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


Connecting the Dots: Super storms, resilience, and the enduring blind spot


I just spent a few days on the Florida panhandle, where I went to see firsthand the ground-zero of Hurricane Michael at Mexico Beach. I was there 4 months to the day after Michael made its devastating landfall. Stunned. Sick to the stomach. Scary. Despair. Nothing in my experience prepared me for the sight. Standing


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


Cooperation: Can We Reimagine and Recreate it for Energy for Everyone?


I recently spent some time with Nathan Schneider in Boulder, Colorado. He’s a Media Studies professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and the author of a new book, Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That is Shaping the Next Economy. I recommend it! Let me connect some dots as to how the book relates


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


Why we do what we do: The moral action of community solar by and for people


AIRE’s core mission is to help nonprofit organizations and community-minded people develop solar projects at their schools, shelters, food systems, houses of worship, and other important public places. And, not just put solar up for show, mind you; our design principle is to push the benefits of ownership and control to that “community” and not


Solar Power, the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics & What My Economics Degree Left Out


Two economists were just awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics. Of course that isn’t a newsflash, because it happens every year, but the work for which they were recognized is both newsworthy and urgent. The dwindling window of opportunity to decarbonize the global economy and literally save the biosphere, combined with the fact that


Repost from Virginia: Shining light on rural electric cooperatives


We encourage folks to check out Seth Heald’s piece on Power for the People VA, where he opines that “Electric co-ops are supposed to operate democratically, but do they really? And what happens when they don’t?” Check out what he has to report on a petition he and fellow members filed at the state’s utility