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Green Economy

Laid-Off Sierra Club Staffers: ‘We Can’t Give Up On United Fronts’

For the last decade, climate justice organizers have seen the Sierra Club as a critical lever for moving a climate agenda that centers equity and just transition. It has the largest grassroots base outside of labor, the most substantial infrastructure of any national green group in the US, and roots in a movement that at times was not afraid to go toe-to-toe with large corporations or development-oriented pro-business government entities. But beginning in May, the organization accelerated a restructuring process that included layoffs of the entire equity and environmental justice teams and of senior staffers, several Black women and other women of color among them.

In A Summer Of Record Heat, Striking Workers Are Making Climate Demands

July was the hottest month on record—possibly the hottest in the history of human civilization — and August is bringing more scorching temperatures and supercharged storms. On July 16, the heat index at the Persian Gulf International Airport weather station in Iran climbed to 152 degrees Fahrenheit, a level that tests humanity’s ability to survive. Meanwhile, in vast swaths of the United States, people watched smoke from Canadian wildfires turn their skies noxious hues of orange and gray, only to then be hit with storms and heat waves. The scientific consensus has long held that climate change is human-made and real.

A Just Transition To A New, Greener Life

My blood is as black as coal. We’re all miners in my family: niece, daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother... It’s not like I was born with a piece of coal in my hand, but almost, like everybody else in these parts. When the coal mine shut down, it was a total disaster. There was no work. Young people started to leave, the villages became desolate, businesses closed. You carry those roots deep inside you. We are a different kind of people. We see things from a different perspective. You get used to living with fear. You make it your ally. When I was little I saw how nervous my  mother was for my father. Later I was the same when my husband and my son also went down the mines.

Climate Groups Announce Global Days Of Action

The climate justice group on Monday announced upcoming global days of action—November 3 and 4—aimed at accelerating the worldwide transition to clean energy. "On every continent, in big cities and on small islands, we'll take action to show that a global renewable energy revolution is within our reach," says a new website where people can sign up to participate in what and its partners are calling Power Up. "We'll spotlight the oil industry's greed and reclaim the money and power to fund a just future powered by the sun and the wind." "We are taking to the streets because we are outraged," the website states.

Protest At BIW Destroyer ‘Christening’ – Arsenal Of Hypocrisy

On Saturday, 23 activists from around the state gathered on very short notice to protest at another Aegis destroyer 'christening' at Bath Iron Works (owned by General Dynamics) here in Maine. In the past the event was open to the public with weeks advance notification. But after  a series of large protests and several high profile civil resistance actions things have changed. In current times there are only a few days notice and attendance is by invitation only. The past long lines of the general public wishing to enter are over. These destroyers are outfitted with nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as so-called 'missiles defense' systems.

Whose Green Transition? Ours!

Huge changes are coming for our workplaces, quick as a heat wave. This month Joe Biden inked new rules to make all-electrics the majority of new cars sold in America within a decade. To charge all those batteries, many of the largest states are pushing to power their grids with two-thirds clean energy by the same deadline. These green shifts have put billion-dollar signs in the eyes of bosses. Public cash is pouring out to subsidize cleaner manufacturing and energy. Corporations aim to cash in double by cutting unions out.

Electric Co-ops Are Well Situated To Lead The Green Energy Transition

To maintain a livable climate, the United States must make immediate and drastic changes to its energy policies. Perhaps the most important change is the need for a transition away from fossil fuels toward cleaner, more renewable sources of energy. A new report by the Democracy Collaborative has found that community utilities — those that are publicly or cooperatively owned — are better suited for a green transition than their for-profit corporate counterparts. The report also found that many community utilities, as they currently exist, must be significantly reformed to fulfill their full potential. Electric co-ops operate in pretty much the same way as investor-owned utilities companies, like PG&E.

Lebanon’s Economic Collapse

A friend in Beirut asked me teasingly as we walked the darkened streets, “Are you happy now? You wanted degrowth and you’re getting it.” He was referencing the economic crisis and recession Lebanon is experiencing — although he knows very well the stark difference between this deep recession and degrowth. Recession happens when growth dependent economies stop growing, i.e., GDP goes into the negative. This typically ends up in the loss of jobs, economic uncertainty, and sometimes austerity measures with long-term impacts. Degrowth, on the other hand, is an intentional shift in economic activity, revolving around a rethinking of measures of progress and what gets to grow and why. Its policy-making revolves around the wellbeing of people and planet.

Workers Say They Breathe Polluted Air At ‘Green’ Insulation Facility

As the acceptance of climate change becomes increasingly commonplace, more and more companies will be created or adapted to “fight” or “solve” it — or, at the very least, minimize its effects. Kingspan Group, which began as an engineering and contracting business in 1965 in Ireland, has since grown into a global company with more than 15,000 employees focused on green insulation and other sustainable building materials. Its mission is to “accelerate a zero emissions future with the wellbeing of people and planet at its heart.” But workers at the Kingspan Light + Air factory in Santa Ana, Calif. don’t feel that the company has their wellbeing at its heart — and they say they have documented the indoor air pollution in their workplace to prove it.

China And Solutions To Climate Change

Last year, President Xi Jinping, pledged that China’s CO2 emissions would peak before 2030, and China would become carbon neutral before 2060.  China has a track history of setting ambitious, nearly impossible goals and then achieving them--often before deadline--so this pledge is significant.  Under the CPC, China has already created “an economic miracle” in transforming China into the largest economy in the world. It ended extreme poverty while creating the largest middle class in the world.  It has virtually eradicated Covid through non-pharmaceutical methods, while vaccinating up to 20 million people daily, and pledging the largest number of vaccines (2.2 Billion) and distributing over 1 Billion-to the rest of the world. 

Spain Unveils Economic Recovery Plan Amid Pandemic

Spain’s prime minister unveiled a major plan Wednesday to boost his country out of recession by spending 140 billion euros ($162 billion) of European Union aid to reshape the economy, with the aim of creating 800,000 jobs over the next three years. The program is a response to the sharp downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its worldwide disruption of economies. The plan focuses primarily on getting Spain to transition to green energy and a digital economy, which will take up about 70% of the financing.

World Mayors Call For Car-Free Streets And More

Mayors from some of the world's major cities have unveiled their vision for how the world can recover from the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging environmental justice and fighting the climate crisis. The C40 Mayors' Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery, announced Wednesday, includes measures already being adopted in many cities to recover from the pandemic in a way that addresses inequalities and keeps global heating to the Paris agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As part of their vision, the mayors are calling on national governments to end all subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

Rebuilding After Recession: A Plan For Jobs

Government investment in green technology and infrastructure is needed to create thousands of jobs and prevent a recession. Working with unions and employers, the government has put in place the Job Retention Scheme and self-employed income support schemes, protecting the jobs and incomes of millions of workers during the coronavirus crisis. But more is needed, and fast. Without further bold action from the government, we risk huge losses of jobs and livelihoods and possibly the deepest recession since the 1930s. The OECD estimates that unemployment could hit 11 per cent this year. But this is not inevitable, and action taken now can prevent the despair of mass unemployment.
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