We often hear that fossil fuel extraction creates jobs. But did you know that energy efficiency actually creates more?

In other words, there are more jobs to be had in making sure we use less fossil fuels than in actually digging those fuels up. And what’s more, my colleague Basav Sen reports this week, those efficiency jobs are often better paid, more unionized, and cheaper to create.

A few places even have programs to fill those jobs with people who’ve been excluded from the old economy — like black women. Did you know that it takes the typical black woman about 20 months to earn what a white man earns in a year? It happens even where black women represent a huge share of the work force, my colleague Jessicah Pierre explains, and even though they get college educations at exceptionally high rates.

Jessicah offers good ideas for moving forward. But, as Yolanda Parker warns this week, others are looking to move back. Yolanda grew up in segregated Mississippi, and she’s worried a changing Supreme Court could bring those days back.

Also this week, Norah Vawter shares a moving letter to her young child, laying out some of the everyday pleasures — like snow days and walks in the woods — she hopes he’ll still have when he reaches her age. And Larry Checco tells wealthy CEOs, who just got a huge tax break, to stop whining.

Jill Richardson, Jim Hightower, and Khalil Bendib are taking a week off, and I’m on the road myself. But we’ll be back with more next week.

New This Week…

In Case You Missed It…

  • Amazon’s Worst Bargain Yet | Katie Parker
    The retail behemoth wants your local government’s business, but there’s a hidden cost to low prices: Local businesses get shut out.
  • How to Turn Back a Giant | Negin Owliaei
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania residents kept a private prison giant out of their community. It’s an inspiring example for others.
  • Rural America Stands Up for Immigrants | Justin Vest
    I’m sick of politicians who exploit the suffering of rural white communities like mine to justify atrocities against immigrants.
  • The Organic Food Industry Thrives on Regulation | Jill Richardson
    Without strict standards, the organic label would become worthless. So why is the White House rolling them back?

 

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Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of OtherWords.org.