Fixing the environment creates jobs

To the editor:

The good news about solving the greenhouse gas problem is that sustainability creates jobs and saves money. The fastest growing occupation in the period 2014-24 is “wind turbine service technician,” at a rate two and a half times the next fastest career, with median pay of $52,260 per year. Solar electric installations are good work for electricians and welders. Many other inventions and retrofitting work are needed. There is great potential for innovative companies to create many new jobs and wealth. Money saved with efficiency improvements is money freed for other uses. It’s like getting a raise.

The bad news is that the president hasn’t gotten the memo. His decision to pull out of the Paris Accord puts the U.S. in opposition to nearly every other country in the world (and the Pope). This doesn’t help American business abroad, but helps fossil-fuel companies maintain their concentrated wealth. The rest of us are being taken out of the game.

The science is clear, but a minority of people dismiss it because they do not want government regulations to limit personal freedoms. But regulations also prevent individual freedoms from causing harm to others. With no regulations, we’d have to fight for everything: safe water and food, safe travel, and the protection of personal property. Climate change is one way that our actions hurt others throughout the globe.

Which brings me to faith. I am a Christian, so  I have an imperative to be a good steward of God’s creation that sustains all life. I’m reminded of the parable of the good Samaritan. There are a priest and a Levite in the story who pass by the victim because they had important work to do, but Jesus taught a different message. Most faiths include stewardship imperatives. Let’s focus on that and work together to create a sustainable life for all future generations.

Bill Middlecamp
Apple Valley