Top 10 reasons CFT members should care about
1) The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change poses a real and severe threat to our survival unless we start making major changes very soon. As educators we need to insist that facts matter more than ideology or political partisanship.
2) The only people arguing that climate change isn’t happening are in the pocket of Big Oil and other corporate interests who want to keep making money by polluting our air, water and soil. Now that they have a prominent place in our national government, we need to be part of a movement strong enough to weaken their grip on power.
3) Unions have long led the fight to protect workers’ health on the job and at home. Climate change is increasingly putting workers’ and their families’ health at risk with hotter temperatures, historic droughts, catastrophic wildfires, extreme weather events, more infectious diseases, and worse air quality.
4) Climate justice and economic justice are linked. We can create a more sustainable future and address economic inequality at the same time. The climate and jobs crises are two problems with one solution. A dramatic conversion to clean, renewable, green energy and better transportation options can, if we are at the table, lead to significant local job growth.
5) Environmentalists can be strong allies. The fact is that the same corporate interests that attack green activists also want to destroy the labor movement. So we can hang together (strength in numbers) or hang alone.
6) Labor-community alliances with environmental and community activists make us stronger and help build an interconnected community of folks who care about social justice.
7) As educators we have placed our bets on the future and we believe that our interests are inextricably bound with the interests of our students and the communities we serve. Climate change threatens all of us and those who cynically deny it are declaring war on the future.
8) United we can win a just future and stop the race to the bottom and the destruction of the planet. We can reverse course and address climate change and make the world a better place for our children and our children’s children.
9) Mass extinction is no fun. Even if you aren’t a tree hugger a dying world is a drag and, last time we checked, union members live on the same planet as everybody else.
10) It’s more fun to be on the right side of history.
Interested in taking action on climate change?
Simple and effective ways local unions can engage members to support CFT’s Climate Justice work
- Publicize CFT climate justice work to your membership.
- Write an article in your next local union newsletter or e-newsletter.
- Invite a Climate Justice Task Force member to present to your local at a membership meeting or other local union function.
- Spread the word by telling others about CFT’s Climate Justice Task Force
- Help design curriculum across the disciplines to educate your students.
- Start an environmental caucus inside your local and your local labor council.
- Work politically and legislatively to support climate justice.
- Share climate justice educational materials with your members. Find them at org/climate-justice or email Chair Jim Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Promote education about climate change and climate justice with your students and in your community.