Last Sunday, General Dynamics-owned Bath Iron Works launched the last of three death machine “destroyers.” Two weeks ago, Rep. Chellie Pingree signed on to the “Green New Deal.” The two actions may seem unrelated, but they are not.

The Green New Deal would create “green” jobs by shifting the nation’s energy use to fossil fuel alternatives. The military is the single greatest contributor of fossil fuel emissions. Rep. Pingree correctly notes in her news release that the effects of climate change are already being felt here, from lobster and shellfish to rates of asthma and tick-borne illnesses.

And don’t forget the immense suffering exacted around the world through the direct action and support of our military – be it in Yemen, Gaza or among the Central American refugees on our southern border. Resources are consistently pulled away from humanitarian aid, health care and education while the military-industrial complex grows. General Dynamics is one of the greatest examples of corporate welfare in the country. This year, we added to their handout with state tax incentives. “Jobs” is always the argument for the handouts.

Ensuring that the hardworking people at BIW have viable employment is paramount. Transitioning jobs away from dependency on military spending toward building a sustainable infrastructure here at home is a way to do that. Let’s drop the false narrative that BIW in its current form is the only way for people to work. Let’s envision a new BIW, one that builds the future’s needs.

A dedicated group is working to gain the support of BIW workers in this transition. Come join us and we can build that future together! We are meeting on Saturday and on Dec. 22 at 11:30 a.m. on Washington Street, in front of the BIW administrative offices in Bath. Don’t lose hope, or your power!

Dan Marks

North Yarmouth

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