Looking at 2022: Much at stake, lots to gain


Every new year’s ritual involves reflecting on where we’ve been and looking ahead to where we may be headed. Rarely though, is this ritual engaged in any meaningfully critical sense. Instead, it’s the ubiquitous new year’s resolution. This year is no exception but what feels different, or at least more intensely amplified, is a dark


Pearson Garden Solar: making a way out of no way


Bountiful Cities’ Pearson Garden in Asheville is an inspiring and living example of making a way out of no way.[1] Just revealed in a new study, the billionaires in America increased their already staggering wealth by another $2.1 TRILLION (yes, trillion dollars) just during the 19 months of pandemic [2]. The report reminds readers that


The Town of Boone: facades, climate, and matters of priority


My home town, Boone, NC, is contemplating some zoning changes that will adversely affect rooftop solar. The proposed changes also reveal a mental model about the town’s priorities. There’s a new wave of political activity forming that will tilt closer to or farther away from sustainability and the town appears to be between a rock


On Earth Day 2021, Do Good to Feel Good: Mental Health Amid the ‘State of the World’ Crises


AIRE’s mentor was among the founders of the first Earth Day in Berkeley [1]. He argued that doing good work that benefits people and communities everyday would be more authentic and beneficial than a mere one day celebration. With his axiom in mind, let’s not be nihilistic about mental health in the title because, on


AIRE and Co-operate WNC: Making the (co-operative solar) road by walking


AIRE and Co-operate WNC have been in dialogue for several months around the questions of how do we cooperate to incubate a solar cooperative practice that harnesses the power of aggregated purchasing to reduce the cost of solar and how do we nurture a cooperative enterprise that sustains solar adoption and creates livelihoods for underserved


Democracy Crisis: The Court, Renewable Energy and Well-Being


Note: I heard Dahr Jamail on a podcast back in the summer saying he– a brilliant, award-winning journalist and author– can’t even write in the present moment. This is a guy who went independently to Iraq to cover war up close and in the streets. Now, instead of writing, he’s immersed in grassroots mutual support


North Carolina Outdoor Enthusiasts Come Together On Climate: Alpinist Kitty Calhoun to Host Dialogue


Kitty Calhoun will be giving a Zoom presentation for POW (the advocacy organization “Protect our Winters“), and focusing on the state of North Carolina’s abundant and varied outdoor adventure settings, on Oct 29 at 5pm Eastern. This virtual meet-up on Zoom will last 15 minutes and then get to sharing stories, Q&A, and discussion about


Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls: From Climbing Big Mountains to Confronting Climate Emergency


NOTE: Kitty Calhoun, the author of this op-ed, is an old friend, rock climbing partner, and fellow Outward Bound rock climbing instructor who went on to become an acclaimed alpinist thanks to her drive, focus, ability to endure, and especially for her minimalist approach to big mountains. Now, decades later, she’s climbing a much bigger


Burton Street Community Peace Gardens Solar Phase 1 Has Been Installed


The solar installation was completed on Monday, August 10th. Now we await only Duke Energy to connect the system to the grid. The advocacy community uses the term “slow walking” to describe how long that may take. Only Duke knows, but hopefully soon. The garden is producing healthy food, ideas, healing vibes, and is ready


What is solar for? AIRE’s new plan for cooperative, sustainable communities solar


This guiding question borrows from the title of a collection of essays, “WHAT ARE people FOR” by agrarian writer, Wendell Berry. It is provocative because it calls our values into question and challenges assumptions. Our conversations and activities at AIRE have recently asked a similar question out of the same vein– What is solar for?