Earth Day insights, 2019 — an excerpt:
Let’s stop to consider a broader view, to think about what it means to steward our environment as a means of living, rather than as if it is something ‘extra’ we do at the end of the day. People cannot survive on volunteer labour. The labour movement spent many a long hour (literally) fighting for fairly paid wages for contributions of labour–and now, at least in the U.S., we seem to be heading back to where we started, by encouraging a kind of incrementalism in giving our labour away for free as a contribution to the common good.
It is dire that we advocate for an environmental ethic that includes sustaining people’s livelihoods. The Green New Deal in the United States has garnered much support because is based on the idea that we need more meaningful paid work that advances the goals of a healthy society and environment. It is a whole systems approach to social change that has the capacity to empower society to make the drastic changes necessary if there is any chance of stabilizing the climate in a hundred years.
For this Earth Day, I encourage you to innovate ways to include people in a new environmental economy that sustains livelihoods. Many people do not have any hours left in the day to contribute volunteer labour. The convergence of the environmental and labour movements is truly an act of liberation.