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National

300+ Groups Ask Senate for Stronger Climate Bill

Submitted by admin on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 3:11pm

A broad coalition of more than 300 faith, human rights, social justice, and environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, has composed and sent a letter to U.S. senators calling for energy and climate legislation that's much stronger than the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House of Representatives June 26. That bill contained massive giveaways to polluting special interests and would fail to ensure a rapid transition to clean energy. The full text of the letter follows.

What Green Jobs? Newsweek interviews Van Jones

Submitted by admin on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 4:58pm
Source: 
Van Jones: 'Once the stimulus starts working, you see the shift among entrepreneurs and private industry.'

President Obama devoted nearly $60 billion of his stimulus package to building a new green-based economy rich in renewable energy and strategies to cut carbon. But despite the price tag, not one green job yet exists. It comes down to a problem of etymology. No one can yet agree on what a green job actually is. The working definition paints a broad stroke: a job that's good for the economy while simultaneously healing the earth. But that leaves lots open to interpretation—natural gas is technically a cleaner fuel than crude oil, but it's still unsustainable—making it difficult, if not impossible, to measure whether eco-based jobs are being created and whether, as the administration has claimed, they're the saviors of a sagging economy.

In large part, the very idea behind a green job ensures there will never be a full definition, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics agreed in April to start measuring data on them. (Critics, in response, quickly suspected that the BLS, an agency supposed to measure objective data, could soon help carry water for an administration eager to show the stimulus is working.) Several environmental advocates polled by NEWSWEEK defined green jobs the way Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously defined obscenity: I'll know it when I see it.

Luke Cole - Environmental Justice Lawyer Dies

Submitted by admin on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 5:24pm
Source: 



Luke Cole, a San Francisco attorney who was one of the pioneers in the field of environmental justice - filing lawsuits for poor plaintiffs or people of color whose communities were being ravaged by corporate polluters - died in a head-on car crash Saturday in Uganda. He was 46.

emailaddress: 
mtaylor@sfchronicle.com.

Rights, Not Raids

When the Obama administration reiterated recently that it will make an immigration reform proposal this year, hopes rose among millions of immigrant families for the “change we can believe in.” That was followed by a new immigration position embraced by both the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win unions, rejecting the expansion of guest worker programs, which some unions had supported.

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Woodfin Workers Fight for Living Wages

Four years after they began organizing, workers are still battling the Woodfin Suites Hotel in Emeryville, California. Their fight for decent wages and working conditions sent ripples throughout the community. It fueled a successful drive for a living wage ordinance in the city, and brought together a new coalition advocating for low-wage immigrant workers.

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