Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Myth Watch: Arts vs. Sciences

Press Release claims - "Professor of Agribusiness at the University of Waikato, Jacqueline Rowarth says if students are looking for lucrative careers, then they should study science."

(US) Statistics Show!

Mid career median income for philosophy majors: $81,200.  Strangely enough, this is higher than the salaries for people in:

Agriculture ($71900)
Chemistry ($79900)
Biology ($64800)
Business Management ($72100)

(It is also higher than for many other fields, but these seem like a good sample of those who will be getting 'Agribusiness' degrees).

Of course, if graduates really wanted to make as much money as possible, they should do degrees in...

Chemical Engineering ($107,000)
Computer Engineering ($105,000)
Electrical Engineering ($103,000)
Aerospace Engineering ($101,000)
Economics ($98,600)

These being the top rated 5 professions on the above list.  Or, our graduates could move to Australia, where they can work in the mines in Western Australia and earn a comfortable 6 figure salary.  But then, they would not even need a degree to do that.

Maybe the salary isn't the only important thing?  Crazy idea, I know.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fishing, Overfishing, and governments (finally) taking an interest.

It doesn't happen often, but occasionally a political party displays backbone and does something positive for the natural world.  This time, it was the Australian Federal Government, the Labour party, rapidly shoving through restrictions on a mammoth 'super-trawler' that was hoping to suck up vast amounts of fish in Australian waters.

Recreational fishers and the Green party are happy.  The 'business lobby' is apoplectic.  But the business lobby is consistently incredibly short sighted about their own interests.  If any of them had paid any attention to the history of the fishing industry, they would know how this works.  You take too many fish, all the fish are gone, everyone loses their jobs and your business collapses.  (For popular press coverage of this, see Mark Kurlansky's 'Cod' & 'The Last Fish Tale' detailing the collapse of European and US fisheries)  If there is anything this boat was going to do, it was take too many fish.

Old posts from LGM are relevant: Fish

Also from thinkprogress (linked in the LGM post): Top 5 fisheries stories of 2011