Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10 Jobs that Serve the Environment

Here are ten careers that give you a chance to help reduce human impacts on the environment. No matter how you look at it, green jobs are are on the increase all around the world. In addition to the important field of green energy contractors here are ten areas that are vital for the health and well being of our environment.

1. Renewable Energy Engineer

Whatever the future holds for the energy sector, we will have to transition away from fossil fuels sooner or later. Either because we seek to avert the worst impacts of global warming or as a worst case scenario, because of the growing scarcity of oil. Engineers that specialize in technologies like solar, wind, and geothermal are required to conceive and develop new approaches to energy post oil. We will continue to investigate new ways to develop a cleaner and more efficient sources of energy and renewable energy engineers are a crucial part of it.

2. Sustainable Fisherman

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish a little too well, with a worldwide fleet of ships, vast inescapable nets, and 21st-century technology, and you end up with a crisis. It's the "tragedy of the commons" in its purest form. Many of our most delectable seafood favorites are being fished nearly into oblivion and will face extinction shockingly soon if we don't make some intelligent collective decisions.

3. Seed Banker

The priceless importance of biodiversity has become clear to us, as we watch many of the world's species of plants and animals meet their end. In agriculture this risk takes on a special human significance, as mankind's dabbling "improves" crops (we've been genetic engineers for 10,000 years) but can ultimately homogenize them, leaving them vulnerable to disease and other problems. Seed banks aim to provide back-up copies of all the plants we use, in case of famine or global catastrophe. Though seed banks exist all over the world, the most impressive must be the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, where nearly a million varieties are stored under a mountain on a an island in the Arctic, just outside the world's northernmost town.

4. Park Ranger

Conservation matters, an insight that may have been new and radical over a century ago, coming from Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, but we should accept it as obvious by now. Unfortunately, we can expect economic factors to increase pressure on governments to divest themselves of protected public land for energy and mineral extraction and other commercial uses. That would be a shame. National parks are some of our most valuable assets … and not all assets are for spending.

5. Bioethicist

The amazing things going on in biotechnology are going to change not only our individual lives, but our idea of what humanity itself is. We'll need to develop new moral norms to adapt to this brave new world and keep our souls.

6. Schoolteacher

Education is our future, it is ultimately what children learn in their formative years will translate to what they do as adults. Learning about our planet and human impacts will go a long way to helping young people to get involved in efforts to make things better.

7. Writer

Communicating with large numbers of people about the state of our planet and our impacts upon it is crucial, as is sharing ways we can improve our relationship to the Earth. Writing has the potential to change the world and the alphabet remains our most powerful technology to hack minds and alter society.

8. Sustainability Officer

A sustainability officer is an increasingly important position within a corporation. More companies are coming to understand that sustainability is also about profitability. They help to develop, measure and coordinate a companies sustainability initiatives. An increasing number of institutions offer training to help people become corporate sustainability officers.

9. Corporate Social Responsibility Manager:

This position is an invaluable occupation in a society where businesses are leading the charge to reduce their impacts on the Earth. They work to ensure that corporations are more benevolent. It's good PR for them, and just plain good for the rest of us.

10. Elected Official

Never more than today we need to see elected officials who have the courage to put environmental issues on the map. The failure of elected officials to act on climate change is a travesty. We need to see more people entering public service with the aim of making environmental issues issues a top priority.

Some of these career choices have been derived from an article entitled 30 Jobs that Will Save the Planet.

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