Labor and Environmental Justice: History, Debates, and Possibilities

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

One of the key features of our economic system is exploitation, not just of human labor but of many aspects of our natural world. In particular, capital's reliance on fossil fuels to create massive profits and perpetual economic expansion has created the most significant threat to human existence on the planet. The fossil fuel industry and its supporters have created a false dichotomy—the environment or jobs. But workers have always struggled in different ways to stop corporations from poisoning their land, air, and water. In the last five years, there's been a significant growth of union involvement in the fight against climate change, alongside other unions increasing their support for the fossil fuel industry. This talk will explore the history, the debates, and the possibilities for building a labor movement that can help lead the fight for environmental and economic justice.

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