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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday April 12 2014, @08:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the If-only-we-had-crumbling-infrastructure-in-need-of-repair. dept.

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."

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bucc5062 on Saturday April 12 2014, @10:59AM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Saturday April 12 2014, @10:59AM (#30507)

    " China despite its problems doesn't have these problems."

    No, but they are destroying their eco-system, polluting their air at a rate that makes 19th Century moguls blush in shame. Would you rather live in Seattle or Beijing, swim in the yellow river or most rivers in the US. No thank you, I don't like to shit in my own house for profit.

    "The Republicans have been doing their share, "

    Indeed they have, ramping up national debt, massive redistribution of wealth upwards, starting unwinable wars...well done republicans.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday April 12 2014, @11:09AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 12 2014, @11:09AM (#30509) Journal

    No, but they are destroying their eco-system, polluting their air at a rate that makes 19th Century moguls blush in shame. Would you rather live in Seattle or Beijing, swim in the yellow river or most rivers in the US. No thank you, I don't like to shit in my own house for profit.

    Yes, they aren't perfect. But do you really think the only way to invent stuff, employ people, or start businesses is Beijing level pollution or their ridiculous, authoritarian government at the national level?

    • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Saturday April 12 2014, @09:57PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Saturday April 12 2014, @09:57PM (#30613)

      " But do you really think the only way to invent stuff, employ people, or start businesses is Beijing level pollution or their ridiculous, authoritarian government at the national level?"

      No. It is understandable that some regulations may effect business, but I'd rather err on the side of good for the environment and people then just for profit. Stuff will always get invented, but just would like it when we do so without raping most of the population along the way.

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      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 2) by khallow on Saturday April 12 2014, @11:04PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 12 2014, @11:04PM (#30624) Journal

        but I'd rather err on the side of good for the environment and people then just for profit. Stuff will always get invented, but just would like it when we do so without raping most of the population along the way.

        My view is that when you artificially restrict innovation, jobs, businesses, you aren't on the side of good. As to your glib "stuff will always get invented", I find it interesting how the people who don't have any faith that the private world will do the right thing somehow think it will continue doing these wonderful things for them, no matter how many obstacles they throw in the way.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Saturday April 12 2014, @03:54PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday April 12 2014, @03:54PM (#30541) Journal

    "The Republicans have been doing their share, "

    Indeed they have, ramping up national debt, massive redistribution of wealth upwards, starting unwinable wars...well done republicans.

    I totally agree except for the implication that Democrats have not been doing the same. All these free trade agreements with third world economies that bear no resemblance to ours -- that got legs during the Clinton administration. We've offshored significant swaths of manufacturing. People tend to look askance at the blue collar worker and just say "be motivated, go to school, learn to be a coder/accountant/doctor even though it's been 30 years since you were in school." But knowledge work is susceptible too -- even doctors aren't immune because it is so much cheaper to have an MRI read in SE Asia that here.

    examples:
    http://www.brw.com.au/p/sections/professions/benef its_of_offshore_accountants_z8jyi8TwasPeviRKj7XVHM [brw.com.au]
    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44949425/ns/health-cance r/t/doctor-reading-your-x-rays-maybe-not/#.U0lg-Si RvkE [nbcnews.com]

    Free trade agreements between equal economies are good things, but the same agreement with a third world economy is suicide. And it's the Democrats who really got that rolling. Not that Republicans aren't happy to help. In other words -- they both suck beyond the ability of science to measure.