The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Climate Pullout:
Another False Promise of Jobs

Jun 11, 2017

On June the first, President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. It was another of Trump’s declarations that has no immediate concrete action attached.

But it is symbolic of Trump’s presidency. First of all, his announcement “trumped” the most recent non-stop reporting on the investigation into collusion between himself and his staff with Russia – at least, for a few days.

Second, it was another play to the extreme right-wing voting base of the Republican Party – those people who have been fed non-stop propaganda by Republicans who pretend there is no such thing as global warming.

But above all, Trump once again claimed to be protecting jobs – to touch the working people who voted for him.

Since becoming president, Trump has issued multiple Executive Orders, announcing he wants to remove regulations and restrictions on U.S. corporations regarding the environment. Pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords is based on the same reactionary lie: business, if it is left alone, supposedly will solve all of society’s problems and bring jobs back to the American worker.

It’s obvious this is not happening, nor will it happen. His favorite example, that of restoring jobs to coal miners, is not bringing mining jobs back to the Appalachians. In his speech, he bragged about a new coal mining operation that may bring 70 jobs. But even those 70 jobs are lost before they start because the coal industry is in rapid decline. Coal is being replaced by more efficient – and more profitable – forms of energy.

Removing what minimal controls exist today for air and water protection will not bring more jobs. They will just make workers sicker. And while Trump rails about jobs lost to U.S. workers and blames this problem on the rest of the world, the real problem is here at home.

Big Energy – Exxon and dozens of other industry giants – are not only destroying the environment, no matter what form of energy they exploit, they destroy jobs at the same time. They blow off the tops of mountains, destroy under-ground water reserves by fracking for natural gas, poison the air of cities with oil wells – even as they drive their workers to do more work with fewer workers. They do it here and around the world.

Chinese and Indian workers are not stealing the American coal industry jobs, and auto jobs are not being stolen by workers in Mexico. The U.S. corporations and banks are killing jobs here with the drive for greater productivity, even while they invest their super-profits in other countries.

Removing protections against pollutants doesn’t create jobs – it just creates more profit for the big companies that are cutting jobs, and it continues the destruction of the environment. To reject the already sadly inadequate steps that capitalist countries are making toward controlling emissions does nothing but call down more environmental disasters and more health problems.

How much do Trump and his administration “love” American workers when they introduce bills into Congress to deprive millions of workers of health care? Or let hurricanes resulting from global warming destroy entire communities? Or leave the environment unprotected so rivers flood, wiping out whole towns?

Climate change and global warming are real and potentially devastating problems that human beings can solve. Just as we can find the way to provide a job for everyone who wants to work. But we won’t get what we need in a society where capital’s thirst for profit determines everything.

The working class – in this country and around the world – has the means to impose what humanity needs in the way of both jobs and clean air. Our class has the force – when it will organize itself – to get rid of those capitalists and their drive for profit which stands in the way of a humane and healthy society.