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?


Looting and Language: Seeing Right-Side Up Through the Smoke of Burning Cities


Everyone by now has seen commentary on the “looting” that has taken place amidst the smoke in Minneapolis and other cities. It’s true that lots of looting occurs in the United States. The problem is that the word “looting” is being used dog whistle style, mostly by politicians and others to deflect attention away from


False Dawn: don’t mistake a coronavirus clear sky with a global warming shut-off switch


You’re probably seeing reports (e.g. here and here) of how the air around Los Angeles and other places is suddenly clean with the economy turned off now. I even had a dream last night that I could see a lake in the distance that I’d never seen from a mountaintop I’ve frequented many times. I


Getting our Bearings: Wayfinders, knowledge, and truth in a revealing time


I’ve been thinking about all the interrelated crises[1] that seem to be coming to a head now with the deadly coronavirus shutting down large swaths of social and economic activity. My mind tends to go there, especially with a little time to expand my imagination and questions amidst a real-life global calamity. There’s nothing theoretical


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.