Demonstrators rally to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 for fast-food workers at City Hall in Seattle

Photo: Reuters

 

If there’s one thing that can be said for CEOs of companies like ExxonMobil and Shell, it’s that they’re extremely good at playing the fool when it comes to the impacts of their business on people and the planet. The Big Oils of the world are more than happy to go on denying climate change until it significantly impacts their bottom lines — that’s why we’re running a fossil fuel divestment campaign rather than a Big Oil persuasion campaign.

Much like fossil fuel executives, CEOs at behemoth companies like WalMart are happy to go on denying that growing income inequality across the country is their responsibility. Like ExxonMobil, WalMart is in a race to the bottom. While fossil fuel companies go on digging up every last hydrocarbon, retailers keep digging into the pockets of their poorest employees. By all sane measures, this kind of dig-it-up, burn-it-down economy is unsustainable.

There’s no way that our civilization can survive in a 6 degree future — one that we’re all but assured if fossil fuel companies dig up and burn all the fossil fuels they have on the books. And there’s no way our country can thrive if the wages we pay 3.3 million of our workers means they can’t afford decent housing, food, or education.

A society that is deeply unequal is one that leaves the already marginalized more vulnerable the impacts of extreme weather events — like Hurricane Sandy or the ongoing California drought — and more prone to the kinds of violent outbreaks that have plagued climate-impacted countries like Syria.

The prioritization of profits over people is warming our planet and growing economic inequality. That’s why 350.org is supporting the Fight for 15, a new effort calling for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We believe that a new, prosperous clean energy economy should be one that protects the planet, protects the people who live on it, and generates millions of good jobs that pay livable wages. We can help jumpstart that economy on April 15.

Please join 350.org and our friends at rallies around the country this April 15 as we show support for a $15 minimum wage – find an event near you at april15.org.

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