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Useful And Fantastic: Jobs That Are Needed

Val Yule outlnes dozens of ideas that would provide work, improve the environment and add considerably to human happiness.

A low-consumption economy would require more jobs, not less. The Nobel Prize challenge is how to pay for them

The Industrial Revolution replaced dreadful toil with machines, but today extreme attempts to cut labour costs reduce quality of services and increase waste. Re-using rather than consuming can be labor intensive.

Jobs are needed in research and innovation; improving infrastructure; in durable, repairable and low technology quality products for all; more extensive salvage and maintenance; improving poor housing and environment; more care in production, such as selective logging not clear-felling; more humane animal care than factory-farming; sustainable primary industry which is more labor-intensive than risky monocultures; unhassled carers who are given sufficent time to properly look after children and the sick.

Some of the labor needed to replace unnecessary power waste encourages physical exercise – no bad thing.

Thousands of tasks need to be done to improve quality of life, but our current economics cannot pay for them. One reason is not fitting a simple measure of 'This amount of work = This amount of productivity'. For example, repairing anything can cost more in the short-term than buying new, obscuring long-term values which cannot be costed as easily. There is also the traditional arithmetic that those who provide services must be paid less than those who can pay to be served.

A New South Wales Premier, Maurice Iemma, said ‘What is the use of saving the planet if it wrecks the economy?’ A Nobel Prize, then, to adapt our malfunctioning economy to save the planet.

Improvements in the following areas would create many worthwhile jobs.

* Infrastructure to be vastly improved.

* The invention, manufacture and maintenance of vehicles that do not waste, pollute and endanger.

* Sewerage systems restructured and rebuilt to stop the current appalling waste of the most ''renewable'' fertilizer, enabling the salvaging heavy metals and the re-use of grey water at source.

* Repairing water supply systems.

* The establishment of emergency services to deal with the effects of climate change such as fires, floods, eruptions, high seas, dust-storms, etc.

* Products that are more innovative and less wasteful - renovatable, updatable, durable, beautiful, recyclable and exportable

* Increase rather than cut research in many fields such as the prevention of fires.

* Reverse the spread of deserts and employ the biological processes which convert rocks into soil.

* Fertilize land in a way that does not cause pollution or drainage problems.

* Develop plants which can withstand climate change and o not deplete oil.

* Use renewable non-polluting energy sources such as the sun, the wind and human power (exercise).

* Find uses for weeds which abound and are hardy.

* Sustainable housekeeping which cuts down on waste.

* Build environmentally friendly houses and create good community environments instead of piling up future problems by building wastefully-designed houses.

* Improve public services as a priority.

* Find uses for the things that are daily thrown out from homes, shops and building sites.

* Encourage work sharing.

* Conserve marine and forest areas to ensure wildlife survives.

* Encourage labour-intensive land care rather than relying on chemicals.

* Introduce "invention sabbaticals'' to encourage workers to develop new ideas.

* Promote national art and culture to add to the variety and beauty of world-wide life.

* The best of care for the sick, handicapped and elderly.

* Child care which involves less herding and more freedom.

* Life-long education to produce enterprising and idealistic adults.

* Fashions that are useful, durable and comfortable to wear, besides being beautiful.

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