Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Unions, Green and $green don't often play well together.

[comment at WAMC Vox Pop ... Unions]
In the early 70's, the Int'l Typographical Union was just starting to lose momentum because of technology ... since then the printing industry has changed enormously. When I worked in NY, the ITU had 170,000 members. When it merged with the CWA in 1986 it had 16,000. Improving productivity and lowering cost in any manufacturing or industrial process -- as we all encourage -- means changing the workforce.

Energy generation using nuclear and fossil fuels not only CAN be eliminated, it MUST be eliminated to reduce life threatening production of greenhouse gas (not to mention local pollution and waste). All the associated "externalities":  drillers, miners, refiners, loaders, drivers, machinists and production workers -- not enough of whom are union-- need to "transition" along with the families and communities their wages/taxes support.

Detroit, Pittsburgh, Akron and many rust-belt industries "went south", both literally and figuratively because of labor costs and technology advances. Even after five decades, their communities have barely even begun recovery.

In addition to roof-top and parking lot solar, geothermal electricity generation plants occupying the same footprint as fossil fuel plants could eliminate green house gas from regional electricity generation -- all geothermal energy comes from directly below the plant and there are very few "externalities". Geo is a key technology to develop for use everywhere, forever but is being opposed by the fossil fuel commodities trading and industrial complex. They are just beginning to recruit union organizers as well.

What's the point? Union, green and $green don't play well together.

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