In a piece arguing for a guaranteed universal income C.A. L’Hirondelle highlights the problem with “green jobs” and economic growth:
Green Jobs are supposed to save both the economy and the environment. However, the number of green jobs can never match the number of jobs created by an economic system based on waste and destruction. There are millions of jobs in the oil and auto sector, the military industrial complex, the processed food industry, and industries that rely on mass consumption of cheap consumer goods. And then there are all the jobs that exist to try to fix the harm created by all the ‘wrecking’ jobs.
An oil spill in the Burrard Inlet would be a surefire Job Creator.
L’Hirondelle points to the other side of the green jobs conundrum:
Conversely, if people follow voluntary simplicity, grow veggie gardens, eat healthy home cooked meals, walk, bike and use public transit, pack homemade lunches, drink homemade beer and wine, live frugally in modest green homes, and become so imbued with happiness that world peace breaks out… this would cause a seismic loss of jobs world wide.
Healthy, happy, people can never create the same number of jobs as a society of unhappy, TV-watching, junk-food eating, booze-swilling, tobacco-smoking, car-dependent, compulsive-shoppers with epidemic diseases, illness and addictions. The current economy is designed as a perpetual wrecking/fixing machine. Very good for jobs, but bad for everyone and everything else.
My research on the contradictions of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan investigated the challenge of reducing Vancouver’s ecological footprint while also planning to grow and globalize its economy. I plan to summarize this work here ahead.
Overcoming this destructive jobs cycle is a key task for this century.