Tilting at the sun, again (Vernal Equinox 2019): They do it 4 times a year

The wonderful people at the Center at Donaldson up in Plymouth, Indiana are paying attention to the natural world, or maybe I should say our earthly home in relation to its travels in the solar system. In case you haven’t noticed, the sun has risen in the sky after what has been for many a

Being local in a time of madness: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Last night (aka ‘Fat Tuesday’) I said a few words at Mountain Mardi Gras, a “friend raising” event AIRE co-organized with the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country. From all accounts, the evening was as near-perfect as it possibly could have been. Our proclamation tagline was “Come hell or high water, there’ll be Mardi Gras

Toward Microgrid Learning: Poor Handmaids and The Center at Donaldson

With Phase 1 solar now operational and generating good results, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ with their various missions at The Center at Donaldson are wasting no time lighting up a Phase 2, some 5 times bigger (just over 500kW). The provincial and lay leadership behind this great work (and I do mean to

EV Moonshot Part 2: What we’ve learned driving our Nissan Leaf (around the dark side of the moon)

Making a commitment to drive an EV involves a pretty serious paradigm shift. Universal EV adoption is a critical step toward decarbonizing transportation, so long as we’re driving on renewable energy (not coal, natural gas, etc.). Driving an EV to get around town is a no-brainer; you can charge at home or at work and

New AIRE working paper on energy transition

I’ve just drafted a wide-ranging paper dealing critically with our present incumbent energy system, its undemocratic characteristics and ecologically dangerous methods, and on the other hand an energy transition that “ought to be.” I’m putting forth the argument that energy transition, in addition to being the more obviously technical project, is also a social project.

Here we are in 2019: Quilts as a metaphor for small roles in system change

Because it’s cold outside, but mostly for other reasons, I’ve been thinking about quilts, so I wanted to write about them as a reflection on the past year and in contemplation of the new one upon us. My family made one of those “barn quilts” that we see so much of in rural country for

Poor Handmaids Solar Performance Update: Early Dividends

We’ve posted previously (here, here and here) on our admiration for the leadership of Poor Handmaid’s Center at Donaldson, up in Indiana as they took action to walk their talk on renewable energy and creation care. Adam Thada, the Director of Ecological Relations just issued the first Provincial report on the financial and ecological returns

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change circles the year 2030 on our calendar

With the wave of recent hurricanes, floods and wildfires as real reminders of what we value in the face of climate-related loss, yet another climate report was just released. This one, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) bears special mention because of the worldwide stature of the IPCC and it’s decades-long work on

The Sun Crosses the Line: Autumn arrives 9:54 PM Sept. 22nd

Nowadays most folks can’t get from point A to point B without their GPS. There’s no sense of geography or direction. Who can intuitively point to north let alone describe the difference between “true north” and “magnetic north?” Add to that the likely fact that many folks can’t name the 50 states or identify them