Pictured: the "good ol' days."
So the next step is figuring out what thriving modern industry can replace those jobs for a long period of time. It would have to be a livelihood that's a) easy to train coal miners to do and b) growing enough to sustain a huge workforce.
Yep. That crispy beardo living in his vegetable oil Mazda Bongo up the road from your high school? Turns out he was a leader of industry this whole time. Kids, consider that the next time you shy away from some weird stranger, because you could be harshing a very lucrative business opportunity. And the transition is already happening in places like Australia, where a coal mining town transformed itself into one of the country's largest solar farming communities. It's also in the U.S., where areas in Colorado rose from the coal ashes with a $800,000 boost in marijuana tax revenue. There have even been studies looking into the transition, which found that most coal mining workers not only could be cheaply retrained to work solar and wind farm gigs, but would also make more doing it. And that's not even assuming the coal companies would transition over themselves, which is exactly what's happening to a state-run mining group in India.