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Guest Thinkers

Navajos Turn to Solar Power

While coal has long supplied energy to the Navajo tribe in Arizona, new inspiration and political will is calling for renewable energy to build the society’s future.

“For decades, coal has been an economic lifeline for the Navajos, even as mining and power plant emissions dulled the blue skies and sullied the waters of their sprawling reservation. But today there are stirrings of rebellion. Seeking to reverse years of environmental degradation and return to their traditional values, many Navajos are calling for a future built instead on solar farms, ecotourism and microbusinesses. ‘At some point we have to wean ourselves,’ Earl Tulley, a Navajo housing official, said of coal as he sat on the dirt floor of his family’s hogan, a traditional circular dwelling.”


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