Crisis of Perception: What do our major challenges have in common?


This coronavirus public health emergency is a time-compressed capsule view of a lot of our big crises– climate emergency, bad energy policies, privatization and enclosures of the commons, unthinkable levels of inequality and human suffering, shock doctrine [1] economics that doesn’t work for 99% of the people, and all the rest. These are things we


Exponential Growth: keeps us going and keeps us up at night


Exponential growth can be good or bad, in other words, something can grow in either direction. I’ll get to that in a minute. Coronavirus is absolutely an example we’re all trying to wrap our minds around now, so we better understand EXPONENTIAL GROWTH!!!! But this also applies to other relevant topics in our renewable energy


Coronavirus, Aspen Trees and Solar Power: Connecting the Dots


Coronavirus is revealing an important truth about culture, media, politics and mental models here in the United States. Cooperative behavior at all levels is completely overwhelmed by the forces of obfuscation, misinformation, and incompetent leadership, paving the way for uncontrolled viral spread. That cat may already be out of the bag and the pandemic on,


Multi-tasking apocalypses: Life lessons from the bank teller Buddha


“I can only take one apocalypse at a time.” That’s what the bank teller said to me during a recent trip to the bank when his computer couldn’t manage a simple deposit. As we stood there waiting for this machine to do its work, he alluded, probably only half jokingly, to the possibilities of artificial


Choices: Endless war or wellbeing, clean energy, better worlds?


All 21 days of our new decade 2020 have been even more surreal than what has been the ever-metastasizing malignant normalcy of the past three years. My mind went careening into a maze of “dots” when President Trump assassinated the Iranian general earlier this month (remember way back then?), trying to connect them to make


Village Wiring Vision: every place needs one


Wherever your place and community may be, you need a guiding question. DO YOU HAVE A VILLAGE WIRING VISION? Whether you’re a faith community, university, city, rural community, or other community of interest, this ought to be a central organizing question. Of course AIRE’s specific focus is community-owned renewable energy, but Sister Mary Baird gives


Time to see through the smoke: Fires, utilities, faulty perception and technical debt


We have an electric power problem. Of course our sustainability problem is bigger and more complex than just electricity. But, as California’s PG&E continues to be in the news (for all the wrong reasons again this year!) with it’s strategic blackouts in response to the latest climate change fueled hellscape, one wonders why we believe


Solar Power, Historic Theatre Renovations & Community Building


Solar projects are obviously valuable ecologically and financially, but they can also spread enthusiasm in a community. Last Monday we had the pleasure of meeting a group of folks who are doing just that in the beautiful little town of Plymouth, in northwestern Indiana. They’re well into the restoration of their historic “main street” (N.


Ancilla College: Showing the Way in Solar and Electric Vehicle Adoption


With an enrollment of 550 students, Ancilla College may just have more solar per student than any other college. I haven’t actually verified that because my point isn’t quantitative. Rather, it’s qualitative. It’s about doing what is necessary and what is urgent. DOING. It’s about doing what our youth know that we must and that’s


Walking the plank: Hurricane Dorian and the self-fulfilling prophecy of a fragile energy system


I was in Mexico Beach last winter and stood in the midst of Hurricane Michael’s lingering devastation– broken glass, shredded trees, leveled houses, piles of debris, “don’t forget us” graffiti, and blue tarp band-aids. One week ago, I monitored the developments of Hurricane Dorian, having planned to be in Miami during its anticipated landfall. Once