Talking to Labor About Climate Change:
Focus on the inevitability of climate change mitigation policies and the changes they will cause.
Explore the positive aspects of this change: massive new investment is needed to completely transform the energy and transportation infrastructure, producing millions of new jobs.
Forthrightly confront the negative aspects of the change for labor: Some jobs will be lost.
Unions need to step forward with transition plans to deal with job loss and economic dislocation.
Point out that inaction on climate change will lead to drastic consequences and the necessity for far more disruptive climate protection measures in the not-too-distant future.
Unions are going to need allies to ensure that green jobs are good jobs and that labor and em-
ployment standards are included in subsidy programs.
I disagree with the NYTimes obituary
Mr. Costello was hailed by many academics and labor advocates as a bona fide worker-intellectual. A genial, mustached native of Boston, he drove fuel-delivery trucks, worked as a lobsterman, founded a group that battled against the fast-growing use of temporary workers and developed close links with labor advocates in China, Italy and Mexico.
Tim wasn’t a “worker-intellectual.” By my definition, an intellectual is someone who never has dirt under their fingernails. Definitely not Tim. I consider him a scholar warrior, a Chinese ideal which he might have liked since he had become very involved in Chinese labor issues. His integrity, good humor, intelligence, and spirit were evident to anybody who had eyes to see. His loss is irreparable. His example is invaluable. His work goes on.
Among his books are Globalization from Below, Global Village Vs. Global PIllage, and Building Bridges: The Emerging Grassroots Coalition of Labor and Community.