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?


Village Wiring Vision: every place needs one


Wherever your place and community may be, you need a guiding question. DO YOU HAVE A VILLAGE WIRING VISION? Whether you’re a faith community, university, city, rural community, or other community of interest, this ought to be a central organizing question. Of course AIRE’s specific focus is community-owned renewable energy, but Sister Mary Baird gives


Solar Power, Historic Theatre Renovations & Community Building


Solar projects are obviously valuable ecologically and financially, but they can also spread enthusiasm in a community. Last Monday we had the pleasure of meeting a group of folks who are doing just that in the beautiful little town of Plymouth, in northwestern Indiana. They’re well into the restoration of their historic “main street” (N.


Poor Handmaids’ Ancilla College Solar ready for the semester!


Ancilla College is going green! so says South Bend, Indiana ABC channel 57. This is most certainly not fake news. We’re mighty proud of Poor Handmaids and the folks behind their groundbreaking work. The provincial leadership is worthy of 5-stars for it’s leadership and the lay staff (CFO, building/maintenance/engineering, fleet management, etc.) have perfectly executed


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


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