Papas Fritas writes:
Barry Levine writes that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging environmentalists to have some compassion for the coal miners they help put out of work because they can't be easily retrained to do other jobs. "Mark Zuckerberg says you can teach them to code and everything will be great. I don't know how to break it to you but no" said Bloomberg. "You're not going to teach a coal miner to code." Bloomberg, who is an environmental activist, said while he gives "a lot of money to the Sierra Club" to shut down coal-fired power plants and to promote green energy projects, society needs to "have some compassion to do it gently."
Thousands of coal mining jobs have been shed throughout the country, there were about two thousand fewer coal miners in March 2014 than at the same time last year. Coal-reliant states, like Kentucky have been hit especially hard with more than 2,200 mining jobs lost in that state alone last year a 23 percent decline. Bloomberg suggested subsidies to help displaced workers, like coal miners, and maybe even retaining. But Bloomberg said retraining isn't always an option, especially in an economy becoming increasingly tech savvy. Bloomberg stressed the need for the retraining to be "realistic."
In South Yorkshire many years back as coalmines were being closed left right and centre.I was on a course for CAD CAM basically programming milling machines and lathes, Autocad, and assembly. Most of the fellas on that course were redundant miners and a pretty smart bunch as i remember.
One of the things that annoyed them was that anytime the tv camera's came near the collieries they always picked the biggest and thickest miner to interview.
I particularly remember amongst the CMP JMP and other mnemonics was ATT. About That Time. invoked when it was time to take a break for a brew.
They did a dirty dangerous hard job and deserve a lot more respect than they are generally given.
I guess the idea is that the set of skills you need to be a good coder is a completely different one than the set of skills you need to be a good miner. Which doesn't say that one of the sets is somehow better than the other (of course, on this site there are obviously more coders than miners, and thus on average the people here will value coding skills more than mining skills; but then, on a miner's forum it would probably be the complete reverse).
Not only is their job dirty and dangerous, it is harder than one might think.there are many jobs in a mine, but most people who work there are skillled tradesmen.the eqipment hasn't stood still either; mines have been mechanized for decades, and the control systems become more advanced as technology in general is computerized.
And though Bloomberg's sympathy is welcome and needed,coal miners don't necessarily have to hang up their lamps; there's no reason other new mines can't be opened; there are lots of other minerals we need.
I have worked with a coder who came from those very same mine closures - perfectly good at his coding and technical consulting job.
Of course we are talking US rather than UK, maybe their coalminers are all big and thick. Or maybe their mayors are - remind me how many qualifications are needed to be mayor...