Are all employment opportunities good?

1 minute read

A friend posted the following on Facebook, leading me to ask the question, are all employment opportunities good?

Kinder Morgan in its submission to the National Energy Board for its proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline:

“Pipeline spills can have both positive and negative effects on local and regional economies, both in the short- and long-term. Spill response and cleanup creates business and employment opportunities for affected communities, regions, and cleanup service providers.”

Which seems really easy to reject as unacceptable, but then it made me think how significant natural resource extraction is to the Canadian economy, or how much of the British Columbia economy is leveraging addiction (gambling and liquor).

Does there come a point where we evaluate what is an acceptable job or economy? Should sustainability, or harm to humanity or the earth be considered in the avaluation?

In information security, there is a popular, often required process called a Threat and Risk Assessment or TRA. It would be interesting to evaluate each of the above employment opportunities after answering "humanity and mother earth" to the first question in a TRA, "What needs to be protected?".

How would your employer fare? How would we handle an employment opportunity with unacceptable risk? How do we compare short-time economic gains with long-term sustainability threats?