Labor and Environment Movement’s Complex Stance on Green New Deal

Aviva Chomsky reports on the complexities of labor’s response to the Green New Deal and little-known divisions over the plan within the environmental movement.

By Aviva Chomsky
TomDispatch.com

When it comes to heat, extreme weather, wildfires, and melting glaciers, the planet is now in what the media increasingly refers to as record territory, as climate change’s momentum outpaces predictions. In such a situation, in a country whose president and administration seem hell-bent on doing everything they conceivably can to make matters worse, the Green New Deal (GND) seems to offer at least a modest opening to a path forward.

You know, the resolution introduced this February in the House of Representatives by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Edward Markey (D-MA). Unsurprisingly, the proposal has been roundly attacked by the right. But it’s stirred up some controversy on the left as well. You might imagine that labor unions and environmental organizations would be wholeheartedly for a massive federal investment in good jobs and a just transition away from fossil fuels. But does organized labor actually support or oppose the Green New Deal? What about environmental organizations? If you’re not even sure how to answer such questions, you’re not alone.

That 14-page resolution calls for “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” Its purpose: to reduce U.S. carbon emissions to net zero within a decade, while guaranteeing significant numbers of new jobs and social welfare to American workers. Read it and you’ll find that it actually attempts to overcome historical divisions between the American labor and environmental movements by linking a call for good jobs and worker protection to obvious and much-needed environmental goals.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (center) speaking on the Green New Deal with Sen. Ed Markey (right) in February 2019. (Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the process, the GND proposal goes impressively far beyond the modest goals of the Paris Climate Accords and other international agreements. It supports specific, enforceable targets for bringing climate change under control, while drawing clear connections between social, labor, and environmental rights. Acknowledging in blunt terms the urgency of making systemic change on a rapidly warming planet, it calls for the kind of national mobilization Americans haven’t experienced since the end of the Second World War. Described that way, it sounds like something both the labor and environmental movements would naturally support without a second thought. There is, however, both a history of mistrust and real disagreement over issues, which both movements are now grappling with. And the media is doing its part by exaggerating labor’s opposition to the proposal, while ignoring what environmental organizations have to say.

One Green New Deal controversy focuses on the future role of fossil fuels in that plan. A number of environmental organizations believe that such energy sources have no place in our future, that they need to stay in the ground, period. They cite climate science and the urgent need to move rapidly and drastically to eliminate carbon emissions as the basis for such a conclusion. As it happens, the Green New Deal avoids directly challenging the fossil-fuel industry. In fact, it doesn’t even use the term “fossil fuels.”

From another perspective, some unions hope that new technologies like carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) will make those fuels more efficient and far cleaner. If the addition of carbon to the atmosphere could be reduced significantly or offset in some fashion, while humanity still burned natural gas, oil, or even coal, they say, jobs in those sectors could be preserved. And the unions have other concerns as well. They tend, for instance, to look skeptically on the GND’s promises of a “just transition” for displaced fossil-fuel workers like coal miners, given the devastation that has fallen on workers and their communities when industries have shut down in the past. They also fear that, without accompanying trade protections, polluting industries will simply export their emissions rather than reduce them.

Being more of a statement of purpose than an elaborated plan, the Green New Deal is short on both detail and answers when it comes to such issues. The actual roadmap to achieving its goals, the proposal states, “must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses.” Both unions and environmental organizations are already mobilizing to make sure their voices are part of the process.

The right wing was quick to mockingly publicize the Green New Deal not just as thoroughly unrealistic but as utterly un-American. Under the circumstances, perhaps it’s not surprising that a recent poll found 69 percent of Republicans but only 36 percent of Democrats had heard “a lot” about it. Similarly, 80 percent of Republicans already “strongly opposed” it, while only 46 percent of Democrats strongly supported it. And 40 percent of those polled said that they had heard “mostly negative” things about it, while only 14 percent had heard “mostly positive” things. One reason for this disparity: Fox News has devoted more time to the topic than any other television news outlet. And President Trump naturally pitched in, tweeting that the GND would eliminate “Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military.”

Such claims, however fantastical, have already spread widely. But even the mainstream media has tended to play up the negative.

Both right-wing and mainstream media outlets have promoted the idea that unions are in firm opposition to the Green New Deal, frequently exaggerating and distorting the nature of what opposition there is. As for the concerns of environmentalists, readers would largely have to follow radical online publications or search out the websites of green organizations.

Media & Labor Movement

The Washington ExaminerFox News, and other right-wing outlets have waxed gleeful every time representatives of organized labor, including Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, have critiqued or expressed reservations about the Green New Deal, a topic on which the rest of the mainstream media has also run stories. Labor’s position is, however, significantly more complicated than any of them have acknowledged.

In an hour-long interview at the Economic Club of Washington in April — reported in the Examiner under the headline “AFL-CIO Opposes Green New Deal” — Trumka actually devoted less than 30 seconds to responding to a question on the topic. Asked if he supported the GND, he replied “Not as currently written… We weren’t part of the process, and so the workers’ interest really wasn’t completely figured into it. So we would want a whole lot of changes made so that workers and our jobs are protected in the process.” Not exactly a wholesale rejection.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in 2010. (Bernard Pollack, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

His brief reaction echoed a March letter from the AFL-CIO Energy Committee to Ocasio-Cortez and Markey signed by the presidents of the United Mine Workers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Among other things, it protested the absence of a labor voice in drafting the proposal. It also focused on the potential loss of jobs, as well as the fact that the GND was “not rooted in an engineering-based approach” to climate change, reflecting union hopes that improved technologies might allow the U.S. to meet climate goals while still extracting and burning fossil fuels (and so preserving jobs in that sector of the economy).

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, a long-time ally of the coal, oil, and gas industries, a climate-change denier, and a reliably anti-union vote in Congress, first noted the existence of the letter in a tweet headlined: “The @AFLCIO, which represents 12.5 million workers & includes 55 labor unions, slams the #GreenNewDeal.”

Both the right wing and the mainstream media largely agreed with his interpretation. The Washington Post, for instance, headlined its article “AFL-CIO Criticizes the Green New Deal,” while the Examiner called the federation the “latest opponent” of the resolution.

Two facts were, however, missing in action in this reporting. First, the members of the AFL-CIO Energy Committee come from only eight unions, most of them deeply dependent on the fossil-fuel industry. In that sense, it doesn’t represent the federation as a whole. Second, the letter itself was more nuanced than the media coverage suggested and even its signers were far from unanimous. True, one of them, Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers International Union of North America, claimed to be unalterably opposed to the GND, saying it was “exactly how not to” address infrastructure and climate change. Linking them, he wrote, would cause “social and economic devastation.” In contrast, in an article ignored by the media and headlined “Labor Champions a Green New Deal,” another signer, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, suggested that the letter actually supported the GND.

The Energy Committee’s letter laid out its own vision of how to address the coming crisis through:

“[the] development and deployment of technologies like solar, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric, carbon capture and utilization, battery storage, and high speed rail that limit or eliminate carbon emissions. We know that the increase in natural gas production has lowered emissions in the power sector and provided a new source of construction and manufacturing jobs. We must invest in energy efficiency in the industrial and commercial sectors, retrofits and upgrades to schools and public buildings, and to make our communities safe and resilient. All of these investments must be paired with strong labor and procurement standards to grow family-sustaining, middle class union jobs.”

Much of this sounds like it’s aligned with the language of the GND, which also calls for increased efficiency, retrofits, upgrades, and labor guarantees. The differences may seem subtle, but are worth mentioning. The Energy Committee emphasizes investment in new carbon capture and storage technology, while the GND advocates only “proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as land preservation and afforestation.” For obvious reasons, CCUS is the preferred path of the fossil-fuel industry itself: it’s an aspirational technology that will require massive federal investment in big energy and holds out the promise (however illusory) that fossil fuels can continue to be extracted and burned. Many environmental organizations argue that its development is not just a gift to fossil-fuel companies, but a pie-in-the-sky distraction from the real work of ending the use of oil, coal, and natural gas.

The Energy Committee’s letter also advocated increasing the use of natural gas as part of a path to lowering carbon emissions — and it’s true that natural gas does emit less carbon than burning either coal or oil. In fact, until recently, the shift from coal- to natural-gas-fired power plants played a role in slightly lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Still, natural gas is a fossil fuel, and the more we burn, the more we contribute to climate change. It in no way falls into the GND’s category of “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” And keep in mind that, even during a decade of reductions, the United States still emitted far more greenhouse gases per capita than most other countries and, in the last two years, its carbon dioxide emissions have begun to rise again. Our per capita emissions are still way above those of, say, Europe or Japan. Shifting to a slightly cleaner fossil fuel while continuing to burn so much carbon does little to avert catastrophic climate change.

These disputes are real. Nevertheless, the right wing caricatured the AFL-CIO response to paint the GND as an outlandish, anti-worker proposal.

From the left, the environmental organization Friends of the Earth also caricatured the AFL-CIO stance, writing: “With the energy committee’s position, the AFL joins climate deniers like the Koch brothers, the Republican Party, and Big Oil. We encourage the AFL and other unions within it to rethink this position.” Such language only exacerbates any labor-environmental divide, while ignoring union concerns that workers in affected industries will be paying the true price for lowering carbon emissions.

Friends of the Earth could have focused instead on Richard Trumka’s words at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit. The Federation, he insisted, does not question climate science. 

“I learned something about science in the mine. When the boss told us to ignore the deadly hazards of the job… that sagging timber over our heads… that Black Lung cough… science told us the truth. And today, again, science tells us the truth: climate change threatens our workers, our jobs, and our economy.” 

He then asked one question: “Does your plan for fighting climate change ask more from sick, retired coal miners than it does from you and your family? If it does, then you need to think again.”

Or as Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants and a strong Green New Deal supporter, put it:

“The skepticism really comes from a place of generally being opposed to something that they believe is going to be an attack on their jobs, their livelihoods, and their communities… We have to do things like show communities that have been hurt that we actually mean what we say when we say ‘leave no worker behind.’”

For the unions, an emphasis on trade is also critical from both an environmental and a labor perspective. United Steelworkers President Gerard elaborated

“The USW has aggressively demanded that climate policies include strong trade measures to ensure American jobs in energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries are not decimated by U.S. corporations evading pollution-control regulations by shipping factories to countries that ignore pollution.” 

United Steelworkers President Gerard in 2017. (YouTube)

Why Labor Hesitates: A Tangled History

While a skeptic could read Gerard’s stance on trade as no more than a narrow self-interest in preserving jobs in the face of a planetary crisis, it’s also a crucial issue purely from a climate-change perspective. In addition to the shift from coal to natural gas, another factor in the slight decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions until recently was deindustrialization and the outsourcing of industrial production to Mexico, China, or Vietnam, which represents a thoroughly illusory reduction in carbon emissions. The atmosphere, of course, doesn’t care whether a factory is located in the United States or China, since total global emissions are what’s warming our planet.

While the AFL-CIO leadership has been cautious about the Green New Deal proposal, some unions have enthusiastically hailed it, among them public and service sector ones. With its 2 million members, the Service Employees International Union, not currently affiliated with the AFL-CIO, signed on wholeheartedly at its convention in early June. The 50,000-strong Association of Flight Attendants soon seconded that position as its president, Sara Nelson, explained that, in her industry, “it’s not the solutions to climate change that kill jobs. Climate change itself is the job killer,” since extreme weather and increased turbulence are grounding more flights and making air travel more dangerous. 

Maine’s state federation and a number of labor councils followed suit, as have quite a few union locals. While the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, for instance, has been reluctant to endorse the Green New Deal, at least one of its locals has signed on. “We’re all about green jobs,” declared Lou Antonellis, the business manager of local 103 in Boston. “We’ve been promoting green technology for a long time.” (For a fuller list of labor endorsements, click here.)

There is a context — think of it as a deeply tangled history — that lies behind the complexity of labor’s response to the Green New Deal. As a start, labor in the United States has rarely spoken with a unified voice. In addition, the union movement is now distinctly on the defensive. The unionized share of the labor force has fallen from a high of 35 percent in the 1950s to less than 11 percent today, thanks to a combination of deindustrialization, automation, cutbacks, attacks on the public sector, and a virulent corporate backlash against unions that began in the 1970s. Mass production powerhouses like the auto workers, steel workers, and miners — all in sectors in which a fossil-fuel-free future is challenging to imagine — have been hit the hardest, a situation that provides some context for their suspicions about climate-change proposals.


Green New Deal labor activists in Detroit, July 2019. (Becker1999, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The weak position of organized labor in the United States also contributes to the AFL-CIO’s opposition to the notion that the planet’s biggest polluting states need to make the biggest reductions. As a result, its stance on international climate agreements lags well behind the international union movement. The AFL-CIO, for instance, opposed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol because it required greater reductions from the biggest polluters and, since then, has consistently supported the U.S. government position that wealthy countries should not be required to meet emissions reductions standards unless poor countries do, too. 

Environmental Organizations & the Green New Deal

You wouldn’t know it from the media coverage, but environmental organizations are also divided on the Green New Deal. Many of them feel the proposal is too weak. Its language, they say, still allows for fossil-fuel extraction, use, and export, and for the expansion of nuclear energy.

The GND, after all, aims not at zero carbon emissions, but at “net-zero.” In translation, that means carbon dioxide emissions could continue as long as some kind of offset system was implemented to compensate for them. Even as the AFL-CIO Energy Committee argues that net-zero goes too far, many environmental organizations critique the GND’s unwillingness to opt for “zero emissions.” In fact, even zero emissions raises red flags for some environmentalists, who point out that nuclear power, despite its non-renewable nature and devastating potential environmental consequences, remains a zero-emissions form of energy production. Instead, many environmental organizations advocate that we move to energy sources that are both 100 percent renewable and zero emissions.

Like the unions, such radical environmental organizations complained that they were left out of the discussion leading up to the Green New Deal proposal and had no chance to push for moving more quickly to 100 percent renewables and what they call “100 percent decarbonization.” While they, like the unions, call for a “just transition,” their focus tends to be on indigenous and other front-line communities affected by fossil-fuel extraction as well as workers in those industries. Unlike the labor critiques, this environmental position has gotten scant attention in the mainstream media.

Many of the 600 signers of a letter outlining the radical environmental critique of the GND were small, local or faith-based organizations. Some of the large mainstream environmental groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Defense Fund were conspicuously absent from the signatories. Others like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, 350.org, the Sunrise Movement, the Rainforest Action Network, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Amazon Watch did, however, sign on. So, notably, did the Labor Network for Sustainability, the most radical voice in the labor movement working in support of climate-change action.

The Indigenous Environmental Network wrote:

“We remain concerned that unless some changes are made to the resolution, the Green New Deal will leave incentives by industries and governments to continue causing harm to Indigenous communities. Furthermore, as our communities who live on the frontline of the climate crisis have been saying for generations, the most impactful and direct way to address the problem is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We can no longer leave any options for the fossil fuel industry to determine the economic and energy future of this country. And until the Green New Deal can be explicit in this demand as well as closing the loop on harmful incentives, we cannot fully endorse the resolution.” 

Other organizations like 350.org signed on to the Green New Deal despite reservations. Greenpeace lauded it, while cautioning that “the oil, gas, and coal industry will fight this tooth and nail while continuing to dump pollution into our atmosphere. In order to get us to the green future we want, federal legislation MUST also halt any major oil, gas, and coal expansion projects like pipelines and new drilling.”

The Future of the GND

Despite challenges from parts of both the labor and the environmental movements, which its sponsors had undoubtedly hoped would be among its strongest supporters, Markey and Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution has gone a remarkably long way toward putting a genuine discussion of what an effective and just climate policy might look like in the public arena for the first time. For grassroots environmental organizations, labor unions, nongovernmental outfits, Congress, and the media, as heat waves multiply, the Arctic burns, and extreme weather of every sort becomes everyday news, the question of what is to be done is finally emerging as a subject to contend with, even in the 2020 presidential election campaign. In policy discussions, the urgency of the climate crisis is being acknowledged for the first time and the question of how to radically lower carbon emissions while prioritizing social justice is coming to the fore. These are exactly the debates that are needed in this all-hands-on-deck moment when human civilization is itself, for the first time in our history, in question.

Aviva Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts and a TomDispatch regular. Her most recent book is Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal.”

This article is from TomDispatch.com.

Before commenting please read Robert Parry’s Comment Policy. Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed.

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24 comments for “Labor and Environment Movement’s Complex Stance on Green New Deal

  1. Sofaking Dum
    August 14, 2019 at 00:26

    Take all money from the rich. Give it to the poor. Jobs will be created to make all people equal. And safe. And everything will be free. And we won’t have planes or cars that ruin Mother Earth and climate will stay the same. And all will be good, so long as we don’t have too many people to eat into our limited supply of food. So price controls and limits on family size will maintain the happiness of all. Cool.

  2. SPENCER
    August 13, 2019 at 17:10

    The GND will create lots of good jobs and at the same time fight against Climate Catastrophe—a win for the Planet–and all life on earth—and end the fossil fuel plague—-

  3. Jack Thomsen
    August 13, 2019 at 14:56

    And not a PEEP about the fertility of the 3rd world !!! Africa will add 700 million by 2050 —- nothing to say about it?

    Latin America will add 500 million by 2050 …. again SILENCE

    We cannot sustain a world where people breed like rabbits…. and want a middle class lifestyle.

  4. August 13, 2019 at 14:25

    –The way the word “Renewables” is venerated is a flashing red light for me. It smacks of the awe and reverence given to atomic power in the 40s through 60s. Dams, Wind Farms, and Solar all have their shortcomings and ecological impact.
    –There wouldn’t be a greenhouse gas problem if Alvin Weinberg (ORNL) hadn’t been ignored, thwarted and fired during the Nixon Administration. Research into reactor designs that would have prevented Three Mile Island and Fukushima was canceled. America could have changed out its water reactors for Weinberg’s Molten Salt Reactors (don’t confuse them with liquid metal reactors, as I’ve seen a Ph.D. in Physics do.) By now our energy mix would look a lot more like France’s, one of the most carbon-free countries on the planet.
    –It’s ironic that nuclear power haters trust that the Nixon Administration’s Nuclear Power represents nuclear energy, while being ignorant of Alvin Weinberg’s safety reactor, even though he was warning about global warming and water reactors before the accidents happened and before many of them were in diapers.

  5. Lois Gagnon
    August 13, 2019 at 13:52

    Where did my comment go?

  6. Robert Anglin
    August 13, 2019 at 13:51

    To deal with climate change:

    1) Tax the rich. The lowering of our average standard of living that will be required can not be brought about in a society with anywhere near the current levels of wealth and income disparity.

    2) Repair the social safety net. Free education, free health care and some kind of unversal basic income will be needed so that the burdens are shared by all.

    3) Implement a substantial carbon tax.

  7. Lois Gagnon
    August 13, 2019 at 13:50

    Howie Hawkins of the Green Party first proposed a real Green New Deal in 2014 when he ran for governor of New York. Jill Stein proposed it again while running for president in 2016.

    The Democrats as usual decided to co-opt a Green party idea, hollow it out and sell it as their own. Nancy Pelosi has already said it is dead on arrival. Yet people act as though it will be implemented by the corporate friendly fossils running the Democratic party.

    I stood up at a Green New Deal town hall with Ed Markey in Northampton, Ma and identified myself as a Green. I told him and everyone in that auditorium about Howie Hawkins’ version and how it’s the only realistic version considering Markey’s doesn’t touch military spending. The US military is the biggest user of fossil fuels and the biggest emitter of Co2 on the planet. Any GND that doesn’t slash military spending is not serious. He refused to address my point and said the military knows climate change is contributing to the global conflicts they are being sent to put down. You will never get a serious plan to mitigate climate change from this man.

    Chris Hedges addresses this issue in this week’s column on Truth Dig. Check it out. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/fear-vs-fear/

    • Antonio Costa
      August 13, 2019 at 15:38

      Lois, agree with all your points, but it is deeper than these pathologies alone.

      If we implement the GND, even the Green’s GND, the underlying cause must be addressed. The cause, thus far, transcends existing economic ideolgies.

      If we replaced for instance fossil with other energy souces the deeper problem remains.

      We are the problem. If and until we change, if we have the capacity, how we live on this planet the problem will not only persist but worsen.

      • Lois Gagnon
        August 14, 2019 at 10:33

        I agree. The Green Party is evolving on economic issues. We are now advocating eco-socialism. We cannot continue to live under the capitalist system and survive on this planet. This was addressed at the recent Green Party Annual National Meeting. We are going to have to lower our expectations for material comforts. Living simply has to be the aim of any policy prescriptions.

  8. Pablo Diablo
    August 13, 2019 at 13:36

    “TURTLES AND TEAMSTERS, TOGETHER AT LAST” WTO Battle in Seattle 1999.

  9. Ed Grystar
    August 13, 2019 at 12:38

    Labor’s biggest problem is the fact that almost all of the top leaders of AFL-CIO unions follow the false belief and losing strategy of “labor management harmony.” This produces the goal of protecting “their employer.” Without discarding this ineffective ideology, there can be no independent program of struggle. It’s pretty difficult to support things like the Green New Deal and other programs that run counter to the corporate agenda, if “your” partner, the corporation disagrees. In the steel town of Clairton in western Pennsylvania, the USW mobilized its workers to attend town hall meetings to defend the pollution of USX corporation that was poisoning the air in this town which is a devastated and poor steel town. The absurdity of defending the company and arguing that they are saving jobs is countered by the fact that tens of thousands of steel jobs have been destroyed by steel corporations over the past decades and either moved overseas or automated. None of which was caused by regulations or environmental rules. Crying out is the need for steel production and steelworker jobs via a massive public works program to rebuild America’s infrastructure. Yet the union, rather than use its resources to mobilize their members and the public is silent. Rather than focus on the real enemy, which is corporate America and the steel trust, they’re now railing against the Chinese workers. Such are the fruits of the failed policy of labor management harmony which is the crux of why unions are losing strength in a time that workers need them most. Workers must come to grips with this and move to real unions that fight the boss and advocate for the public interest. It’s either this or lights out.

  10. August 13, 2019 at 12:34

    Here are the major problems as well as a series of solutions:
    http://www.rushtopower.net

  11. August 13, 2019 at 11:08

    The climate emergency grows more obvious with every passing day. Attacking it effectively needs open minds across the political spectrum. Students of all ages everywhere on the planet recognize the need for action that makes a real difference.
    Hard to believe new technologies, reflecting science not yet generally accepted in the scientific community, can rapidly reduce the need for fossil fuels which otherwise are expected to still provide 78% of our energy by 2050.
    One example is water as fuel. Any engine can soon be easily and cheaply converted to run on water instead of gas, diesel or jet fuel.
    Vehicles running on water can become power plants when parked – using existing technology. Millions of them can replace central power plants and sharply reduce the need for coal, natural gas and nuclear power.
    This is a Green Swan – a highly improbable invention with enormous implications. A few others exist. Moving them to market as fast as is humanly possible can dramatically change the energy landscape at a huge reduction in the cost projected for existing alternatives.
    And this is enterprise – that has no need to wait for slow moving government to act. All it takes is individuals and organizations unafraid of the high risk of revolutionary ventures. And unconcerned by groundless attacks by those who are certain the new science is impossible.
    A Green Swan Movement is pregnant. It opens a new and different path forward – beyond partisan politics. See aesopinstitute.org

  12. August 13, 2019 at 10:06

    Isn’t it obvious that many of the highest profile labor unions and environmental groups are tools for the ruling class?

  13. Jon Dhoe
    August 13, 2019 at 09:59

    Labor unions don’t exist anymore, and haven’t for a long time. Why don’t we recognize that their leaders have long since become nothing more than tools for controlling workers, as well as many “environmental” organizations.

    If workers want to keep losing they can stay with Big Labor and Bill McKibben who said, “elect Hillary, then give her hell!”

  14. August 13, 2019 at 07:13

    Really I don’t believe what you are saying here

  15. Antonio Costa
    August 12, 2019 at 22:59

    “The major problems of the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way people think.” – Gregory Bateson

    In reality few if anyone believes enough to really do what needs doing. As Charles de Gaulle said: “We may go to the moon, but that’s not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.” (And we ain’t going there.)

    It’s not just the unions which at best is a mixed bag, but pretty much everyone. Look, China is beating the US at its own game. But it’s all being underwritten by nature. How long do you think you can “fooling mother nature”?

    One last point since Medicare for All, in so many words, was included in GND, I heard a union leader say she wants universal coverage but that includes Big for-profit insurance and Big pharma. Of course, union leaders’ power, in large part comes from negotiating benefits such as health care. Take that off the table with single payer, and guess what happens to their power?

    Even Michael Moore’s latest movie – The Planet of the Humans – concedes renewables are so loaded with fossil…so what’s the point…?

  16. August 12, 2019 at 22:10

    The GND furthers universal standard income, in that it utilizes a global emissions tax, correct?
    Do technology transfers such as the Talpiot project; Intel and Qualcomm software/hardware backdoors, by way of Israel, and future cloud software of the pentagon, based on these things, further it as well?

  17. Hawaiiguy
    August 12, 2019 at 21:24

    Everyone needs to treat the carbon hoax with the same zeal as the Russia hoax post mueller report. Carbo is needed for life, it’s exactly the percentage it is supposed to be. 04percent. Mankind will never increase it from 04percent. Just stop worrying about something we statistically don’t contribute to, which is. 0035percent. We could triple our output and it still wouldn’t matter, earth loves carbons, the more the better.

    • August 13, 2019 at 07:17

      What do you mean by that

    • Jack Thomsen
      August 13, 2019 at 14:58

      Thank YOU

  18. August 12, 2019 at 20:37

    There is a first step. One cannot envision healing the planet with human rights blossoming full extending from the capitalist oil economy backed by blackmail and nuclear terrorism.

    We have no way to know what policies to promote for the simple reason that we have not yet even collectively agreed to quit species suicide.

    Humanity will write a new story that is way more fun or our future is short.

  19. August 12, 2019 at 18:27

    Radical activists who want to exclude nuclear power are worse than the people who don’t want to do anything. They are much more anti-science than anyone else. Nuclear power kills far less people per kW generated than wind or solar, even when you include Chernobyl and Fukushima. There are simply not enough of the raw materials needed to power the entire planet on wind and pv, and the mining and extraction required are not exactly green.

    • freedom lover
      August 13, 2019 at 21:18

      Very good point. Nuclear as well has the smallest environmental footprint. Mass media never informs people about the facts (i.e. a 1000MW nuclear reactor operating over a full year creates about enough nuclear waste to fit under your average office desk, Reactors of the type used at Chernobyl would never and could never be licensed to operate in either the US or western Europe. Fukushima likewise would never get a license to operate in the US due to its location and lack of a reliable back-up generator. Nuclear plants are proven high skilled and high paid job creators that pay for themselves many times over during their operating terms)

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