Not many years ago, working for the care of the environment was the domain of a few crackpots and assorted boffins. Perceptions have changed and there exist a multitude of recognised qualifications and different kinds of environment jobs – in fact so many that the field has split into a host of sub-disciplines.
With global warming and rising sea levels becoming increasingly important issues, monitoring climatic change is now essential and there are careers in everything from adapting technology to managing emissions and reducing carbon footprints.
Conservation of what we already have is vital, too. There are environment jobs in London or in countryside management, wildlife protection, and keeping Public Rights of Way open. Taking conservation one step further, there are ecologists working to save special habitats and enforce laws governing protected species.
Energy efficiency is not just good for the planet, it makes financial sense, too. Building engineers and technicians are researching new insulation materials and establishing improved building codes to reduce fuel consumption.
We’ve learnt that protecting the environment is necessary for the survival of all Earth’s species and so teachers are in demand to educate the next generation of environmentalists. Lessons, courses and school visits to make children aware through projects and field studies are crucial.
Food production and, in particular, organic food is big business and must be strictly controlled as must be the requirement to oversee all aspects of horticulture and its development.
The oceans regulate our biosphere and understanding their ecology and biodiversity is vital to our own existence. Fish stocks need to be managed if they are to be preserved and, if one knows how to read them, the warnings of small marine creatures indicate when the environment is out of kilter.
It is no longer acceptable to discard ‘rubbish’ without consideration of how the raw materials were produced or where the residue will end up. Recycling, waste management, and reducing landfill are key to our planet’s survival.
Fossil fuels will soon be exhausted and alternatives are being sought requiring the installation of wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and hydro-electric power systems.
The ‘what’s it got to do with me?’ attitude is gradually vanishing but there is still a lack of awareness of how even small gestures can help. Environment workers exist to educate against and discourage wastefulness and unnecessary travelling, and to encourage car sharing or commuting by Public Transport, walking or cycling, or using alternative fuels.