This article was originally published on Mismanaging Perception.
“In 1980, whale watching surpassed whaling as an industry. Now it’s worth about four times as much. Whale watching provides far, far more jobs to people than whaling ever did.”
~ Paul Watson
The argument goes something like this: ‘We recognize that the planet is dying, but jobs’. All of Australia is aflame due to climate change, but we must provide jobs. There’s so much smog in China that you can conceal a factory on fire inside of it, but the economy comes first, so we need job growth. The Columbia River Crossing will increase carbon emissions, additional lanes incentivize additional traffic, but cars make jobs happen. Coal exports through our region will poison the air and increase respiratory illness, but yeah, sorry…jobs.
Ad nauseam we’re told that ecological devastation is unfortunate, yet unavoidable. The situation can’t be helped because somebody somewhere needs a job, and by God, no tree-hugging, job-killing regulations are gonna stand in the way!
But isn’t this Oregon? – a state widely considered to be the most sustainable and progressive in the nation, teaming with trees and hippies and salmon? Not anymore, there’s a new sheriff in town. Oregon’s reputation as a Green stronghold is being seriously threatened by some otherwise fairly blue Democrats pulling the jobs card to endorse every bad policy that comes their way. Their argument is not only absurdly childish, but dangerously ignorant, and it’s time for it to end, for all our sake.