Albert Bates

Albert Bates was a civil sector representative at the Copenhagen climate conference, trying to point the world back towards a stable atmosphere using soils and trees.  His book BURN: Using Fire to Cool the Earth has just been released and his book Plastics: From Pollution to Evolution is due out in April 2019.

Past books include Climate in Crisis and The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook. Working with the Global Ecovillage Network he has taught appropriate technology, natural building and permaculture to students from more than 60 nations.

A former environmental rights lawyer, paramedic, brick mason, flour miller, and horse trainer, Albert Bates received the Right Livelihood Award in 1980 as part of the steering committee of Plenty, working to preserve the cultures of indigenous peoples, and board of directors of The Farm, a pioneering intentional community in Tennessee for the past 40 years. He has taught appropriate technology, natural building and permaculture to students from more than sixty nations. A co-founder and past president of the Global Ecovillage Network, he is presently GEN’s representative to the UN climate talks. When not tinkering with fuel wringers for algae, hemp cheeses, or pyrolizing cookstoves, he teaches permaculture, ecovillage design and natural building and is a frequent guest on the ETC Podcast.

Titanic lifeboat

“Check Please?” at COP27

All told, according to the International Energy Agency, the net income for the world’s fossil producers is set to double in 2022 from 2021, to a new high of $4 trillion. This is the best possible time for the check to arrive at the table.

November 22, 2022


The Great Pause Week 9: México’s Seppuku

Coronavirus is hitting México hard and the government is in denial. México is going to have to face some difficult choices soon. It needs to remember what its indigenous ancestors did when the climate changed, civil collapse came, or invasion threatened. They dispersed and downsized… They self-isolated. And because of that, they are still here today.

May 25, 2020

Greta Thunberg

The winning strategy

Having lived through the Vietnam, antinuclear, and antiwar protest era of the past half-century, I thought that protest was a fool’s errand. I am here today to say I was wrong.
Turns out McKibben was right, albeit only by an unexpected turn of events. Protests are bringing the beast to heel, and the key battleground came not in Washington or Paris but to a lonely field in South Dakota, not very far from Wounded Knee. It was the young water keepers that killed the dinosaur.

February 9, 2020


Our Final Exam in Madrid

Draft Agreement 1/CP.25, for instance, calls for all Parties to revise and enhance their Nationally Determined Commitments — their mitigation and adaptation intentions — by October 2020. Regrettably, the draft is not framed as a mandate, merely as advice.

December 16, 2019

Mapuche protest at COP25

First Cut of the Madrid Climate Summit

I am in the middle of things here at #COP25Madrid where delegates from nearly 200 countries are gathered to dicker and dither about whether they will save the world, or just let it get hotter.

December 10, 2019


COP25 Madrid: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and Why I Want to Go

The simple truth of it is, there is no way out of our climate emergency without an emergency committee to organize a coordinated global response. You might say the United Nations is a poor choice for that role and I would agree, except that all the other choices are far worse.

December 2, 2019

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