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?


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


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


Seeing Systems: Loren Cole, Inquiring Systems, and Winter Solstice


Friday, December 21st, 2018 at 5:23 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. That’s the moment the sun stands still way down south at the Tropic of Capricorn, about 26 degrees south latitude. Our star gives its majority light to the southern hemisphere and us our darkness in which to rest and reflect. The solar system is big


Poor Handmaids Solar Performance Update: Early Dividends


We’ve posted previously (here, here and here) on our admiration for the leadership of Poor Handmaid’s Center at Donaldson, up in Indiana as they took action to walk their talk on renewable energy and creation care. Adam Thada, the Director of Ecological Relations just issued the first Provincial report on the financial and ecological returns


Making Community Energy Together in the Pluriverse: Thoughts on an important new book


AIRE has spent a solid decade now experimenting with ways to develop community-based renewable energy projects. We consider honesty to be a virtue and if we walk that talk we’d have to say that we haven’t made a much of a dent in the dominant, dirty, deadly energy system we set out to help change.


The Sun Crosses the Line: Autumn arrives 9:54 PM Sept. 22nd


Nowadays most folks can’t get from point A to point B without their GPS. There’s no sense of geography or direction. Who can intuitively point to north let alone describe the difference between “true north” and “magnetic north?” Add to that the likely fact that many folks can’t name the 50 states or identify them


Building a BIGGER Choir: Poor Handmaids Walk Their Talk


After several months of intensive planning, the Sisters and lay staff of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, walked their talk and made the first of several solar installments on the Center at Donaldson’s 150 acre campus near South Bend, Indiana. They dedicated the first phase of their solar initiative on the 1st day of