Saturday, November 9, 2019

Labor, Environment, and the Green New Deal

I attended a fascinating discussion today at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit. The program was led by Aaron Mair, former national president of the Sierra Club. Panelists represented Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Soulardarity and Blue Green Alliance.

All of the panelists provided fascinating perspectives not only on climate change but also on climate justice. There is a song in 2020: The Musical about climate change, "Simple Times Gone By" (, but it does not cover climate justice. I will have to write one on that topic sometime soon. Climate justice warns us that it is essential that good jobs and a better environment are part of tackling climate change.

The Green New Deal provides a solution to global warming. But we must also address who benefits from the transition to green technologies. Labor unions and other groups must ensure that the benefits of new infrastructure do not fall solely to the rich. All people and communities must benefit from this massive change.

As a delightful aside, I had the chance to visit with Marty Habelewsky, a veteran PR professional and friend of many years who I had not seen in some time. His wife, Ruth, took this photo of us.

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