Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Labor Says Fear Not on Clean Energy

In the challenge to transition to a clean energy economy, starting with the end of coal, fossil fuel companies that want to continue to pollute often shake the scarecrow of jobs. 

Makes you wonder what the people whose jobs they are talking about really think. Surprise! Labor refuses to cow to the fear-mongering and wants to embrace the clean energy economy.  It wants to be part of the opportunity.

Here are some choice words from the head of the AFL-CIO delivered in a recent address.  This speech received a standing ovation.

"When these folks hear "End Coal," it  sounds like a threat to destroy the value of our homes, to shut our schools and churches, to drive us away from the place our parents and grandparents are buried, to take away the work that for more than a hundred years has made us who we are.

"So why, in an economy without an effective safety net, would the good men and women of my hometown and a thousand places like it surrender their whole lives and sit by while others try to force them to bear the cost of change.

"The truth is that in many places – and not just places where coal is mined – there is fear that the 'green economy' will turn into another version of the radical inequality that now haunts our society—another economy that works for the 1% and not for the 99%.

"So if we are going to build an innovative, sustainable, climate friendly American economy, if we are going to rebuild, restore, modernize or replace everything we inherited in just 30 years, we are going to need the energies, talents, passion and hard work of more than some regions or some Americans.   No, the job we have to do is too big.   We need the skill and effort of all of us.  Our enemy in this great challenge, as always, is fear.  Sometimes it seems like fear, and the power of money, has paralyzed our government.  But the antidote to fear is trust."

Let's do this.

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