Achieving Climate Justice through Labor Unity
This wonderful article from Harsha Walia makes the important point that we must unite across workers who work to extract resources and those who work to protect the land if we are to attain climate justice. In a capitalist system, incentives are set up such that resource exploitation pays the bills, but resource protection typically doesn’t. Land acquisition, moreover, often affects indigenous areas, forcing those communities to protest.
As Walia goes on to explain, critical to understanding the conflict is the difference in worldview. The capitalist mindset is fixated on using resources and putting in time and effort to make money and profit. However, from an indigenous perspective, work and life are one and the same. Sustainability is built in to indigenous practices.
Walia proposes an alliance between labor unions and indigenous peoples as a pathway toward climate justice. Given the balance and sustainability inherent in indigenous lifeways, I am inclined to agree. Indeed, my company is committed to understanding and promoting indigenous practices through a social form of biomimicry.