Proposed Resolution: Defend working families from climate change horror

BY: Illinois Communist Party| June 11, 2014

Submitted by the Illinois Communist Party Convention

Scientists warn that climate change is already placing “the well-being of people of all nations at risk”. They also warn about a “chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts on people in the United States and around the world”. Other alerts show that glaciers are already melting from Greenland to Antarctica faster than expected. The melt is causing sea level to rise around the world. These changes are due to vast human use of carbon fuels and the destruction of rainforests and other natural carbon sinks. Yet the United States has failed to ratify the Kyoto Treaty to improve the carbon balance. The Republican Party-oil company controlled Congress has opposed every move by President Obama to hold back climate change.

Experience has shown that it is working people around the world who suffer the brunt of the deaths and destruction caused by climate change. Working people of New Orleans and the East Coast are still suffering from the hurricanes that will become more common with climate change. Hurricane Katrina alone caused at least 1,836 deaths; over 284 died in Hurricane Sandy. Working people and people of color suffered the worst casualties. Years later, many are still homeless. And in the Philippines, 6,000 people from poor fishing villages died in Typhoon Haiyan.

Perhaps the greatest horror of climate change would be the famine deaths of millions, even billions, as climate change spreads drought and brings worldwide loss of crops that cannot adapt. It is a horror that we can never allow, not as long as human beings have the knowledge to prevent it. The actions that are needed are well known. But time is running out.

First, our country needs to stop doing what is makings things worse. Stop putting more carbon dioxide into the air than is removed. Use wind, solar and other less polluting energy sources.

With less than 5% of the world population, the US uses 20% of the world’s energy. Much of it is wasted. We could reduce waste and create jobs by providing more efficient local and national public transit and building a smart national electric grid. Replacing centuries-old natural gas lines in the cities would create jobs and reduce energy waste. Since 2010, $21 billion of natural gas has leaked from pipelines. Some lines date back to 1830.

Fortunately, our country is a leader in the science and technology of non-polluting energy and climate study. We have the know-how. But greedy profit-first banks and corporations control the media and Congress. They have let loose a hurricane of misinformation to confuse voters. And they are using their control to prevent Congress from acting on climate change. They are trying to buy off politicians to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking projects that would worsen the problem of pollution and climate change and violate Native American rights.

President Obama has defied the Big Polluters’ wishes to deny climate change. Instead, Obama promised to use his executive powers to reduce carbon gas emission. But much more is needed. The November 2014 Congressional elections are a chance to elect more progressives and enact the needed laws. A labor-led coalition showed how to win in the 2012 elections. And nothing less can win on the high priority, life/death issue of climate change. The Blue-Green Alliance points the way.

This alliance combines “blue” for the “blue collar” workers who now work on polluting jobs with “green” for those fighting pollution and climate change. They describe themselves as: “The Blue Green Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean economy.” Their focus is on rebuilding the national infrastructure and they also call for expanding clean public transit, clean cars and retrofitting schools and homes to reduce energy loss. With the money saved by more efficient energy use, we could build homes for the homeless and improve education and health care. That would create many millions of new, good, green jobs. During the time of transition, of moving workers from polluting to green jobs, workers should be paid full salary because workers should not suffer. Those guilty of polluting for profit, the big corporations and the bankers who own them, they must pay for the cleanup and conversion to a clean economy.

Therefore be it resolved

that the CPUSA advance the issue of stopping climate change as a priority, and

Be it resolved

that we work to strengthen the national Blue-Green Alliance and work to establish local and state Blue-Green Alliances, and

Be it finally resolved

that we oppose any measure that worsens pollution or feeds climate change such as the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking (destroying the earth) for natural gas, mining tar sands or dumping petcoke.

The views and opinions expressed in the Convention Discussion are those of the author alone. The Communist Party is publishing these views as a service to encourage discussion and debate. Those views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Communist Party, its leading bodies or staff members. The CPUSA Constitution, Program, and all its existing policies remain in effect during the Convention discussion period and during the Convention.

For more details and information on the handling of proposed resolutions, visit the Resolutions Guidelines

For details about the convention, visit the Convention homepage
To contribute to the discussion, visit the Convention Discussion webpage

30th National Convention, Communist Party USA
Chicago | June 13-15, 2014


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