When we cut jobs, are we cutting our own throats?
Jobs are our livelihoods; they give us life. In exchange for our time and energy, we earn income to meet our physical needs and we earn self-respect to fulfill our psychological needs.
A book, "The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills," explains how cutting fire tower observer and laundry facility jobs will transfer physical and psychological costs to our social safety nets. Stressed safety nets in turn undermine economic growth as people experience rising uncertainty.
These two jobs are directly connected to climate change. Climate change models indicate increasing forest fire risk; the US spent over $1 billion on wildfires in August. A prudent climate change adaptation strategy would be to test the camera system before dismantling the cupolas.
Regina, the chosen location for a centralized laundry, draws its water from 57 kilometres away, and climate change modeling predicts the region will become dryer. A shrewd adaption strategy would be to decentralize the laundry by investing in the diverse current laundry locations. Decentralization would also reduce CO2 emissions and highway infrastructure costs.
While the government's intention to "save money" is commendable, we must stop this insanity of ignoring silent evidence. The social evidence is mounting that austerity kills people and economic growth. The climate change evidence is mounting that adaptation is extremely costly.
Saving money needs to be a means to an intentional and intended end—not an unintended and unintentional end to our collective health and our shared environment.