Moving America Forward

One Man’s Plan to Green the Coal Industry, Spotlighting Urban Blight With Public Art and More

October 7, 2016
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One Man’s Plan to Green the Coal Industry, Spotlighting Urban Blight With Public Art and More
Virginia environmentalist and businessman Tom Clarke has a plan to remake coal mining into a greener industry. Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.

 

A Curious Plan to Fight Climate Change: Buy Mines, Sell Coal, The New York Times
The lines in the so-called war on coal were drawn long ago: Sierra Club lawyers, on one side, clashed with Republican legislators and energy companies on the other. Tom Clarke, owner of a chain of nursing homes, set up a lonely camp in the battlefield’s middle ground. His nonprofit is buying up mines at bankruptcy proceedings, then selling the coal bundled with carbon offsets from tree-planting.

The Art of Breathing Lights, Albany Times-Union
At sundown in upstate New York, the blight is aglow with light. For the next two months, as part of a massive public art project, hundreds of vacant clapboard homes in Albany, Schenectady and Troy are being lit from inside with LED lights. Pulsing as if they were slowly exhaling, these abandoned houses refuse to be ignored.

The Children Who Saw Too Much, RYOT
Whipped with a belt buckle by his abusive stepfather, 17-year-old Ryan grew up believing all adults deal with their problems through aggression. At least, until he attended the nation’s first summer camp for children marred by domestic violence, where he learned, amid the Northern California pines and Klamath River rapids, about a different emotion: hope.

 

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