Energy and mining: employment lean and dirty

Now do not get me wrong I am all for job growth especially good jobs that pay above average salaries but is Canada’s current hegemonic accumulation strategy (HAS) of a resource hinterland with a financial hub really the way forward? In the graph below I plot the employment intensity (or employment richness) of the major sectors of the Canadian economy.

Notice that Mining, Energy production, and power and water supply are the least employment intense of the major sectors. For example mining and energy production taken together accounted for nearly 19% of total value added (VA) in the Canadian economy but only a paltry .16% of employment in 2005. In case you are wondering the economy wide average ratio *including* these sectors is 1 %VA = .8 % employment. Exclude these sectors and the economy wide ratio would be even closer to parity.

However there are significant reasons outside of employment to doubt the current HAS. As Marc Lee points out in a recently published paper by the CCPA co written with Ken Carlaw, an economist at UBC-Okanagan, called Climate Justice, Green Jobs and Sustainable Production in BC, not only are mining and energy anaemic job creating sectors they are among the most environmentally unsustainable.

For a brief on Marc and Ken’s paper click here

UPDATE: Tom Walker has pointed out that perhaps the whole conversation on unemployment and the environment should probably shift to an adult conversation on work time reduction. I agree. See the comments section at the link to Marc’s post above.

Belief in Global Warming is being like a Marxist: You read it in the Wall Street Journal First

Part of the genius of Marxism, and a reason for its enduring appeal, is that it fed man’s neurotic fear of social catastrophe while providing an avenue for moral transcendence. It’s just the same with global warming….


That is genius.  Worrying about how humans organize themselves into ultimately counter-productive and anti-social  systems and then suggesting that none of it is natural and that we ought to do something about it is just crazy and apparently the hallmark of religious thinking.  But hey we have naturalized the state failure–market failure–state failure  cycle why not global warming too?  Rinse and repeat.