Thursday, September 19, 2019

Trade Unions Join the Children's Revolt Over Climate Change

The International Trade Union Confederation has pledged the support of its 200 million workers world wide to the global climate strike tomorrow.  General secretary, Sharan Burrow, says it's everybody's fight now.
Burrow said her members would strike alongside students in the streets where the local laws allowed, and where that was not possible trade unionists would take “stop work action” or stage other forms of protest and workplace campaigns to demand radical climate action. 
Strikes and supporting actions are being planned by unions in scores of countries from the UK to South Africa, Italy to Australia, Brazil to the Philippines. 
“You need to know that your stand is our stand,” she said. “This is the challenge of our future. For unions we have been saying for a very long time, there are no jobs on a dead planet.”
This should be the signature issue of the election campaign but both the Liberals and the Tories have chosen a petro-state future for Canada.  Give 'em enough rope....

Think of grains of sand pouring through an hourglass. With any luck when the sand runs out, so does neoliberalism.


Anonymous said...

But do they understand that this means reducing road surfaces, rolling back the dominance of tarmac - forcing mega-malls to reduce their reliance on huge parking lots?

No one wants to ralk about it, but a huge part of the shifting climate change has to do with the ridiculous tendency to "pave"

Then there is the whole other problem of the elements other than CO2 that spew out of tail-pipes, rub off of tires, dribble out of radiators and windshield washers . . .

CO2 is a huge problem, but it's also a huge distraction from other critical sources of pollution

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon:

Tailpipe emissions are about 99% less toxic than they used to be in the 1960s for gasoline powered cars, and yes, most of it is CO2 today, well over 99%. There are small traces of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates from direct injection engines and perhaps 15 ppm of carbon monoxide - that used to be several percent or 2000 ppm in the 1980s. SAAB used to boast its tailpipe emissions were cleaner than what the engine inhaled, but they were hardly unique - they just met standards like everyone else.

Now diesels are another matter, and NOx compounds and the spewing of them at up to 40 times standards is what caused Dieselgate and the German car industry disgrace, and the banning of diesels from city centres. Gasoline direct injection particulates (carbon soot) are why gasoline cars are being fitted with particulate filters in the EU as we speak. With Trump yakking his brainless head off and just yesterday removing California's right to legislate their own vehicle standards, it's unlikely that particulate filters will make it here, but they are cheap. That's backstabbing environmental crap from Trump.

As for paving, sure. But do you think paving compares to the hundreds of thousands of square miles of utter desecration of the jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand that have already happened, and now Brazil's Amazon rainforest clearing and burning? Not in the same league. What it does do is ruin natural drainage, just like clearcutting does, and causes soil erosion at its periphery.

If one is going to stand up and bleat, well do get your facts straight. I'll be voting Green myself, but my eyes are wide open and I had technical training. The EU changed windshield washer fluid to ethanol from methanol for the antifreeze portion, but I'd be surprised if windshield washer use of ethanol is greater than the amounts drinkers swill each day. And is methanol a real pollutant anyway? Probably not:

Why the EU wants ethanol C2H5OH instead of methanol CH4OH for windshield waher fluid is beyond me. Ethanol releases twice as much carbon as methanol. Ridiculous bureaucrats, but they cannot even calculate EV efficiency from cradle to grave properly. They just slant things to make it seem EVs are more efficient overall. I'm dead set against that sort of nonsense - it's propaganda.

Methanol is a simple way to transport hydrogen since it's a liquid, and doesn't diffuse through solid steel piping and tanks like hydrogen gas or liquid does. Strike one against Toyota and its fuel cell car utilizing hydrogen, which takes vast amounts of energy to produce from natural gas. Dumb.

If we're going to go Green, and I sincerely hope we do, we'd better do better than repeating nonsense about stuff that people just "think" is bad. Let's have scientific facts, not opinion. We can never not impact our environment to some degree. But let's use some commonsense as well as science when we change from the way we do things now to a cleaner future.


The Mound of Sound said...

BM, I am awe struck. Well done and very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

All good points BM.

But as the climate continues its downward spiral, every impact begins to intensify. Desertification of urban areas is increasing rapidly, aquifers are not being replenished, localized heat, pollution, and catastrophic weather events continue to rise. The mentality that glorifies cars and massive urban sprawl is part of the same denialism that has brought us to this point.

Yes other people are doing significantly more damage than our car infatuation, but that's no reason for us not to carry on with our bad behaviour.

The Mound of Sound said...

Agreed, Anon.