This is to specifically address class struggle as it relates to the ecological crisis. It will not address all the other (many!) reasons that working class struggle must be waged and supported.First, we must recognize the fact that global capitalism is driving ecocide. The problem reaches much farther back than capitalism itself. The combination of an early gendered division of labor with the adoption of agriculture and corresponding formation of permanent settlements set the stage for class divisions and the private accumulation of surplus wealth.
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - More allies are forming to fight against the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. A solidarity accord has now been launched, and it is being backed by some heavy hitters. The BCTF, Unifor, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment are all on board. More than 130 First Nations have signed the ‘Save the Fraser’ declaration. Jim Dehart wit the BC Wilderness Tourism Association also maintains the project is simply too dangerous. “We feel a risk to our environment, to our homes and to our businesses is unacceptable.
On December 3, the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group put on an event, "Strategies to Fight Climate Change." We are republishing the speech by VEG member Gene McGuckin. A report on the event and links to videos of all the speakers' talks is online here -- NSW I thank the speakers before me for their valuable contributions – in actions as well as words -- to the discussion at hand. So, what does an eco-socialist perspective add to these contributions? We all start in the same place, of course.
Canada’s largest private-sector union has thrown its support behind First Nations in opposing the Northern Gateway pipeline project, vowing to hit picket lines in solidarity if the project goes ahead. Unifor, formed on Labour Day weekend with the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, now has more than 300,000 members across the country.
Our unions’ members are responsible for mining and transporting metallurgical coal from British Columbia to markets overseas. So we welcome the positive Environmental Impact Assessment released Nov. 18 by Port Metro Vancouver on the proposed Fraser Surrey Docks expansion. The study, by experts such as Dr. Leonard Ritter, Professor Emeritus of Toxicology at the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Sciences, shows that many complaints by environmental groups and others are misinformed or exaggerated.
What is working class culture? This question arose as part of a conversation about convincing members of Canada’s newest union, Unifor, to make saving the planet from climate change a priority. “You’ll run up against working class culture,” said a friend who considers himself an anarchist. “What do you mean?” I responded. “Consumerism. High paying jobs with lots of overtime to buy ever more stuff, two cars, a big house in the suburbs with NASCAR and hockey on the two big screens in the basement, plus Housewives of Vancouver on the TV in the kitchen,” he said.
How labour will change — and it is already changing — “depends on what climate you are in, (what) sector you are in, but also what actions are being taken by government in terms of regulating and by work groups like unions in terms of what they negotiate collectively for their workers,” she said. A warmer planet directly affects postal workers, landscape workers, construction and sanitation workers, “and that means they need different kind of protection,” says Lipsig-Mummé. “These jobs will have to be done radically differently.”
In a November 27 op-ed to the Vancouver Sun, union representatives lumped B.C. metallurgical coal together with U.S. thermal coal and suggested that if you are against one, you are against both. Denial of the FSD coal terminal proposal won’t hurt any existing coal jobs held by union members. None. Metallurgical coal, used to make steel, may have a role in the post carbon economy for the manufacture of new infrastructure. Thermal coal has no role in the future. Why mislead the public into thinking they are one and the same thing?
By Mike Treen, national director of the Unite union (New Zealand) December 2, 2013 -- Daily Blog, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- The continuing pretense that world governments will do anything about climate change was exposed once more at the latest round of climate negotiations held in Poland November 11-22. This was the 19th round of annual negotiations. It is 21 years since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Emissions are 60-70% higher than they were then. Global warming has proceeded at an accelerating pace.
When Anthony Goytia sits down with his wife and three children for Thanksgiving dinner in East Los Angeles, he's going to be chewing out of one side of his mouth. With every bite he takes of his meal, provided by a local food pantry, he will be thinking of his employer. Anthony makes about $12,000 a year working nearly full-time as an “associate” for Walmart. With worldwide revenues totaling $443.9 billion in 2012, Walmart tops the Fortune 500 list, yet Anthony can't afford the $20-a-month premiums on the insurance plan Walmart provides.