I am linking to it casually (and making only superficial comments), but this professional code of ethics I have developed about working for the energy industry is one of my most important (and most expensive personally).
I live in Houston, which is basically the center of many energy companies, most of which deal with fossil fuels. I would estimate that 80% of the technical job opportunities in my field (Technical Writing and Instructional Design) are in the oil and gas field. I have turned them down without exception – no matter how lucrative or promising. I generally have to explain myself to HR people and recruiters; usually people’s response to my declaration that I could not work for any oil and gas companies is absolute amazement – and almost hilarity. “Is this guy crazy?” they must think.
I would love to remain in Houston, but it’s becoming harder to make a living here and stay true to these core ethical principles I have articulated on that page. The irony is that I genuinely enjoy the field of technical writing – plus I think I am really good at it, but if most of the jobs in your city are in an industry you find abhorrent, then what does it matter that a particular type of work is interesting or well-paying?
I have been working on a much longer blog post about the ethical question, “Is it ethical to work for an oil and gas company?” Stay tuned!