Civilian Conservation Corps worker Carl Simon installs insulators on top of a telephone pole about 1940 in Superior National Forest in Minnesota. It’s December 2025, the end of a difficult year. Just a few months earlier, a massive hurricane destroyed dozens of homes in your town, even killed a few of your neighbors. Your house was fine, but you lost power for weeks. The waterfront park where you liked to eat lunch between shifts as a cashier is underwater. Trees are still down, and mudslides cover several roads, making it basically impossible to pick up the extra money you made driving an Uber . Despair starts to eclipse the guilt you feel for surviving the storm. Then one day you’re scrolling your social media feed and see an update from one of your friends. She’s replanting native trees in the park and helping restore the wetland that once helped absorb storm surge before developers drained it to build some beachfront McMansions. She’s earning a better wage than you are and receiving on-the-job training from a local union. You text her, asking how she got the gig. She sends you a link to the Civilian Climate Corps homepage. That federal […]

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