|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 construction jobs” most of which will go “to local union members”—was signed not only by business leaders but by twenty local and national trade union leaders.
In the struggle over the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been described as the “Birmingham of the climate movement,” pipeline proponents have been quick to seize on the “jobs issue” and tout support from building trades unions and eventually the AFL-CIO.
In a press releasetitled “U.S. Chamber Calls Politically-Charged Decision to Deny Keystone a Job Killer,” the Chamber of Commerce said President Obama’s denial of the KXL permit was “sacrificing tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs in the short term, and many more than that in the long term.” The media repeat the jobs vs. environment frame again and again: NPR’s headline on KXL was typical of many: “Pipeline Decision Pits Jobs Against Environment.” A similar dynamic has marked the “beyond coal” campaign, the fracking battle and EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act. Those who want to overcome this division must tell a different story.
One starting point for that story is to recognize the common interest both in human survival and in sustainable livelihoods. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if God had intended some people to fight just for the environment and others to fight just for the economy, he would have made some people who could live without money and others who could live without water and air. There are not two groups of people, environmentalists and workers. We all need a livelihood and we all need a livable planet to live on. If we don’t address both, we’ll starve together while we’re waiting to fry together.
Such a frame is illustrated by a two-year-old coalition that includes the Connecticut AFL-CIO and a variety of labor unions, community organizations, religious groups and environmentalists called the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. […]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—Charles Krauthammer: Dishonest Hypocrite:
|When you consider the competition Charles Krauthammer was up against, penning the mostdishonest op-ed in today's Washington Post was no mean feat, but he did it.
It's amazing really. In an attempt to make the case that Barack Obama's "character and cultural attitudes" somehow disqualify him from the presidency, Krauthammer distorts (Jeremiah Wright as an inciter of racial hatred), uses code words (jihad and tribal), lies (political career "launched" in William Ayers home), and projects ("self-congratulatory fatuousness"), which of course says quite a lot about Krauthammer's own character and cultural attitudes, not to mention his journalistic ethics.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, big thanks to show sponsor Harrys.com! Use the promo code "Kagro" and save $5 on your first order of premium but wallet-friendly shaving products! "Meet the Doctor Who Gave $1 Million to Research Guns." Armando called in to follow up on both of these themes, and we discussed the conservative penchant for silencing debate, for Freedom. A GunFAIL update. And a rather bleak look at the future of "entrepreneurial society" as we peek behind the curtains of the "disruptors" everyone can't wait to fund, via Baltimore City Paper's "The desperate hustle as a way of life," and HuffPo's "Meet The Real Amazon Drones."