Australia’s mining industry is facing a major skills shortage because Gen Z kids are too “green” and don’t want to devote their lives to fossil fuels. These inner-city lefties! How selfish of us to avoid controversial industries that are actively destroying the planet!

The Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association (AREEA) released a report last week that said the mining industry needs 24,000 new workers during the next five years to keep on top of its projects. Which includes coal mining.

“Our industry is battling the worst skills crisis in a generation,” AREEA’s chief executive Steve Knott said, per ABC.

The associations head of public relations Tom Reid said there aren’t enough workers at present “to continue operations at their full productivity level”. Tragic.

It turns out that according to industry leaders, the lack of workers is in part because of a “misinformation” campaign about mining on social media.

“The first roadblock to getting young people on board is a constant barrage on social media, which gives them a false impression of the industry and the opportunities that lie in there,” Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“We’ve launched a program directly targeted at the hearts and minds of Gen Z, saying to them: ‘don’t stand on the sidelines throwing rocks, get involved in this industry — you be part of the transition as the industry and the world moves to net zero by 2050’.

“There are highly paid jobs waiting for you in an industry that is doing everything it can to improve its environmental and social performance,” he said.

What is it about mining giant Glencore — one of Australia’s top three coal producers — pleading guilty to charges of bribery in certain African countries that is “false” and misleading, I wonder?

Could it be that perhaps Gen Z don’t want to work for companies like Rio Tinto, who did an oopsie and blew up a 46,000 year old site of Indigenous culture to expand its mines?

What about the fact that fossil fuel companies are near single-handedly accelerating our rush to climate destruction? Or even the fact that coal miners, as workers, are at risk of severe health impacts due to being surrounded by toxic dust all day???

Let’s also not forget it was BP that coined the concept of a “carbon footprint” to place the onus of climate action back onto individuals rather than on the fossil fuel industry. It’s literally propoganda and their PR team is bloody good because we still use the term.

How can these industries ever successfully shift to something that is environmentally sustainable or, like, even vaguely ethical? News flash: they can’t, so instead they’re trying to a) gaslight you into thinking joining the industry is somehow going to make it less destructive and b) that if you don’t, you’re just a snowflake young person “throwing rocks” as they say.

Sorry mining execs but not even Julie Bishop‘s gasmine, gatekeep, girlboss ad could sashay its way into any climate-conscious young person’s heart. Even a cushy salary doesn’t matter that much if we don’t have a future to spend it on.

Gen Z killing the mining industry should bring about a shift into renewables, not a guilt-tripping decrying of “misinformed” young people.

Don’t patronise us.