Friday, February 09, 2007

Green discourtesy

Bob Brown and the national Greens’ call for a cessation of coal exports can be seen as an attempt to establish a clear Green position separate from Labor on environmental policy. Perhaps it reflects a frustration with the Greens failure to increase their vote in recent polls despite the high profile of environmental debates. But it also indicates the strength within the Green federal leadership of an ecological politics rather than the more leftist current associated with some of their recent recruits. It also shows a disdain for the CFMEU mining division, whose members have been under sustained attack by employers and the Coalition for over a decade. Here's a union that has avoided the workerist posing of the Forestry division and advocated engagement with environmental debates. As it said in November:
The CFMEU has been involved in the climate change issue since 1990, when it led Australian union involvement in the Federal Government's Ecologically Sustainable Development Working Groups. In 1992 it wrote one of the first union publications on climate change (anywhere in the world) for the Australian Council of Trade Unions: The Greenhouse Effect; employment and development issues for Australians. Also in 1992 the CFMEU represented Australian unions at the UN Earth Summit where the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted. The CFMEU was also present as part of an international union contingent in Kyoto in 1997 when the Kyoto protocol to the UNFCCC was adopted. The CFMEU did not "oppose Kyoto" (and never has). It has argued for social justice to be a key consideration in the development of climate change responses. In 2001 the CFMEU co-wrote the climate change policy of the international union of workers in the mining and energy industries - the ICEM...With the launch of the new climate change position paper the CFMEU renews its call for all stakeholders to work together to address the threat to humanity and the environment that is posed by global warming.
It seems the Greens aren't interested in getting the votes of working-class people whether they are being bashed by employers and the Coalition, as with the miners, or being let down by the dire performance of state Labor governments.



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