Hot At Work In A Climate Crisis
The climate crisis is hitting the planet’s working classes the hardest and they know it; The conservative commentariat could not be more wrong in dismissing global heating as a concern of only the ‘woke elite’
Jeff Sparrow, 18 June 2022 (UK Guardian)
“…[To make a living, Shiv Kumar Mandal, a Delhi rickshaw driver, had to continue] to transport passengers during a prolonged and horrific temperature spike that experts attribute to global heating…[but in the wake of the Australian federal election, many say the climate crisis is] a luxury issue…[and that] those who advocate for renewable energy do so primarily to signal their own wealth…In the real world, anyone concerned about the actual working class recognises that, always and everywhere, global warming most harms the oppressed and the poor…The horrific Indian heatwave means temperatures in Delhi have exceeded 42C for 25 days since summer began.
Yet millions of workers still toil outside, simply because, like Mandal, they can’t afford to stay out of the sun…all of them suffer – and some of them die…The same distinction between the wealthy, who can protect themselves from a warming planet, and the poor, who patently cannot, manifests in the developed world…[In severe heat waves, rising temperatures mean densely populated areas become ‘urban heat islands’, as the concrete landscapes inhabited by working-class families absorb the sun and then warm up the air]…It’s not just a question of temperatures, either…[T]he carbon getting pumped into the atmosphere means more fires and more flooding…
...[In Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfires,] the most socio-economically disadvantaged communities bore a disproportionately higher hazard exposure…[In its 2022 floods, poorer households were] most affected…[Environmentalism hasn’t been unequivocally linked…[because] so many of the climate ‘solutions’ espoused by mainstream politicians come straight out of the neoliberal toolkit…[But the] cow tends not to vote for the butcher…[The generations of unionists who won relatively high wages in mining would turn in their graves at] the idea that the massive corporations profiting from planetary destruction care in the slightest about the consequences for ordinary people…” click here for more