With global economic conditions driving down wages for jobs which are fewer in number than the throngs of people who must work to pay for their cost of living, UWT students are looking at poor hiring prospects when we graduate.
Walmart’s workers in the U.S. have been striking for livable wages. Their pay is so low that many workers receive food stamps and subsidized medical care. The thirst for garments at low prices in the U.S. drives off-shore suppliers to pay the lowest wages possible and to cut corners regarding workers’ safety. In Bangladesh last month while earning little more than $1 per day, 112 workers died in a fire. Investigators found blocked exits, and the remains of major brand labels on partially-finished, burned clothing still on the sewing machines.
A dominant message we receive from the mainstream media tells us that we must allow off-shore drilling in vulnerable areas and fracking near our essential fresh-water aquifers, if we are to create more jobs. They tell us that the environment must be sacrificed in order for the economy to grow. Since our economy and all life on the planet are dependent upon and derived from the environment, many citizens realize that a sustained environment will ensure a sustained civilization.
Fossil fuels are limited. They came from the bodies of plants and animals which lived millions of years ago, before their extinction. Alternative forms of energy such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, and tidal are non-toxic, plentiful, and are in use or being installed by progressive people all around the planet.
Our region is known for its plentiful hydro-power. Wind-power has recently surpassed hydro in Washington for the first time, thanks in part to forward-thinking regulators within our local governments. Governor-elect Jay Inslee is a major proponent of the sustainable energy sector and author of the book, “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy.” Drawing on JFK’s challenge to put people on the moon within a decade, Inslee has challenged us to use our legendary ingenuity to halt the species-killing climate crisis while putting people to work.
Entrepreneurs and forward-thinkers have driven innovation in the past. Are we up to that challenge now, Huskies? The Great Recession has provided us with many highly-motivated yet uncommitted, intelligent co-producers full of great ideas. If jobs are not available, we can form cooperative, sustainable businesses of our own. Talk with your peers and colleagues about creating a sustainable future. We can do this.
Good paying jobs in the green energy sector, in sustainable agriculture and jobs cleaning up our toxic industrial legacy are not only increasing in numbers, they are imperative if we are to preserve a livable planet for our children.
For local sustainable job information see: www.indeed.com/q-Sustainable-l-Tacoma,-WA-jobs.html