Green Workers Need a Voice in the Climate Change Debate

Working out on my oyster
boat this week, I've been slurping my catch and wondering what sort of
future lies ahead for those of us who work in industries already being
impacted by climate change.

Some like me will be the first to experience the negative effects: I
run a small organic oyster farm that faces extinction within the next
40 years because my oysters will not survive rising carbon emissions. Friends of mine are firefighters already facing hotter and more frequent wildfires.

Others work in industries that will gain jobs as a result of efforts
to protect the climate: as electrical workers installing solar panels,
steelworkers assembling wind turbines and as government workers being
redeployed as environmental accountants.

Still others work in industries that will be transformed by climate
protection policies, such as coal mining and forestry, who need and
want to be part of the green workforce of the future.

As workers we stand on the front lines of the transition to a new
green economy. Those of us earning our living in industries impacted by
climate change and who believe in the need for both good jobs and
sustainable environmental policy, have a stake in the national and
global climate change debate and in building a greener, more just

Unlike everyone else, we have both our livelihoods and our planet on
the line, giving us a special interest and role in finding real
solutions to climate change that also address the economic dimension

So far, as the politicians fiddle while the world burns, we've
remained on the sidelines. We have a stake in the outcome of this
fight. It's time to come together and play a role in shaping our future.

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