foundation” do not mean Müller has any scientific credibility to lecture on climate change. Rosa Luxembourg was a confident of Leon Trotsky, the Trotskites were only interested in global revolution to usher in their Socialist International which aimed for centralised control over everything (and was funded by the largest multinational banks and industrialists and supported by politicians including Woodrow Wilson who personally had Trotsky issued a US passport so he could return, from New York, to Russia to take over the Revolution that had already started).
    The climate will change, it always has, the earth goes through heating and cooling cycles that humans have no control over. The desertification of Egypt and much of the Middle East, and fall of the Hittites circa 1200 BC is attributed to climate change, specifically changes to the prevailing winds which changed the rainfall pattern.
    I’m all for cleaning up industrial processes (not by shipping them off to some far off under-developed nation), but don’t believe for a minute that “political scientists” like Tadzio Müller and his ilk – and there are many of them including the Pope – will not, no matter how much extra tax they charge us, or how many industries they shift from the developed world to lower cost countries, be able to change the weather.
    Restoring forests and preventing the movement of people from low carbon footprint countries to high carbon footprint countries (where they will naturally contribute more carbon as the population is enlarged) would go along way to solve the CO2 build-up. Plants use CO2 as a nutrient for growth.
    Another easy change would be to ban all cars with excessively larger motors than needed for travelling at the maximum motorway speed-limit (excluding the AutoBahn!). Encouraging the use of smaller cars would also save on resources used to make them. There are many things that could be done, but there appears to be an unhealthy desire to do it via a global institution which I perceive to be a Trojan Horse for the One World Government – AKA The New World Order.

  24. Tim Jones
    May 21, 2019 at 23:16

    So many from across all walks of life, along with scholars, have petitioned the US government to have a new investigation of 911, and even Trump has mentioned it.

  25. LJ
    May 21, 2019 at 22:49

    Carbon based emissions up 2% since 2016. Blame Trump. Bullshit. Not 1 nation has hit their voluntary Paris Accord targets. This is enlightened behavior. Wanna bet? Let’s do some yoga and eat gluten free organic crap and it will all be ok. We are doomed. Who cares? Humanity sucks. We lost the human race when we elected Reagan.

    • Tiu
      May 22, 2019 at 00:16

      That’s if you believe the date!
      Based on what I was reading on the subject in the 1990’s, much of the world’s coastal regions and many large cities should be under water already!

      • Tedder
        May 22, 2019 at 13:21

        Check out Miami with its periodic high tide flooding. Where I live on the Florida Panhandle, the mean water level is always 4-6 inches higher than normal. Some areas are more threatened than others, but sea level rise is definitely, observably happening.

      • LJ
        May 22, 2019 at 14:17

        I grew up about a mile from San Francisco Bay tidal flats. I spent tens of thousands of hours by the Bay over the last 50+ years. I don’t needs no stinkin’ data to see that the ocean level is rising . It’s like all the invasive species, all around the Bay Area ecosystem, IT IS OBVIOUS. Things have accelerated in this regard over the last several years. Just yesterday, it stopped raining,,, in May !. This has never occurred in my lifetime. 61 years. Heavy rain in the SF Bay Area in May. Now, there is little doubt that we will have another severe fire season in California. Point is, I’ve been alive and I’ve been informed on this issue for over 40 years. I don’t need an opinion leader. I have eyes. The environment on this planet is in rapid flux. It is getting warmer. How this plays out is unlikely to be good for humans and other large mammals on this planet. I’m not an ostrich, I watch what happens. Don’t stick my head in the sand. In my lifetime, if I live another 20 years, say to 80, I will see a further acceleration of this trend. It isn’t getting better but people are running around like crazy making more money and real estate values are still growing though slower. Laid back Northern California no more. Meanwhile the quality of life in the California Dream State is declining and according to polling the majority of Bay Area residents want to move in the next few years, This was Paradise the best quality of life in the world without a doubt . Is this Progress? I’m not paid to spin or lie or peddle slogans. This sucks the big one.

        • old geezer
          May 23, 2019 at 15:42

          tens of thousands of hours by the bay … i have always been just a little more inland, since ‘65. the mud flat on 101 just south of Anza Blvd looks the same to me as when my mom took me to see “ The Blue Max “ when a building near Redwood Debris Box Service was a movie theater. Ursula was hot ! Even a 5 year old could figure that out.

          you are a real californian though, complaining when it doesn’t rain, complaining when it does.

          i skied bear valley june 5th, 1982. it was a little slushy but i caught some rays that day. got talking with a cute little blond. she wouldn’t give me her phone number but told me to meet her at blacks beach near slo the next weekend. i think they call it pirate’s cove now. i wish they all could be california girls.

          • LJ
            May 24, 2019 at 20:26

            Old geezer. I am a Native Californian. Most of us left the state already. Through death or white flight which has been going on since the 1970’s as you know. As for the way things are now, well many tidal flats have eroded. Where I frequented the most they have all rolled back to the dykes. I have been on the Bay Fishing, doing other sports as well. Yeah, I have spent a lot of time there but I am not nostalgic. This place, the San Francisco Bay Area is not like it used to be. Demographics and development , constant immigration and economic stimulation has expanded the population in all 9 counties . It’s overcrowded and not enough people are leaving . 1982 was a long while ago. There are a lot more pretty California Girls now. Where I am most aren’t blond. Most have black hair and brown eyes to tell the truth. Many are bilingual. All have smart phones. I was on the freeway 580 at 4:30 AM this morning . The commute had already started .Traffic in all lanes. Mostly doing over 80 MPH. I don’t have to see this change in lifestyle as good. And I do not.

  26. Tim Jones
    May 21, 2019 at 22:15

    There is an energy source that can now be ‘harvested’ forever to the benefit of mankind, and end the oil infrastructure. Let’s make this simple. There was an ‘exotic weapon’ that made the towers on 911, disappear faster than physics would allow and Dr Judy Wood has produced evidence for that in her research, (not just speculation like 911 Truthers). The Russians have this technology as well. Please consider that this technology is in the hands of certain branches of the military, most probably the Navy and corporations. We don’t even know who used this weapon to take down the towers. If you have not read her book, ‘Where did the towers go?’ you will realize what the murder weapon was. CN needs to have a dialogue about this and invite researchers and others like Dr Judy Wood to write a special editorials on this topic. I will copy my post here in case it is taken down.

  27. mauisurfer
    May 21, 2019 at 22:05

    the biggest burner of fossil fuels is the USA military

  28. Joe Tedesky
    May 21, 2019 at 21:40

    Born in 1950 over my lifetime I have seen small corporations continually being vacuumed up by bigger corporations whereas 500 is now merely 5 in many industries. While that was going on I from afar watched the mighty unions which thrived in my town of Pittsburgh diminish down to but a small few. If the pendulum really does swing both ways then in my mine it’s about time it swing towards the dying labor pool away from the hard handed minority management of what we are traveling through now. It would also make sense that the bigger the corporation the more the labor would do well to bargain in high rostered numbers.

  29. May 21, 2019 at 20:33

    We *have to* get there. Wealth will have to be flattened out
    entirely without listening to any vested interest including unions.
    We will have to be disciplined and integrated, keeping firmly
    in mind that survival morality.

    • May 21, 2019 at 20:37

      They took out my symbols: survival if and only if morality. “”

    • DavidH
      May 22, 2019 at 00:00

      “disciplined and integrated”

      It’s obvious that even if nations went straight to team work, and shoveled all this brinksmanship crapola in the dumpster, the project would still be complex and titanic. No wonder there’s an “existential threat of big tech.” They see it. But, as I’m working my butt off, they can do a little work too. Most of it’ll be mental…brainstorming (thinking of Michael Albert’s mentions of “worker councils” years ago when I read “Z”). Citizens actually at meetings! The current crop of pols’ll flip out. But then, of course, following the mental phase there’ll be the austerity as well, this time a la left, not right. But everyone’ll have to be more left. It’s the end of my day, and I’m not waxing eloquent at all. Sorry.

      If you want to see what we have to get through, just read a little here (Tverberg was recommended by Naked Capitalism, IOW they carried one of her pieces, IIRC in Feb or March). https://ourfiniteworld.com/

      There has to be a way around it. If Bolsanaro chops down trees, then agriculture itself can be a carbon sink. Seems like Vandana Shiva’s pretty clear about that.

      Once there’s solidarity and the plan is formed up presidents will no doubt be getting out there like Carter getting their hands dirty once in a while…learning from Mexicans how to harvest. What would really be helpful is if they’d teach us how to plant. Yes, one day, Lord willing and if the creek don’t rise too high, the “first” (and arduous) “mental” chapter will be finished.

  30. mike k
    May 21, 2019 at 18:43

    Nobody ever mentions the huge elephant in the room – unlimited human population growth. This basic dynamic underlying all our problems is studiously avoided and verboten to discuss. Ever hear anything about the population problem on TV? Never. It is the ultimate third rail for politicians.

    • May 21, 2019 at 20:36

      You’re right Mike k. One of the dynamics. Re-education + access to birth control first out of the box.

    • Bob Buhr
      May 22, 2019 at 04:39

      Malthus only needs to be right once.

    • Tom Graf
      May 22, 2019 at 09:00

      There is a pretty simple explanation for this. The global economy goal number one is constant growth and expansion. Look for any politician that doesn’t promise more jobs and a thriving economy. You won’t find one–even new green dealers. We can’t put our imagination to what a peaceable economy might look like and so we need ever more consumers to consume ever more.

    • old geezer
      May 22, 2019 at 09:14

      the effect of policies in what was once europe will obviously meet your goal. cultural suicide

    • Seer
      May 22, 2019 at 12:00

      It’s pretty simple, simple math says that our “model” is doomed. Perpetual growth on a finite planet is certain to fail/collide with reality. It’s an issue of total consumption/use growing at exponential rates. We saw China’s economy grow by 10% for several years; anyone who thought it continue indefinitely should be kept away from ANY mathematics teaching position (of be a head of anything!).

      Even stuff that’s 100% recyclable can overwhelm our planet IF we cannot recycle it in a timely manner. No matter how “green” we would, under the perpetual growth model, eventually fail.

      Given that we’re pretty much programmed to grow (go forth an multiply) I’m afraid to say that war/starvation/pestilence/etc is what we’re going to face. There’s perhaps a Logan’s Run type of “solution,” though, as with the movie, that is highly problematic (sense of survival being too great).

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