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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #151

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 21, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Activists and clients tell TIAA to stop investments linked to deforestation and displacement of local farmers - By Audrey Fox, Friends of the Earth, April 20, 2017 - Nancy Romer, a PSC-CUNY union faculty member and TIAA client, spoke out at today’s event. “I want my retirement money to be invested ethically, not in companies that exploit resources and abuse communities. I have a right to decide where my retirement investments go, and that cannot happen until TIAA and other investment firms stop concealing the destruction they are financing.”

Brazil: Since the return to democracy there have been nearly 2,000 political assassinations in rural areas - By Cauê Seigner Ameni, La Via Campesina, April 25, 2017 - Records from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) show that, since 1985, 1,833 peasants and leaders of the struggle for agrarian reform have been assassinated in conflicts over land, while during the same period of time large land estates have grown by 375%; [related]:  Outbreak of Killing in Brazil as Landowners Work to Displace Farmers - By staff, Global Justice Ecology Project, April 24, 2017 - The Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) reported another murder in the struggle for land on April 23. This time it was in the Settlement Liberdade, municipality of Periquito. Around 8 pm, comrade Silvino Nunes Gouveia, 51, a regional leader of the MST, was brutally murdered with 10 shots.

As Britain Celebrates Coal-Free Day, Solar Could Soon Shine in US Coal Country - By Andy Rowell, Oil Change International, April 24, 2017 - Ebell should check on the numbers as he continues to twist the truth: Wind and solar now employ almost 475,000 people in the US, three times that of coal.

Climate Activists Plot How to Turn Anti-Trump Rage Into Anti-Trump Votes - By Marianne Lavelle, Inside Climate News, April 18, 2017 - "A march is great and all—it's great to show power and show force," said Mike Williams, vice president of the Blue-Green Alliance, a labor-environmental coalition and one of the march's organizers. "But a lot of the focus is on how do we turn this into a true big, deep movement-building effort?"

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Colorado Bill Would Create Bonds to Retire Coal Plants and Finance Worker Retraining - By Katie Fehrenbacher, GreenTech Media, April 21, 2017 - As coal plants and coal mines continue to shut down across the U.S., coal workers are getting hit hard. While the transition has brought lower-carbon electricity and cleaner air, it’s also meant lost jobs, company bankruptcies, and false political promises about revitalizing the industry.

Deepwater Horizon Anniversary Reminds Why Offshore Drilling Should Be Phased Out, Not Expanded - By Chris Carnevale, Clean Energy Footprints, April 20, 2017 - Perhaps worse than the direct economic damage are the ways that the spill has hurt the health of Gulf residents and workers. More than 50,000 cleanup workers were exposed to hazardous chemicals on a daily basis, resulting in chronic debilitating conditions, and possibly increased risks of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Gulf residents suffered considerable mental health degradation as well, with sharp increases in anxiety and clinical depression, largely related to the loss of income from the spill.

Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American’ Initiative Is a Lie, By John Nichols, The Nation, April 19, 2017 and Trump's "Buy American" Order Looks Weak as DAPL Company Pushes Back - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, April 20, 2017 - "As with Trump’s campaign promises, the executive order is full of loopholes that are designed to protect Wall Street interests and multinational corporations—at the expense of American workers and communities," wrote The Nation's John Nichols. "The biggest of those loopholes involves the fact that dozens of countries currently get waivers that allow them to avoid following 'Buy American' policies."

Federal Judge Rules Against Oakland, Allows Coal Terminal Lawsuit to Proceed - By Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, April 20, 2017  - In response, the Oakland City Council passed an ordinance banning the storage and handling of coal on the grounds that it would endanger the health and safety of Oakland residents and workers.

Fiji: Mining Work Ceased, 500 Workers Sent Home - Fiji Sun, April 20, 2017 - A recent death and a series of accidents have forced the closure of all underground operations at the Vatukoula Gold Mines.

Four Croydon tram drivers admit falling asleep at controls - Gwyn Topham, The Guardian, April 24, 2017 - The drivers told the BBC that they had fallen asleep while operating trams, with one alleging that irregular shift patterns caused fatigue. Drivers also claimed the dead man’s handle, a failsafe device designed to apply the brakes if the driver is incapacitated, did not appear always to stop the vehicles.

Here’s why so many young people are joining the climate march - By Morissa Zuckerman, Grist, April 24, 2017 - On April 29, an unprecedented coalition of movements will descend on the streets of Washington, D.C., to march for climate, jobs, and justice. The People’s Climate March will bring together indigenous people leading the fights against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, labor unions, environmental and racial justice groups, farmers, student divestment campaigners, and more.

How the climate march can stand out in a crowd of protests - By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Grist, April 25, 2017 - In February, a coalition of nearly 100 environmental, labor, civil rights, and religious groups came together in Washington to hash out details for the climate march. The aim was to incorporate a diverse array of voices into the march right from the start, to make sure it wasn’t just old-school green groups (and their largely white members) participating.

Is the Suniva Bankruptcy a Canary in the Coal Mine for Solar? - By Paula Mints, Renewable Energy World, April 21, 2017 - Those looking for jobs in solar manufacturing will not find stable employment in the solar sector, as price pressure has squeezed the viability out of the sector. Plenty of solar construction jobs but manufacturing is unlikely to recover. Module assembly is different from cell manufacturing, and here, the U.S. could see some recovery though highly competitive pricing means that these jobs are not stable either.

Kentucky coal company announces plans to build the state’s largest solar farm - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, April 19, 2017 - Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels in nearly every US state. Former Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen, who is involved in the solar farm project, says interest in the project has been high, especially among unemployed coal workers.

National parks create jobs - By staff, Look West, April 20, 2017 - The Interior Department announced yesterday that America's national parks saw a record 331 million visitors in 2016, creating 318,000 jobs and adding $34.9 billion to the U.S. economy.

Oakland's Poorest Neighborhoods Will Be The Most Susceptible to Flooding Due To Climate Change And Sea-Level Rise - By Jean Tepperman, East Bay Express, April 19, 2017 - It’s not just homes that are at risk. Workplaces, too, would be inundated, affecting almost 30,000 Oakland employees. This scenario would also impact schools, hospitals, and other community facilities, as well as a large number of sites containing toxic contaminants, which could then be released into the floodwater.

On Workers Memorial Day, April 28, Nurses Vow to Keep Fighting for The Highest Level of Protections - By staff, National Nurses United, April 20, 2017 - On April 28, 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, governing workers’ right to a healthy and safe workplace, went into effect. April 28 is now an annual Workers Memorial Day, when we remember those who have been injured, or who have lost their lives, on the job. It’s a day when we underscore the need to ensure comprehensive, mandatory protections for workers.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #150

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 21, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

America's Wind Energy Boom May Finally Be Coming to the Southeast - By Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News, April 13, 2017 - By the end of 2016, the wind industry supported more than 100,000 jobs. But the Southeast has almost completely been left out of that boom.

As Chernobyl anniversary looms, group works to improve worker and animal wellbeing - By staff, Beyond Nuclear, April 17, 2017 - The Clean Futures Fund, co-created by Beyond Nuclear Board member, Lucas Hixson, with Erik Kambarian, is working with Ukrainian partners to improve safe working conditions and long-term care for Chernobyl workers and individuals in the affected areas.

Chicago staff want a meeting with EPA head after leaked report targets their office for closure - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, April 18, 2017 - The employees want to discuss rumors that the Trump administration plans to close the Chicago Region 5 office. Reports surfaced last weekend that the Region 5 office would be one of two EPA regional offices closed to meet the administration’s budget-cutting goals for the agency.

In Coal Country, Environmental Regulations Are Creating Jobs - By Glynis Board, NPR, April 13, 2017 - The Whites employ about 30 people, many of them displaced miners. They travel across the region fixing broken streams with backhoes and other heavy machinery. The National Mitigation Banking Association, a trade group, says ecological restoration is a $25 billion industry.

The Energy of Tomorrow Looks Strikingly Artistic from Above - By Rachel Brown, National Geographic, March 23, 2017 - And in the United States last year, solar employed more people than traditional coal, oil, and gas combined.

Forest industry workers and environmentalists rally for sustainable forestry - By Torrance Coste, et. al., Wilderness Committee, April 12, 2017 - Workers from the BC forest industry, First Nations’ representatives, environmental activists, and citizens rallied at the BC Legislature today. The diverse coalition called for a ban on raw log exports and a transition to sustainable second growth forestry.

Global experts say the economic case for renewable energy has never been stronger - By Mike De Souza, National Observer, March 20 2017  - And through 2050, the decarbonization can fuel sustainable economic growth and create more new jobs in renewables."

Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut - By P.J. Huffstutter and Karl Plume, Reuters, April 11, 2017 - Farmers face similar problems across the globe. World stockpiles of corn and wheat are at record highs. From Iowa to China, years of bumper crops and low prices have overwhelmed storage capacity for basic foodstuffs.

Harvesting Union Rights in the Field - By Sonia Singh, Labor Notes, April 17, 2017 - But unlike most guestworkers, many in North Carolina have a say in their working conditions and seniority rights because they belong to a union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.

Investors who profit as oil workers face repression - By Gabriel Levy, People and Nature, APril 19, 2017 - The companies that this month helped to jail trade union leader Nurbek Kushakbayev are linked, via Kazmunaigaz, Kazakhstan’s state-controlled oil and gas firm, to Chinese and international capital.

Kazakh Oil Construction Company cracks down on union activists - By staff, IndustriALL, April 7, 2017 - In a recent episode, large-scale repression was launched against leaders and activists of the independent trade unions affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in the Mangystau region, in the west of the country.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #149

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 14, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Big Coal’s last-ditch effort won’t save the industry - By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, April 6, 2017 - “There is an overall direction of travel here that is very clear, and yet we have an administration that keeps insisting that what they are doing is going to bring these jobs back,” Light said. “This administration keeps selling these coal communities a false bill of goods, and using them as part of the window dressing for killing off these regulations.”

B.C. Government Scientists Say Staff Cutbacks, Outsourcing and Political Interference Threaten Public Health and Safety - By Judith Lavoie, DeSmog Canada, April 7, 2017 - Since the Liberal government was elected in 2001, B.C.’s public service has been reduced to the smallest per capita in Canada and departments with science-based mandates have lost 25 per cent of staff scientists and licensed expert positions, according to the survey, which was partially funded by the Professional Employees Association.

Bullish on Renewable Energy: Investors Argue Trump Can’t Stop the Revolution - By Leslie Kaufman, Inside Climate News, April 4, 2017 - It would be a tremendous economic tragedy for the new administration to miss the opportunity China sees and not go after this tremendous—and much needed—job creation."

Canadian study: transition to renewables 'irreversible.' But U.S. needs to accelerate transformation - By Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, March 31, 2017 - The Canadian group said that, globally, about 6.7 million people have jobs in renewables. The solar industry alone is now creating one of every 50 new jobs in the United States, one of out of every 80 since 2009.

Chased by Drought, Rising Costs, and Clean Technology, India Pivots on Coal-Fired Power - By Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue, April 11, 2017 - The depression in the coal sector is causing momentous economic pain. Most big American coal companies are in bankruptcy and tens of thousands of miners lost jobs. Billions of dollars in coal reserves are being stranded around the world.

Cities Will Continue To Lead Us Towards 100% Clean, Renewable Energy - By Jodie Van Horn, Breaking Energy, April 6, 2017 - From small towns like Hanover, New Hampshire to bustling metropolises like Los Angeles, people across the country want to raise their kids in communities free from toxic pollution, to create new jobs and economic opportunity, and to pay less for basic services like electricity.

A Conversation With NNU Co-President Jean Ross About The Keystone Pipeline - By Pattie Lockard, National Nurses United, April 10, 2017 - The corrosive tar sands oil that is extracted, transported, and refined for the Keystone project is a major contributor to climate change. An assessment from the pre-Trump Administration Environmental Protection Agency found that well-to-well emissions from tar sands are 82 percent higher than for conventional oil. Then why is the pipeline going full steam ahead?

Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were - By Martin Empson, ResoluteReader, April 10, 2017 - That’s the system that needs to be broken and progressive movements will have to incorporate a new vision for agriculture into its struggles in order to do this. In part mean arguing for the type of changes that Lymbery has so eloquently explained in the face of the enormous environmental tragedy that he highlights. But it will also mean a radical struggle by those producers and workers in the fields and the factories to wrest power from the corporations.

Deregulation Sacrifices Workers, Public Health for Corporate Profits: Report - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, April 11, 2017 - For example, EPI looked at the Trump administration's decision to delay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's 2016 rule limiting workers' exposure to dangerous silica dust; [related]: Regulations Often Help Working People, While Deregulation Serves Corporate Interests - By staff, Economic Policy Institute, April 11, 2017 - The fact sheet outlines various regulations that Congress is attempting to repeal or has repealed using a rarely used procedure called the Congressional Review Act—such as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and the OSHA recordkeeping rule—which directly benefit working people and which hold private interests responsible for workplace rights and safety violations.

EPA staff ‘openly mocking’ Trump’s ‘arrogant and callous’ policies, says retiree - By Joe Romm, Think Progress, April 10, 2017 - In the five-page letter, Cox slams the president for the “false and misleading” claim that killing EPA carbon pollution standards will bring back coal jobs.

5 Ways China Is Becoming the Global Leader on Climate Change - By Bridgette Burkholder, EcoWatch, April 5, 2017 - Renewable energy already employs 3.5 millionpeople in China, compared with less than a million in the U.S. China expects new investments will create 13 million more jobs in the sector by 2020, according to China's National Energy Administration.

4 Ways Renewable Energy Is the Fastest Path to a Booming Economy - By Ryan Schleeter, EcoWatch, April 10, 2017 - Still think the Keystone XL pipeline will create tens of thousands of permanent jobs? Think again.

Landworkers’ Alliance post-Brexit Policy launch – A Place at The Table - By Ed Hamer and Jyoti Fernandes, La Via Campesina, April 12, 2017 - The launch will feature the release of a comprehensive 18-page report outlining the LWA’s key policy proposals for re-orientating agricultural support to deliver high quality food to UK consumers while building an environmentally, socially and economically resilient farming industry.

“Naavenmaadbeku?” ("What should we do?") - By Akhilesh Jairam, La Via Campesina, April 6, 2017 - This step is a new beginning, in a young direction. It is the enthusiasm, concern and energy of youth that will shape the farmers movement in the days to come.

NAFTA Needs To Be Replaced, Not Renegotiated - By John E. Peck and Jim Goodman, Family Farm Defenders, April 8, 2017 - Trade deals like NAFTA thrive on such commodity speculation that boosts corporate profits, while bankrupting family farmers, price gouging consumers, and destroying the environment.

Native American uranium miners and the Trump budget - By Robert Alvarez, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 5, 2017 - (T)hey were sent into harm’s way without sufficient warning, becoming the workers most severely exposed to ionizing radiation in the US nuclear weapons complex.

New polling: Renewables popular with Coalition voters, exposing gulf with Guy opposition - By Pat Simons, Yes 2 Renewables, April 10 2017 - “It’s no surprise Coalition voters are so enthusiastic about the Victorian Renewable Energy Target. The scheme will create 11,000 jobs and attract billions worth of investment to regional Victoria” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

New York's duty to divest from fossil fuel companies: State and city pensions should stop pouring money into oil and coal - By Bill Lipton, New York Daily News, March 27, 2017 - New Yorkers have the power, along with other large states, to lead away from this frightening future and towards an alternative vision of clean renewable energy, good jobs, and environmental justice.

Number Of UK Low Carbon & Renewable Energy Jobs Nears Quarter-Million - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, April 7, 2017 - New figures from the UK government reveal that an estimated 234,000 full-time equivalent employees were working directly for low-carbon and renewable energy activities in 2015.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #148

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 7, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Afraid of losing their jobs, workers take over the business - By Anna-Catherine Brigida, Public Radio International, March 23, 2017 - Los Chanchitos is one of more than 300 Argentine businesses that have been occupied and converted into co-ops since the mid-1990s, when a crashing economy bankrupted thousands of companies. But now Argentina's co-op members are worried what might happen to their movement with a conservative government in power, rolling back some of the leftist policies that benefited them.

Agroecology, not Pesticides, is the Future for Food - By Eva Perroni, Foodtank, April 3, 2017 - The burden of these negative effects falls largely on farmers and agricultural workers, but also communities living near agricultural land, particularly those from impoverished areas. Children, especially those engaged in agricultural work, are most vulnerable to pesticide contamination, as exposure to even low levels of pesticides can dangerously harm their health and natural development.

Building an Army to Fight Runaway Inequality - By Dan DiMaggio, Labor Notes, April 4, 2017 - On a recent trip to the Bay Area, he led a training with the Sierra Club, the Steelworkers, and CWA, which even took up the thorny question of alliance-building between environmentalists and labor.

As China's Coal Mines Close, Miners Are Becoming Bolder In Voicing Demands - By Rob Schmitz, NPR, March 14, 2017 - "This is a dangerous job," he says. "Accidents have killed dozens of workers here. We've risked our lives for this mine and we earn just enough to afford cabbage. Now we won't be able to take care of our parents or children."

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Cities and states tackle clean energy, climate after Trump halts environmental action - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, March 30, 2017 - The order may keep some plants online longer, but market forces are increasingly pushing marginal coal facilities to the brink. Adding to that, the coal industry is increasingly automated, so it's unclear how much a bump in production would impact employment.

Dairy workers call on Ben and Jerry’s to give them better hours and fair wages - By Esther Yu Hsi Lee, Think Progress, April 4, 2017 - In the state of Vermont and across the country, dairy workers and supporters of migrant farmworkers rallied outside the ice cream company’s storefronts on Tuesday to call attention to what they say are human rights abuses in the dairy supply chain.

Earth Day: Nearly 400 ‘March for Science’ Protests Scheduled Against Trump’s Climate Policies - By staff, Telesur, April 1, 2017 - The march signals a major political shift for scientists, who are often encouraged by their employers to refrain from publicly commenting on or participating in politics. But as Trump continues to implement policies that hurt the environment, political atheists are quickly becoming political activists.

Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’ - By Eric Wolff, Politico, march 29, 2017 - Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday, the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama's climate regulatory initiatives.

Energy Department Tells Staff to Stop Using Phrase 'Climate Change' - By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, March 30, 2017 - While a department spokeswoman denied any official language ban in the climate office or in the department as a whole, POLITICO's sources said that there is a general sense among DOE employees that such hot-button terms should be avoided in favor of words like "jobs" and "infrastructure" in light of the Trump administration's anti-environmental agenda.

The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s - By Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, March 31, 2017 - Experts in the industry have already pointed out, repeatedly, that the coal jobs are extremely unlikely to come back. The plight of the coal industry is more a function of changing energy markets and increased demand for natural gas than anything else.

EPA Proposal Cuts Hundreds of Climate Change Employees - By Emily Holden, Scientific American, April 4, 2017 - A memo detailing how U.S. EPA would cut its budget by one-third shows that the agency would eliminate hundreds of employees working on climate change, including 20 lawyers who provide support for the Clean Power Plan.

ELPC’s Learner Warns Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts to Transportation Bad for Midwest Economy - By Howard Learner, Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2017 - Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, said the proposed cuts are ironic, given Trump’s talk about investing in transportation infrastructure and jobs.

Even Under Trump, a U.S. Coal Giant Plots Cautious Comeback Plan - By Tim Loh, Bloomberg, April 4, 2017 - "As utilities continue retiring coal plants and renewable energy production soars, Peabody is betting on a coal revival that simply isn’t going to happen," Mary Anne Hitt, director of Sierra Club’s "Beyond Coal Campaign," said in a statement. "Peabody is once again putting workers, communities, and even its shareholders at risk."

Forget the war on coal. The war is on miners - By Emily Sanders, Grist, March 31, 2017 - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the mining, quarrying, and gas and oil extraction industries are nearly four times as likely to die on the job as the average U.S. worker. “Any time you work in the coal industry, your safety is at risk,” said Price. “There’s enough danger in the mines as it is. If you take away just one protection, it could be fatal.”

43,000 Audi Workers Ask Management To Build More Electric Cars - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, March 31, 2017 - Seldom in the annals of history have workers sought to have such a direct involvement in a company’s internal policy decisions. “Our core factory must be prepared further for the future,” Audi’s top labor representative, Peter Mosch, told a gathering of 7,000 workers on Wednesday.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #147 (Special Edition)

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 31, 2017

Reaction to Donald Trump's executive order on climate, the environment, coal, and regulations:

Sierra Club Executive Director Micheal Brune on Trump's executive order: "These facts make it clear that Donald Trump is attacking clean energy jobs purely in order to boost the profits of fossil fuel billionaires,” Brune said. “If we truly want to grow our economy, reduce air and water pollution, protect public health and create huge numbers of new jobs for American workers, we must seize the opportunity that is right in front of our eyes: invest more in clean energy including solar, wind, storage and energy efficiency.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Trump's executive order: "... ... ... (sound of crickets chirping)... ... ..."


Global Anger and Dismay After Trump Slams Brakes on U.S. Climate Action - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, March 29, 2017 - The world reacted with dismay and anger as President Donald Trump issued an executive order Tuesday that dismantled critical U.S. climate policies, betraying the country's international climate commitments.

Media reaction: Donald Trump’s climate and energy executive order - By staff, Carbon Brief, March 29, 2017 - Carbon Brief rounds up the extensive media coverage of the order, spanning analysis of the announcement and editorials reacting to the news.

Trump’s big new executive order to tear up Obama’s climate policies, explained - By Brad Plumer, Vox, March 28, 2017 - The key components of Trump’s new climate and energy order.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #146

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 31, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget - By Carolyn Bobb, AFL-CIO, March 16, 2017 - The budget abandons the future—slashing investments in workers, communities, young people, protecting our environment and building democracy. There are major cuts in job training, education, health programs, the environment, the arts and foreign aid. Research programs in science and medicine are slashed. Sixty-two government programs/agencies are slated for elimination.

Anadarko lays off 60 after sale of Eagle Ford holdings - By LM Sixel, FuelFix, March 24, 2017 - About 60 employees at Anadarko Petroleum Corp. were laid off Thursday after the company sold its assets in the Eagle Ford Shale, a large oil and natural gas field in South Texas.

Approving The Keystone XL Pipeline Is About Our Future - By Roy L Hales, The EcoReport, March 24, 2017 - Tim Pearson of Sierra Club BC recently called subsides like these “1950s thinking in response to 2017’s challenges …. Every million dollars invested in fossil fuels generates two jobs. That same million dollars would deliver 15 jobs via renewable energy projects.”

Arkansas Governor Signs “Ag-gag” Into Law - By Cody Carlson, Mercy for Animals, March 23, 2017 - Arkansas’s ag-gag law aims to stop this progress by preventing undercover investigations and sweeping evidence of animal abuse and other crimes under the rug. It’s also written so broadly that it could be used to sue whistleblowers in almost any workplace. Clearly lawmakers in Arkansas know the state’s factory farmers have a lot to hide if they are willing to go to such extreme lengths to conceal their cruel and abusive practices.

Australian Workers Union presses for energy reform as Rio Tinto announces job losses, production cut - By Leo Oliver, International Business Times, March 7, 2017 - AWU Queensland Secretary Ben Swan said Pacific Aluminium’s Gove refinery was shuttered, causing the termination of 1,500 jobs, as it could not secure a gas supply. On the other hand, Arrium’s Whyalla steelworks, Alcoa’s Portland aluminium smelter and BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam were enduring electricity outages and rising costs.

Bharatiya Kisan Union backs Tamil Nadu farmers protesting with human skulls in New Delhi - By staff, La Via Campesina, March 28, 2017 - BKU offered support to their demands for a complete loan waiver, fair and profitable price for their produce, drought relief and mitigation measures, including inter-linking of rivers.

Bill to Disclose Ingredients in Cleaning Products Gets Hearing - By Monica Amarelo, Environmental Working Group, March 29, 2017 - Consumers and professional cleaning workers have a right to know what’s in the products they buy and use. Some chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, asthma, allergies and burns, but companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their products.

Budget shows low-carbon future is imminent - By Peter McCartney, Wilderness Committee, March 22, 2017 - “This budget makes some significant investments in clean tech, public transit and green jobs – an acknowledgment that climate change is a top priority,” said Peter McCartney, Climate Campaigner at the Wilderness Committee. “Since this government clearly knows where the world is heading, why pretend like the tar sands have a future?”

Coal Is Losing. But Coal Country Doesn’t Have to Lose, Too  - By Stephen Lacey, GreenTech Media, March 23, 2017 - On this week’s Energy Gang podcast, we look at the accelerating pace of coal closures around the U.S. and the world—and the plan to help communities that rely on coal.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon - By Dan Bacher, CounterPunch, March 24, 2017 - "This project will not only destroy the salmon, but it also threatens the jobs of the thousands of people who depend on healthy salmon runs, including fishermen, tackle shops, boat shops, launch ramp operators, marinas, and many others," said GGSA director Mike Aughney. "It's time to admit this version of the tunnel idea won’t work. There’s no doubt the status quo is very bad for salmon, but this giant twin tunnels proposal obviously isn’t the answer."

Ferry galley workers frustrated by lack of benefits - By Ed Friedrich, Kitsap Sun, March 28, 2017 - Galley workers remain without health care insurance six months after their new company began providing food services on state ferries.

From Steel City to Sun City: Colorado Town Turns to Clean Energy - By Laura A Shepard, EcoWatch, March 22, 2017 - Pueblo, known to locals as the "Pittsburgh of the West," has lost thousands of steel jobs in recent decades. Now Vestas, one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the country, operates a plant in Pueblo that employs 600 people. Rooftop solar installations could add even more jobs while taking advantage the region's consistently sunny weather—Colorado enjoys more sunshine than all but a few states.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #145

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 24, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

Additional Blow to Agriculture Through RCEP Unacceptable: NOUMINREN - By staff, La Via Campesina, March 21, 2017 - Farmers in Japan have a serious concern that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will damage small family farming and undermine the foundation of steadily feeding rising population in Asia.

Anti-wind bill costs Ohio schools hundreds of thousands of dollars - By Emily Sanders, Think Progress, March 21, 2017 - The plants, which sit at the heart of a region Trump promised to revitalize, generate 3,000 megawatts of energy and employ nearly 500 workers. In a settlement reached earlier this year with groups including the Sierra Club, the company will invest in 300 megawatts of solar and wind projects by 2022 and provide a $2 million fund for the communities affected by the plants' closures.

Arkansas Is Trying Again to Prevent Whistleblowers From Exposing Cruelty to Animals - By By Alicia Graef, Care2, March 21, 2017 - Despite failing repeatedly in the past to pass legislation that would suppress whistleblowers exposing cruelty to animals, lawmakers in Arkansas are back with another bill that's already progressing through the legislature.

Auto workers union takes aim at Trump’s examination of fuel standards - By Mike Blanchfield, The Globe and Mail, March 16, 2017 - The head of Canada's largest private-sector union said Thursday he would fight any attempt to roll back environmentally friendly regulations in the auto industry following Trump's announcement.

Brain Drain: Engineers and Managers Flee Southern Company’s Troubled Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Plant - By Dan Zegart, DeSmog Blog, March 17, 2017 - With builder Southern Company still promising that the Kemper power plant will go online soon, a group of key engineers and managers who work on the plant's so-far-inoperable gasifier has left the company.

Brazil: As ‘Coup’ Government Targets Retirement Benefits, General Strike Rocks Nation - By the Institute for Public Accuracy, Global Justice Ecology Project, March 17, 2017 - Mendonca said today: “Yesterday, a large demonstration in Sao Paulo took 300,000 people to the streets with the slogan ‘Fora Temer’ [‘Out, Temer’]. He is targeting people’s retirement benefits.”The general strike included bus and metro workers, bank workers, metallurgical and chemical workers, teachers and other public workers all over the country.

California is recruiting disgruntled EPA staffers - By Rebecca Leber, Grist, March 16, 2017 - Picker was far away from his home in Sacramento, where he is the president of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), for meetings with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He decided to try to recruit demoralized EPA staffers, who are facing deep program cuts and controversial new leadership. The EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt, has a long record of opposing the agency’s work.

Caterpillar to shut down Iowa plant, costing 75 jobs - By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud, Mining.Com, March 19, 2017 - But the news goes in synch with a business plan unveiled by Caterpillar in 2015. Back then, the giant announced that, in order to save $2 billion per year, it would cut 10,000 positions and close up to 20 facilities in the U.S. by 2018.

Chile: It’s Been One Month Since the Miner’s Strike Began - By ALBA Movements, The Dawn News, March 13, 2017 - The 2,500 organized workers of the Chilean mine La Escondida, the biggest copper mine of the world, reached the first month of strike today, in the middle of the talks paralyzation and of the radicalization of the conflict.

Coal giant to receive award for bankruptcy deal that screwed over its workers - By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, March 22, 2017 - It’s been a wild year for Arch Coal, the country’s second-largest producer of coal. In January, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; less than a year later, they won approval for a restructuring deal that allowed them to cut millions in debt from their books and emerge relatively unscathed. On Thursday night, as part of the 2017 Distressed Investing Event, Arch Coal will receive an award for that deal, despite the fact that the restructuring benefited company executives while leaving workers and the environment worse off.

Coal mining is in decline everywhere, and that's NOT Obama's fault - By Mark Sumner, Daily Kos, March 14, 2017 - The story of the miners in China, and their attitude toward the mines, is remarkably like those we hear in the United States, but what’s happening in China is not what’s happening here and now—it’s what happened here decades ago.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Enbridge to cut 1,000 jobs in Houston, Canada after Spectra merger - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, March 22, 2017 - Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge is cutting 1,000 jobs, largely in Houston and Calgary, after completing its $28 billion acquisition of Houston’s Spectra Energy this year.

German Coal Mine to Be Reborn as Giant Pumped Storage Hydro Facility -  By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg, March 17, 2017 - Germany’s decision to turn a coal mine into a pumped storage hydro station may solve two of the most intractable challenges created by its shift to clean power. On a local level, it provides new economic activity in a region where generations of workers have relied on fossil fuel for their livelihoods. On a regional level, it catalyzes the expansion of renewable energy by helping to maintain electric capacity even when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. 

Global Coal Plant Development Freefall Sparks Renewed Hope On Climate Goals - By Cindy Carr, Ted Nace, Lauri Myllyvirta, End Coal, March 21, 2017 - Big changes like this are wrenching. These closures will put a lot of people out of their jobs. The coal plants shutting down in Ohio are “by far our largest employer and it will absolutely be devastating to our community here in Ohio,” Michael Pell, a community leader, told Reuters. An enlightened government might respond by building new, cleaner power plants and retraining workers for green jobs. After all, clean power is now employing more people than coal.

Inhaling Toxic Smoke From Surgical Procedures Threatens Everyone in the Room - By Bonnie Castillo, National Nurses United, March 15, 2017 - Would you prefer to have surgery in an environment with sterile air — or in a room with air that may contain dangerous chemicals, cellular material, viruses, or bacteria? Most people would raise their hands for the former. Unfortunately, studies have shown that without proper ventilation, everyone in the vicinity during certain surgical procedures — from healthcare workers to the patients themselves — could be inhaling hazardous surgical smoke, or “plumes.”

The International Energy Agency’s New Climate Scenario: At Last, a Step Towards Paris - By Greg Muttitt, Oil Change International, March 20, 2017 - In its analysis, the IEA observes that the extent to which fossil fuel assets will be stranded crucially depends on whether the right decisions are made now. If governments and investors act now to keep the world within climate limits, the transition over the coming decades can be a smooth one. On the other hand, continued investment on a business-as-usual pathway would require more abrupt action at a later date, disrupting economies and costing jobs.

The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards - By John DeCicco, Yale Environment 360, March 20, 2017 - The Trump administration is expected to roll back the fuel economy standards that were a signature achievement of the Obama administration. The move won’t save auto industry jobs, but it will increase air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

La Via Campesina is shocked to learn about the assassination of MST militant, Waldomiro Costa Pereira - By staff, La Via Campesina, March 21, 2017 - Waldomiro Costa Pereira, a historic militant of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil, was killed on Monday 20 March by five strangers who invaded the hospital in the city of Paraupebas. Costa Pereira who was in the hospital of the city of Paraupebas, was recovering from an attack of which he was victim.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #144

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 17, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

Alabama's largest solar farm completed - By Bruce Lieberman, Yale Climate Connections, March 9, 2017 - During construction, it employed over 350 workers, and most of those were from the local area.

An open letter to America's coal miners, and to America - By Mark Sumner, Daily Kos, March 8, 2017 - I worked in coal mining for 32 years. I won’t go so far as to call myself a miner, because only a fraction of that was spent actually loading explosives in a surface mine, or working construction underground. Most of my time I was that other thing, a “company man.”

Atenco, Mexico: Campesinos opposed to the New Airport Violently Attacked - By anonymous, It's Going Down, March 10, 2017 - A group of between 30 and 40 people violently attacked members of the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) and others of the state of Mexico that are opposing the construction of the new international airport of Mexico City. This violent group was armed and shot on various occasions at campesinos that were protesting with a road blockade in Tocuila.

Chicago Teachers Union hosts International Women’s Day Protest - By Mark Ugolini, Socialist Action, March 12, 2017 - Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 308 leader Deborah Cosey-Lane addressed the plight of Chicago transit workers who have been without a contract for over 14 months. “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired!” she said, after describing working conditions of woman drivers, who are forced to endure unsafe and demeaning rules, working long hours, and being denied bathroom facilities and breaks.

‘Close To A Miracle’ More People Weren’t Hurt In Newburgh Train Derailment - By staff, CBS New York, March 8, 2017 - “During that derailment, the freight cars and the tankers, they struck two pieces of CSX maintenance equipment that were on an adjacent track,” Mazzone said, adding that two employees who were operating the equipment were treated for injuries.

Coal employment prospects bleak and bleaker - By Bruce Lieberman, Yale Climate Connections, March 8, 2017 - Coal, despite what President Trump promises, will continue to be in decline — and it’s not because the federal government is regulating it out of existence.

The Crisis in the ATU: Labour Shoots Itself in the Foot - By Sam Gindin and Herman Rosenfeld, The Bullet, March 14, 2017 - A sign of the tragic disarray of the Canadian labour movement is the extent to which its misadventures keep piling up. As the turmoil within the union representing the Ontario government's unionized employees (Ontario Public Service Employees Union – OPSEU) hits the press, the chaos continues in Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The 10,500 members in that local – over a third of the ATU's Canadian membership – operate and maintain Toronto's transit system, North America's third largest public transit system, behind only New York and Mexico City. As with OPSEU, the acrimonious story is not about a tough strike or a response to an anti-union government. Rather, at a time when the union should be leading the charge to address popular frustrations with the failures in the city's transit system, the local is preoccupied with a messy internal battle.

Even if Symbolic, Chicago Fossil Fuel Divestment Could Send "Powerful Signal" - By Kari Lydersen, Truthout, March 15, 2017 - "There's a good argument to save the pension funds and pensioners when the carbon bubble bursts," said Coble. "It's like musical chairs, you don't want to be left holding these bonds when the music ends."

Expanded wind tower production in Portland shows Vic Renewable Energy Target already creating jobs - By Pat Simons, Yes2Renewables, March 10, 2017 - Friends of the Earth say expanded wind turbine tower production at Keppel Prince in Portland — Australia’s leading wind turbine tower maker – demonstrates that the Andrews government’s commitment to ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is already creating jobs in regional communities.

A fading future for the tar sands - By Adam Scott, Oil Change International, March 10, 2017 - Oil majors are dumping Canada’s tar sands assets and investors are walking away from new projects.

5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country - By Alexandra Rosenmann, Alternet, March 14, 2017 - Sanders wants to make sure America's coal country "heroes" get the pensions they deserve, an issue highlighted in a Van Jones "Messy Truth" segment last week.

FTAs and Agriculture: New Edition of Nyeleni Newsletter is out! - By staff, La Via Campesina, March 15, 2017 - FTAs aren’t just about ‘trade’. They’re comprehensive agreements to lock in free market capitalism, strengthen the power of global corporations, finance, and powerful governments, and advance their geopolitical objectives. There are direct links between FTAs, climate change, ecological devastation, and violations of Indigenous Peoples’, workers’ and farmers’ rights.

Freeport’s Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru hit by strike - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, March 10, 2017 - Workers at Freeport-McMoRan's (NYSE:FCX) Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru began Friday an indefinite strike over wages, adding pressures to a stressed global copper market already affected by stoppages at two of the world’s biggest copper operations.

Freight Train Derails Along Newburgh Waterfront - By Leonard Sparks, Times Herald-Record, March 9, 2017 - A CSX train carrying hazardous materials derailed Tuesday after striking a forklift being driven across the tracks by a steel company employee, leaving an engine resting across Water Street, injuring two and alarming local officials who long feared a derailment.The 77-car train derailed about 3:15 p.m. as an employee for Steelways Inc. drove the lift across Water Street, which separates the company’s main waterfront site from a property where massive steel tubes for the Delaware Aqueduct bypass tunnel project are being stored.

'Healthcare is a Right': Bernie Sanders Finds Common Ground in Trump Country - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, March 14, 2017 - Sanders also advocated for retired miners—many of whom suffer from black lung disease and other ailments from a lifetime of mining coal—to receive the pensions and healthcare benefits currently tied up in Congress. He specifically called out Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who represents voters in coal country, for advocating for coal company executives over their workers. One audience member—another retired miner—agreed with Sanders' assessment, telling the senator that "I think it's ironic that a senator from the Northeast takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell."

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #143

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 11, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

Claims Used to Overturn the Crude Oil Export Ban Are Turning Out False - By Justin Mikulka, DeSmog Blog, March 2, 2017 - Even with crude exports blowing past all expectations (along with other forces at play), the industry as a whole might only create 100,000 jobs when API promised 1,000,000 jobs. This shortfall shouldn’t really be surprising. CNN Money reported that during the fracking boom years of 2009-2014, only 233,000 total jobs were created by the oil and gas industry.

Coal, oil and gas investments to be phased out, UCT Convocation votes - By staff, Fossil Free South Africa, March 2, 2017 - On Tuesday 28 February, the Convocation of the University of Cape Town overwhelmingly passed a non-binding motion for the university to rid itself of all investments in fossil fuels within five years. Should the university council agree to this motion, it would make UCT the first African University to formally commit to divesting from fossil fuels.

Don't Let Corporations Control Vulnerable Americans' Water - By Wenonah Hauter, The Hill, March 7, 2017 - Reports surfaced that Trump’s proposed budget would gut the EPA — cutting up to $2 billion from the agency’s budget, sacrificing as many as 3,000 employees (so much for his promises to create jobs). He also rolled back key protections for air and water.

Efficiency & Clean Energy Can Replace Coal For A Reliable Modern Grid In US - By NRDC, Clean Technica, March 3, 2017 - “The shift away from coal, and the ongoing retirement of aging coal plants, presents our country with an historic opportunity,” said Starla Yeh, the report’s co-author and a senior policy analyst in NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air Program. “The U.S. is perfectly positioned to lead a global transition to clean energy, modernize its electricity grid, enlist tens of thousands of Americans in new efficiency and clean energy jobs—and help protect the planet from climate devastation.”

Energy Companies Face Crude Reality: Better to Leave It in the Ground - By Sarah Kent, Bradley Olson and Georgi Kantchev, Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2017 - A new era of low crude prices and stricter regulations on climate change is pushing energy companies and resource-rich governments to confront the possibility that some fossil-fuel resources will remain in the ground indefinitely.

The EPA is more vulnerable now than ever before - By Walter Rosenbaum, Grist, March 1, 2017 - For people concerned with environmental protection, including many EPA employees, there is broad agreement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in deep trouble.

To Fight Back Trump’s EPA Assaults, Join the People’s Climate Mobilization - By Lindsay Meiman, Common Dreams, March 3, 2017 - To fight back the Trump administration’s reported attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, the People’s Climate Movement is calling on the public to join the April 29 March for Climate, Jobs and Justice.

First victory in the fight against occupational cancers - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, February 28, 2017 - On 28 February, the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs voted in favour of various amendments to the European Commission’s proposal for a directive amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.

4 Signs Texas Could Lead The Clean Energy Economy – But Will It? - By Environmental Defense Fund, Breaking Energy, March 7, 2017 - The AWEA report shows Texas is the nation’s indisputable wind powerhouse, including serving as home to nearly a quarter of America’s wind jobs. But wind is just one piece of the puzzle, and recent reports confirm the pieces are in place for Texas to blaze the clean energy trail.

Get ready for Trump’s climate-denial offensive - By Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post, March 7, 2017 - Missing in action is a broader sense of what is at stake. Put aside that catastrophic climate changes could render the world uninhabitable. Trump simply dismisses that threat. But given that he pledges to “make America great again,” to bring back jobs and make the economy hum, he needs to learn one key thing about the future: The country that captures the lead in building the technologies and energy systems needed to deal with climate change will dominate the growth industries of the 21st century.

GOP Deregulating Frenzy Takes Aim at Fair Pay and Safety Rules for Workers - By Andrea Germanos, Common Dream, March 06, 2017 - Contractors that kill and injure workers' stand to benefit from repeal of Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, says one observer.

Health care cut-off notices mailed to 22,600 retired coal miners, widows as Congress fails to act to fulfill America’s promise to them - By staff, United Mine Workers of America, March 1, 2017 - Letters advising some 22,600 retired coal miners and widows that their earned health care benefits would be cut off in 60 days were mailed from the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds today, causing needless anxiety and concern for these elderly Americans. This travesty is entirely caused because a small minority of those on Capitol Hill simply refuse to honor America’s moral commitment to our nation’s retired miners.

The Infrastructure Opportunity Nobody Is Talking About – Yet - By Steve Cochran, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, March 1, 2017 -  Coastal restoration projects, when done well, can do more than any other to grow the nation’s economy, safeguard national security, save lives and create new jobs – all while being cost-effective.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #142

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 3, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

Amid health care uncertainty, black lung clinic provides support for miners - By Daniel Moore, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 26, 2017 - It sounds like a thing of the past: Coal miners contract lung disease after toiling for years underground and then run into barriers trying to get health care paid for by the coal companies they once worked for. But it’s still a 21st century reality for many who unearth coal for power plants and steel mills.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Gambling billions of public dollars as fracked gas supply is highly doubtful - By staff, NC WARN, February 28, 2017 - In communities along the proposed route, the ACP is promoted as a driver of economic development. But new jobs and businesses based on the promise of cheap, abundant gas might not survive as fracking production continues to decline, driving prices up.

Big Oil’s Grip on California - By Michael J. Mishak, The Nation, February 13, 2017 - In America’s greenest state, the industry has spent $122 million in the past six years to shape regulation and legislation. It wins more than you think.

Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye Defend Climate Science, Explain How Renewables Can Power America - By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, February 27, 2017 - "We can power the entire U.S. renewably right now if we just decided to do it," Nye said, explaining how transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy alternatives such as wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal, tidal and a reconfigured electric grid "can run the whole place." He noted that investing in renewable energy would create domestic jobs "that can't be exported."

The Blue Collar Job of the Future Is Solar Panel Installer - By Dyani Sabin, Inverse Innovation, February 22, 2017 - The reliable, blue-collar job of the future likely isn’t in manufacturing or coal or oil, but in solar and green energy storage, which is swiftly outpacing growth in other industries.

Buyer beware… or not - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, February 24, 2017 - In our last post, we shared the news of last week’s $3.5 million judgment against Reyes Tapia-Ortiz, a crewleader who was sued for, among other things, having “engaged in forced labor and related offenses by brandishing a gun, threatening to harm and deport workers for complaining about conditions and not being paid for all their work at legal wages, sexually harassing a female worker, and falsely imprisoning then facilitating the deportation of a worker who stopped working for him,” according to Susan French, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs on the case.  You can read more about the judgment and the conditions on the farm here.

Carbon Bubble Is Bursting as Divestment Takes Hold - By Clara Vondrich, EcoWatch, February 22, 2017 - Meanwhile, the Croatan Report explores investments in climate solutions that also have a direct benefit to the local community. Many of the investments featured in the Croatan Report are consistent with the notion of a Just Transition, the idea that the clean energy transition should not recreate old and broken power structures that benefit the few at the expense of the many: Rather, investments should be made with intention to revive and rebuild communities, fostering job creation and local ownership of renewable energy systems where possible. The report is anchored in inspiring case studies featuring DivestInvest Philanthropy members.

"CETA is a false solution to economic and political woes" - National Farmers Union - By Jan Slomp, La Via Campesina, February 27, 2017 - Since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States, a shocking list of executive orders is making people around the world uneasy about unpredictable days ahead. Democracy and civil liberties are in peril. It is reasonable for Canadian and European officials to respond with concern to Trump's aberrations. But it appears that, fearing the uncertainty, they have rushed to ratify CETA.

Chevron details its job cuts in annual filing - By George Avalos, East Bay Times, February 23, 2017 - San Ramon-based Chevron reduced its worldwide workforce last year by 6,300 employees to 55,200, according to its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The oil and gas company cut its U.S. workforce by 3,100 workers to 26,500 over the same period.

China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again - By Joe Romm, Think Progress, February 28, 2017 - That means tens of millions of new jobs in clean energy are up for grabs, something no other emerging sector can match.

Climate scientists face harassment, threats and fears of 'McCarthyist attacks' - By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, February 22, 2017 - Threats and badgering of climate scientists peaked after the theft and release of the “Climategate” emails – a 2009 scandal that was painfully thin on scandal. But the organized effort to pry open cracks in the overwhelming edifice of proof that humans are slowly baking the planet never went away. Scientists are now concerned that the election of Donald Trump has revitalized those who believe climate researchers are cosseted fraudsters.

Community Power Offers Fukushima a Brighter, Cleaner Future - By Nithin Coca, Shareable, February 14, 2017 - One of the company's innovations is "solar sharing," which are small, raised solar photovoltaic devices that can be installed above farmland. This allows farmers to continue farming, while also getting new income from solar. Currently, 13 of these are in operation in Iitate Village, with another 16 in various planning stages.

Congressional town halls become forums for anti-GOP resistance - By Sue Sturgis, Facing South, February 22, 2017 - Lawmakers were also heckled and booed this week at town halls from Florida to Iowa, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was confronted by a constituent upset about lost coal mining jobs and then booed at what was supposed to be a GOP-friendly $10-a-plate luncheon.


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