I’m spending a few days in Elizabethtown College next week as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. One of the talks I’ve proposed is “Job Security in a Globally Warmed World: What you need to study to be employable in 2020 and 2040.”
Perhaps the talk title should be “What Color is Your Parachute? It better be some shade of green.”
I’d welcome your thoughts, since this is a tricky issue. For instance, will we be desperate for more marine biologists — or will that job be an oxymoron in a few decades (see “Imagine a World without Fish“)?
One clear piece of advice — don’t plan on being part of the U.S. airline industry. It has never been profitable and has no business model for oil at $150 a barrel, let alone $200 or higher, which is what we face in 2020 and beyond (see World’s top energy economist warns “We have to leave oil before oil leaves us”). On the other hand, the clean energy and water efficiency business will boom. True, doctors specializing in diabetes and obesity will be in demand, but let’s keep the focus to job market changes driven by energy and climate.
Air conditioning repair, yes, ski instructor, no. Forest fire fighter, yes, gardener in the desert Dust Bowl Southwest, not so much.
To help imagine Labor Day 20 years from now, let me revise my earlier piece, “When the global Ponzi scheme collapses (circa 2030), the only jobs left will be green.”