Looking at 2022: Much at stake, lots to gain


Every new year’s ritual involves reflecting on where we’ve been and looking ahead to where we may be headed. Rarely though, is this ritual engaged in any meaningfully critical sense. Instead, it’s the ubiquitous new year’s resolution. This year is no exception but what feels different, or at least more intensely amplified, is a dark


Pearson Garden Solar: making a way out of no way


Bountiful Cities’ Pearson Garden in Asheville is an inspiring and living example of making a way out of no way.[1] Just revealed in a new study, the billionaires in America increased their already staggering wealth by another $2.1 TRILLION (yes, trillion dollars) just during the 19 months of pandemic [2]. The report reminds readers that


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


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


Burton Street’s DeWayne Barton: A gardener sowing seeds of solar, solidarity, and community


It’s “…our garden. I’m just the maintenance man, I just keep it up,” insists DeWayne Barton, the humble visionary behind the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens in West Asheville. The first wave of solar at the peace gardens went up back in August. Two hundred donors came together to fund the project. AIRE developed, coordinated


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


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