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’s “solar benefit web calculator” has been updated


Granted it isn’t only for the potential of saving money that we might want to put solar on our home, business, school or place of worship. After all, greenhouse gas emissions are literally killing us. Money is a necessary construct though, if you’re going to install solar. The sunshine is free but it does cost


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


We were hungry: local and global food insecurity and great works


The World Food Programme’s (WFP) 2020 Nobel Peace Prize and reading yesterday’s Washington Post story about mothers stealing baby food to survive gives me the sinking feeling that Christmas 2020 will not be “merry” for many. The global pandemic, wars, and climate change have 270 million people on the brink of starvation according to WFP.


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


Cutting Edge Energy Demonstration: The Center at Donaldson Does It Again


I’ve posted many times on the effort of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ at the Center at Donaldson to live their beliefs in integral ecology. Their renewable energy development agenda the past couple years is an institutional model that demonstrates how significant progress can be made with committed leadership (and here) all coordinated by


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?


Historical memory, hands-on learning, solar powered resilience: Burton Street Community Peace Gardens Solar


WILLIAM “SHORTY” IRBY and a monument meant to endure… Because the crowdfund campaign for the solar project has been so successful, it’s allowing the gardens to leap right into its Phase 2 solar vision, which is equipping the garden’s hands-on lab with equipment to train for solar. This is very significant and here’s the story.


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