There's no doubt that we're going through both an environmental and financial crisis right now which isn't going away in a hurry. The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group, backed by its experts of economists and environmentalists, reckons it has the answer.
It's quite simple – create one million jobs. And the Campaign is re-launching its updated booklet, about `hope in the face of crisis', to show everyone how.
"The economy is not working" it states "Mass unemployment has lasted for years, and will last for many more. And at some point gradual climate change is going to turn into swift catastrophe.
"Dangerous climate change is a consequence of the work of the hands and brains of many men and women" it adds "It will take the hands and brains of many men and women to undo the damage. So many climate activists, and several trade unions, have decided to fight to make the government create one million climate jobs. This report sets out our case."
The 68 page booklet implores the government to create a National Climate Service, with the same urgency that it created the National Health Service after the war, and, for a year, "hire 90,000 new workers each month to do new climate jobs".
These jobs include insulating and retrofitting all existing homes and buildings in order to conserve energy, running a massive public transport system powered by renewable electricity and putting in place the means to get the renewable energy from wind, solar and tidal power.
The booklet gives the case study of Salford as a city where the National Climate Service could make a major difference. It states there could be 4,500 jobs created...
Two thousand jobs would be in factories, producing solar cell arrays, rooftop thermal water heating pipes, and components for the nacelles of wind turbines. There would be 1,250 jobs created in transport, through more trams and the city as a hub for rail freight distribution onto vans and small trucks. Five hundred jobs could also be created in the field of training and research jobs "because the University of Salford already does research in Buildings, Architecture, Science and Engineering", and another 750 jobs could be created converting buildings to save energy.
The cost of the whole National Climate Service would be £66billion for everything but the government would save £21.6billion on taxes and benefits, would get income of £25.5billion from transport tickets and electricity bills, leaving a gap of £19billion a year. The Campaign states that this could easily be covered by everything from closing tax loopholes for companies, to a 1% tax on the rich, to even borrowing from the Bank of England. For qualitative easing the banks were loaned £75billion a year.
For those who think a National Climate Service would cost too much the booklet states... "Governments do things that 'cost too much' when they decide to do so.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are an example. Rescuing the banks in 2008
is another. In some ways, the model for what we want to do is what happened
in World War Two. Then all the great powers of the world took control of their
economies and directed industry to make as many weapons as possible, as fast
as possible, to kill as many people as possible and win the war. In the US the car
factories closed in January 1942. By the end of March the car factories reopened,
making tanks, weapons and a total of 66,000 bomber aircraft.
"That rearmament boom did not bankrupt the governments" it adds "Instead, it created jobs and lifted the whole world out of the Great Depression. We need to do
the same thing now, but in order to save lives. If Mother Earth was a bank, we would already have a million climate jobs..."
The One Million Climate Jobs booklet is being re-launched at Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS on Tuesday 18th November 7:15pm.
Speakers will include Martin Empson of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group, representatives of trades unions sponsoring the pamphlet and a a speaker from Frack Free Greater Manchester which is co-hosting this meeting with Campaign Against Climate Change.
Copies of the booklet will be on sale at the event or you can read it online – click here
Find out how to order copies of the booklet and more at www.campaigncc.org