From bigger wildfires to stronger hurricanes to deadly heatwaves to extended droughts, we’re already feeling the impacts of the climate crisis. We already have the technology solutions we need to move towards a steep decarbonization path. Yet, no company or government is acting at the scale of the emergency.
In fact, Big Tech is fueling the climate crisis. The tech industry relies on energy intensive data centers to power the internet. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are also selling custom AI and big data services to Oil and Gas companies to accelerate extraction and exploration. Amazon and Google are funding the climate-denying think tank, Competitive Enterprise Institute. Amazon is spewing pollution with faster and faster deliveries. So what are we to do?
In this talk, I will share the story of how Amazon tech workers are organizing for climate justice and already winning changes within the company. I will examine how this fits within a broader movement of tech workers using their power to push for ethical changes, and through that effort, finding more meaning in their work. We will conclude with reflections on how each of us, in the positions we’re in, can use our voices and our skills to come together collectively for meaningful change within the tech industry.
With a background in computer science and human computer interaction, Rebecca Deutsch has 15 years of experience building teams and products in the tech industry. She led product development teams at Microsoft for a decade, co-founded a STEM education nonprofit that was acquired to form the initial team of Code.org, and was co-founder and CTO for a software startup for 3 years. In 2016, confronting how dire and unjust the climate crisis is, she joined 350 Seattle as an organizer, working on a grassroots campaign that won the City Council passing a divestment ordinance. Since then, she has been supporting tech workers who are organizing together to make meaningful change at work.