She Said What?

In a recent article about Republicans trying to make in-roads on union blue-collar support one particular Republican made a statement illustrating the basic misunderstanding of what is actually good for people.

Not just blue-collar union workers, but everyone when we consider climate change and the effect on the planet.

In lockstep with the party line, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) said, “Putting climate change policies over people is absolutely ridiculous, and we cannot stand for it.” (Republicans squeeze Democrats on labor as UAW strike explodes in Michigan – POLITICO)

Um, aren’t people and the health of the environment—a necessary element for human survival—exactly what “climate change” policies are designed to protect? Otherwise, we can wait until Earth’s climate reflects the one on Venus and see how that works out.

The UAW should do all it can to support their union members in this struggle against what is fair and equitable wages and benefits. That does not mean there has to be a choice between dealing with climate change and preserving union jobs.

(Another discussion might be to focus on the salaries of executives and how they have grown over the years compared to workers’ salaries, but that is for another time—but just so you know, one exec at GM earns $111,000 a day)

Throughout the past several decades we have progressed from leaded to unleaded fuels, added catalytic converters, increased fuel economy dramatically, and the big three are still here churning out cars despite all the catastrophic warnings about each of these measures.

But let me get back to Rep. Lisa McClain from Michigan. Apparently she never saw a picture of Los Angeles back in the 70s when smog obscured the entire city, mostly due to car exhaust fumes.

Yet, true to form, she takes the issue of fairness and equity in labor negotiations and somehow links this to Democratic efforts at combatting climate change and the rise of electric cars made by workers with non-union wages then blames these efforts for the loss of union jobs.

If she was really interested in supporting union positions she ought to look at those companies who fight off union representation through so-called right to work statutes. What she conveniently leaves out is the anti-union, pro-management, profit over people policy systemic to Republican administrations.

But the real point is, she’d like to ignore the reality of anthropomorphic climate effect and turn it into purely political issue that depends on the willful ignorance of those who might agree with her. (Or perhaps she is one of the equally ill-informed.)

The fact is the planet has suffered through some of the hottest periods on record that far exceed the cyclical nature of warming and cooling periods documented in the geological record. The evidence is clear and convincing that the severity and rapidity of this change is amplified by human actions. The biggest culprit, fossil fuels.

One cannot ignore an inconvenient truth.

Let me remind you what the Representative said.

“Putting climate change policies over people is absolutely ridiculous, and we cannot stand for it.”

Anyone with any common sense knows what she should have said was this.

“We must balance climate change policies with human economic need or we will not survive.”

But as a strong supporter of unions, I wouldn’t put much hope in Republicans embracing labor over the stock market. 

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