In the Wake of Ida

NLF Highlights for September

The 2021 Labor Day installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter comes to you in the wake of Ida. The category 4 hurricane that barreled ashore on the Gulf Coast early last week, had by mid-week swept through the Mid-Atlantic and New England in the form of a tornado and flash floods. The storm left millions of homes dismantled by wind or inundated, whole regions without electricity or running water, roads impassable, public transportation halted, and a death toll upwards of 60 people in 8 states.

On the 16th anniversary of Katrina, we’ve come to expect these increasingly severe storms resulting from global warming, even as we remain ill equipped to prevent their horrors. No contemporary crisis exceeds this one. New Labor Forum continues to assess progress toward halting climate change and mitigating its damage, particularly in poor and working-class communities and the global south. Along these lines, we bring advance reading from our fall 2021 issue, in which columnist Sean Sweeney disputes the idea, popular among environmental groups, that renewable energy companies are heroes paving the way to zero carbon emissions. Reminding us that they are not charities, he details the ways in which large wind and solar interests depend upon public money, while they simultaneously advance polices to protect private profit and block collaborative measures urgently required to meet global climate targets.

Many environmentalists have, by contrast, long viewed nuclear power as verboten, present company included. Physicist Lenard Rodberg says this is a big mistake. In his article scheduled for the May issue of New Labor Forum, he posits that, without this reliable source of clean energy, there’s precious little chance of meeting the challenge of zero carbon emissions. And on the other hand, Rodberg offers, “As the only dispatchable, scalable zero-carbon source we have, it deserves broad public support.” On a planet that is hotter than it’s been in 120,000 years, we believe this argument deserves serious attention.

Table of Contents

      1. Sustaining the Unsustainable: Why Renewable Energy Companies Are Not Climate Warriors / Sean Sweeney, New Labor Forum
      2. Why Anyone Concerned about Climate Change Should Support Nuclear Power / Leonard Rodberg, New Labor Forum
      3. Progressive Fractures on Land Use & Housing: Lessons from the Left Coast” – SLU Virtual Event, September 9th, 12pm -1pm (EST)
      4. Occupy Wall Street’s Legacy: 10 Years Later“- SLU Virtual Event, September 17th, 12pm to 1pm (EST)

Sustaining the Unsustainable: Why Renewable Energy Companies Are Not Climate Warriors

by Sean Sweeney, New Labor Forum

In the fight to address climate change, renewable energy companies are often assumed to be Jedi Knights. Valiantly struggling to save the planet, wind and solar interests are thought to be locked in mortal combat with large fossil fuel corporations that continue to mine, drill, and blast through the earth’s fragile ecosystems, dragging us all into a grim and sweaty dystopia. In the United States and elsewhere, solar panels glitter on rooftops and in fields; turbines tower majestically over rural landscapes. The fact that, globally . . .

Read the full article here


Why Anyone Concerned about Climate Change Should Support Nuclear Power

by Leonard Rodberg, New Labor Forum

Though many environmentalists and climate change advocates reject nuclear power, without this reliable source of clean power, we will be unable to meet the climate challenge successfully. Three propositions underlie this statement . . .



Read the full article here

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