QUESTIONS FOR WORKING PEOPLE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND JUST TRANSITION

  • Do you, like so many of us, find it hard to think about and face the issue of climate change?
  • Do you believe climate change is real?
  • Do you think human activity has contributed significantly to global warming?
  • Does society/the world need to end its reliance on fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change? 
  • If we are to do that, how would that likely impact you and your family – your job, occupation, workplace, employer, industry, neighborhood and community? 
  • What kinds of protection do you need to avoid having the transition to a renewable energy system negatively impact you, your family and community? 
  • Do you think those protections could be achieved by collective bargaining or will it require legislation (or both)?
  • How should your workplace/union/neighborhood/community begin now to prepare for that transition? 
  • If your job was seriously impacted and you could no longer perform it, do you have the skills to find other work that allows you to maintain your standard of living?
  • If not, what kind of additional education or training would you want/need? 
  • If you are within ten years of retirement, would you retire early if the government or your employer (or some combination) were to subsidize your income with no reduction of benefits until you were eligible for full retirement benefits/Social Security?
  • If the kind of work you perform is no longer available in your area, would you relocate to where you can find employment if the government/your employer underwrote the cost of relocation?
  • What are your hopes for the kind of world you want for your children and future generations? How is climate change likely to affect them and their generation?
  • What changes in your lifestyle would help reduce carbon emissions and the severity of climate change?

[Make copies and share these questions with coworkers and other members of your union, family, neighborhood, community.  Meet with others to discuss how you answer them. Identify and try to understand responses you share in common, and differences between you.]