(Note: This special bulletin was circulated to invite a wider audience to the TUED Global Advisory Group web call that took place on August 29th, 2018. We are recreating it here for information purposes, but kindly note this is for an event that is past)
August 23, 2018
Please join us for a global web meeting of unions and movement allies on Weds, Aug 29, 10:00-11:30am, Eastern US time.
We will discuss two important and related issues that have been subjects of active debate in recent weeks and months.
1. “Hothouse Earth”: Will We Reach the Political Tipping Point
For the first part of the meeting, we will hear from Robert W. Howarth, the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell University, and a respected, progressive climate scientist. Dr. Howarth will speak about the latest scientific reports on the state of the climate, in light of the recent, dramatic weather around the world.
In a recent submission to the National Academy of Scientists (June 2018), a group of prominent international scientists argues that we face a stark choice between “Hothouse Earth,” the extremely dangerous future towards which “business as usual” is leading us, or “Stabilized Earth,” where the planet’s warming is controlled by collective human action.
How should unions respond to the latest changes in the climate, and to the growing scientific concern over what further changes may come? What should we be fighting for at the global level, and how can we connect local struggles to the need for major changes in economic and social life?
Dr. Howarth will help us think through these questions together. Trained in oceanography and with a research focus on coastal marine and freshwater ecosystems, Dr. Howarth is also a leading scientist on the impacts of methane gas on the climate. He is actively involved in environmental management and policy, both locally and internationally, and a solid trade union ally. More on Dr. Howarth’s important work can be found here, including this article debunking the myth of natural gas as a “bridge fuel,” and exposing the disastrous effects of methane emissions on the greenhouse gas footprint.
2. The Just Transition Debate: A Critical Response to Working Paper #11
During the second part of the call, we will hear from two experienced trade unionists and supporters of TUED, Graham Peterson and Philip Pearson, members of the steering group of the UK-based Greener Jobs Alliance. Graham and Philip have written a valuable 2-page critique of the recent TUED paper, Trade Unions and Just Transition: The Search for a Transformative Politics. The TUED paper is available here, and the critique is here.
The critique takes issue with some of the broad political points raised in the TUED paper about how key questions around Just Transition are framed. Critical of the “social power” perspective presented in the TUED paper, the critique advocates for a “no illusions” approach to social dialogue and recommends unions view Just Transition as a “transitional demand.”
We hope you can join us for these important discussions.