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A county fair in Greene County, Pennsylvania, the heart of Appalachian coal country, isn’t where one might expect to find education on adapting to climate change; yet, in the summer of 2020, the nonprofit Center for Coalfield Justice (CCJ), in partnership with MIT, presented an interactive game to share important ideas about coal, adaptation, and the local economy.
Greene County is a case-study site for Here and Real, a project launched in October 2018 by MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI). The project engages with hydrocarbon-producing regions in the United States to connect local perspectives, values, and priorities with climate-change science and solutions, and works with government and academic leaders in Wyoming to foster conversations about how to lower carbon emissions while maintaining a strong local economy. In addition, Here and Real is collaborating with local newsrooms though the recently launched ESI Journalism Fellowship, which supports and trains journalists in connecting what is happening on the ground locally with the broader reach of climate-change science and solutions.