Feeling burned out by bipartisan bickering? Well, there’s good news on the horizon, with “solar solutions” providing a breath of fresh air (pun intended) across the nation. One inspiring example is the progress being made by groups like Conservatives for Energy Freedom, and Floridians for Solar Choice, an unusual coalition of tea party and Christian Coalition conservatives, libertarians, the Florida Retail Federation, and liberal environmentalists such as the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, that is advocating for the freedom for citizens and businesses to choose to harness the “clean homegrown energy source” of the sun to generate electricity. They are proving that by framing climate solutions in a way that connects with the ideologies of conservatives and libertarians – emphasizing economic benefits, job creation, freedom of choice, economic liberty, and (energy) independence – then they are more than willing to get on board. Meanwhile, impressive growth in solar jobs provides bragging rights for Republicans and Democrats alike across the spectrum of conservative, liberal and swing states such as Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, California, North Carolina, and Ohio.
For tools and insights about how to effectively frame communications about climate solutions within your own communities, refer to ecoAmerica‘s research on Americans’ values and underlying motivations: American Climate Values 2014: Psychographic and Demographic Insights.
Solar energy boosters have a lot to be happy about these days. The growth in their industry has been tremendous, so much so that proponents are now able to wave around some pretty impressive stats. Like this: There are now over 173,000 solar jobs in the United States.
But here’s a perhaps less appreciated reality – solar is also catching on in a lot of states that we don’t traditionally think of as being liberal, do-gooder territory.
That’s one upshot of a new report out from the Solar Foundation, which breaks down solar jobs on a state by state basis. When you look at it this way, then yes, liberal California is the titan: It has 54,690 solar workers now (as of late 2014), or nearly one third of the national total.
However, look more closely at the map below, and you’ll see that solar is making inroads in a lot of other states, too, and the places where that’s happening are pretty politically diverse.