At the Ohio Conference on Labor in the New Energy Economy, held at the Crown Center Plaza in Cleveland on May 18, 2009, a gathering of laborers, unionists, activists, enviromentalists, and academics considered:
o Can we create good, family- sustaining, union jobs,
o that thrive in a green, efficent, ecologically correct and economically sustainable environment,
o and produce green products and services?
The conclusion? Yes We Can! We all breathe the same air, and when we all pull together, we will succeed!
Unions are not part of the problem, but an integral part of the solution; what has worked in the past is not part of the solution, but part of the problem.
Thanks to Sherrod Brown, Policy Matters Ohio, North Shore Federation of Labor, COWS, and the Apollo Alliance.
We have been warned!
In todays Times ( New York, not London), Tom Friedman writes: “What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”
We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese …
We can’t do this anymore.”
“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog climateprogress.org. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows. ““You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate …’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”