Workers, Climate Change, and Useless Stereotypes

Working-Class Perspectives

As the Biden administration pivots the US from eliminating to increasing social and economic programs, certain priorities are coming forward. The pandemic is at the front of the line, followed closely by Biden’s “other priorities,” among the most notable being, as Maegan Vazquez notes, “health care, immigration and climate change.”

All of these issues could lead to significant changes for workers. Too often, though, all we hear about workers’ responses are generalizations. In reality, their reactions are much more nuanced than stereotypes of the working class suggest. Given the highly politicized, often divisive nature of the rhetoric surrounding climate change, we should listen more closely to what workers are actually saying.

Coal and oil producers, energy workers, and even Democratic politicians have all expressed concern about how climate change policies will affect the economy. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin offers one example of the need to search out nuance, particularly…

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