You call that democracy? How Virginia’s electric co-ops fail their member-owners


What does “cooperative” mean when you think of your rural electric provider? It’s probably not what you think. I’ve known through direct participation, observation, reading, and following the stories elsewhere, that rural EMC’s (electric co-ops) are, at best, nominally democratic despite perceptions or assumptions to the contrary.[1] One of the people I’ve followed is Seth


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


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


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?


Plan for Beyond the Panel: A Solar and Land Use Seminar


The Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association will be holding its semi-annual professional development conference on July 30th, 2020. We mention this event because it promises to be informative in addressing an important yet, often overlooked topic– land use after solar is installed. But more importantly to us, it showcases the bold and brilliant