I stumbled upon an article in the New York Times describing how North Dakota has an incredibly unusual problem. They have more jobs than housing. How could that be?
North Dakota has a lot of one thing: oil fields. And those oil fields needs lots of people and they pay them a lot. This is probably due to the high risk of the job and the very high profits of the industry.
So what’s the problem? There isn’t any housing! People walk around the town with a pocket full of money and nowhere to live. From motels to trailer parks to campgrounds to apartments. Everything is full and/or has a wait list.
Why is this being discussed on an environmental blog? Because we have to make economics part of the environmental discussion every day. The truth of our society is this: corporations, governments and communities won’t truly accept a change in lifestyle until it is economically beneficial to do so.
As evidence, look at the evolution of environmentally friendly vehicles. Green vehicles didn’t hit the market until the business model started to erode and the consumers demanded clean vehicles. A pathetic but true fact.