Moving America Forward

Solar Trumps Coal When It Comes to Jobs, Cash Handouts Deter Crime in California and More

February 24, 2017
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Solar Trumps Coal When It Comes to Jobs, Cash Handouts Deter Crime in California and More
A study released last month by the Department of Energy found that the solar industry employs twice as many workers as coal, oil and gas combined. Photo by Chu Yang/ChinaFotoPress
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.

 

Solar Now Provides Twice As Many Jobs As the Coal Industry, Co.Exist
While the coal industry faces a sharp decline, solar power is growing at record levels — adding jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the overall workforce. The industry is also a more lucrative option for people without higher education. As one advocate puts it, “This is just an incredible example of the opportunities that exist for people that need these opportunities the most.”

Building Trust Cuts Violence. Cash Also Helps. The New York Times
A radical approach to gun violence has helped reduce the homicide rate by nearly 60 percent in Richmond, Calif., formerly one of the nation’s most dangerous cities. Spearheaded by DeVone Boggan, a NationSwell Council member, the program identifies those most likely to be involved in violent crimes and pays them a stipend to turn their lives around. Aside from the cash benefits, participants receive mentoring from “neighborhood change agents” who have come out of lives of crime themselves.

Iceland Knows How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse but the Rest of the World Isn’t Listening, Mosaic Science
In the last two decades, Iceland has implemented an ambitious social program that’s nearly eliminated substance abuse among teens. After research showed that young people were becoming addicted to the changes in brain chemistry brought on by drugs and alcohol, experts decided to “orchestrate a social movement around natural highs,” offering extensive after-school programs in sports, dance, music — anything that could replicate the rush of drugs. This, coupled with stricter laws and closer ties between parents and schools, led to a huge societal makeover. Proponents of the program hope to recreate it in the U.S., but funding and public opinion remain obstacles.

MORE: Just Because You’re a Member of the Far Right Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Believe in the Importance of Solar Energy

 

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