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


The Town of Boone: facades, climate, and matters of priority


My home town, Boone, NC, is contemplating some zoning changes that will adversely affect rooftop solar. The proposed changes also reveal a mental model about the town’s priorities. There’s a new wave of political activity forming that will tilt closer to or farther away from sustainability and the town appears to be between a rock


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


Asheville’s Bountiful Cities’ Pearson Community Garden Going Solar


Community gardens are an asset to any city. If growing good food is a good thing, then using solar to power the coolers that store the bounty and heat the greenhouses makes a lot of sense too. That’s what Pearson Garden in Asheville is doing. The community gardeners will gather together to help erect the


Pain and notes in a parking lot: the healing properties of community solar


I’m sitting in a parking lot on a cold, gray January morning waiting for my daughter to come out of a doctors appointment. I couldn’t go into the waiting room thanks to coronavirus rules. So here I sit scanning the scene for the vibe. As I tune in, I see a dialysis center straight ahead


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


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


Tom Philpott’s “Perilous Bounty” Tonight


Our favorite critical food politics voice, and Maverick Farmer, Tom Philpott will be discussing his new book tonight at 7.30 pm Eastern. Go to https://facebook.com/BloomsburyUSA/ to join the live conversation. In our view, food and energy have much in common in terms of sustainability, sovereignty, and actions we organize in our communities. For example, the