Amazon and Microsoft workers to strike over climate change inaction


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Over a thousand Amazon office workers in the US are planning a walkout on September 20 to protest their employer’s inaction over climate change support a worldwide youth climate protest on the same date (WIRED).

The workers highlight that, despite CEO Jeff Bezos’ acknowledgement of the gravity of climate change, Amazon is a massive fossil fuel user with “custom solutions to help oil and gas companies accelerate extraction and exploration of new oil and gas reserves” and provides funding to climate change denying think tanks and politicians. Microsoft workers say they will also join the day of action and some reports indicate that Google staff may also participate.

A new report by the Global Commission on Adaptation has found that, if the world invests $1.8 trillion over the next decade to protect the communities and regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, $7.1 trillion could be gained in both the avoidance of future losses and the economic benefits of development and innovation (BBC News).

The commission, whose members include World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates under the leadership of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calls for storm warning systems for island and coastal communities, infrastructure improvement, agricultural changes, the restoration of protective mangrove swamps and the protection of water supplies.

A new report by China Labor Watch has found that Foxconn’s vast ‘iPhone city’ factory is routinely breaking Chinese labour laws (The Register). Information gathered by undercover investigators at the factory over four years highlights issues including the illegal use of large numbers of temporary dispatch workers without full rights and benefits, ignoring overtime limits and claims – which Apple says are false – that insufficient radiation protection is provided to workers operating X-ray equipment.

All that glitters is not plastic (WIRED). Rachel Clowes, a London-based embroidery and print designer, is developing a new type of sequin for clothing embellishment that biodegrades at the end of its fashion lifetime. She calls them “bio-sequins”. Through her research, Clowes found that special-event wear has a short life, with sequinned clothing in particular worn only two to three times on average.

New research carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that a significant chunk of those surveyed – 18 per cent of 2,000 people were not online, with older and poorer people disproportionately affected (BBC News). The group, selected to be representative of British demographics, were interviewed in their own homes and indicated a continuation of a long-term trend of internet use drop-off after the age of 50.

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