Albert Kealiinui Bates (born January 1, 1947) is an influential figure in the intentional community and ecovillage movements.A lawyer, author and teacher, he has been director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technologysince 1984 and of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, since 1994.
An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community's existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners.
An ecovillage is a traditional or intentional community with the goal of becoming more socially, culturally, economically, and ecologically sustainable. It is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes to regenerate and restore its social and natural environments. Most range from a population of 50 to 250 individuals, although some are smaller, and traditional ecovillages are often much larger. Larger ecovillages often exist as networks of smaller sub-communities. Some ecovillages have grown through like-minded individuals, families, or other small groups—who are not members, at least at the outset—settling on the ecovillage's periphery and participating de facto in the community.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
Bates has been a resident of The Farm since 1972. A former attorney, he argued environmental and civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and drafted a number of legislative Acts during a 26-year legal career. The holder of a number of design patents, Bates invented the concentrating photovoltaic arrays and solar-powered automobile displayed at the 1982 World's Fair. He served on the steering committee of Plenty International for 18 years, focussing on relief and development work with indigenous peoples, human rights and the environment. An emergency medical technician (EMT), he was a founding member of The Farm Ambulance Service. He was also a licensed Amateur Radio operator.
Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
The 1982 World's Fair, formally known as the Knoxville International Energy Exposition, was held in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. The specialized Expo themed "Energy Turns the World", was recognized by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).
Plenty International is an environmental, humanitarian aid and human rights organization based in Summertown, Tennessee, United States.
Bates first came to national prominence in 1978 when he sued to shut down the entire U.S. nuclear fuel cycle from mines to waste repositories. The case, which went four times to the United States Supreme Court and was later profiled in a law review articleand two books, was ultimately unsuccessful but raised troubling questions about the health effects of nuclear energy and the ethical dimensions — and civil liberties implications — of the federal role in promoting it.
Bates has played a major role in the ecovillage movement as one of the organizers of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), and served as GEN's chairman of the board (from 2002 to 2003) and president (from 2003 to 2004). He was also the principal organizer of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas and served as its president (from 1996 to 2003). In 1994 he founded the Ecovillage Training Center, a "whole systems immersion experience of ecovillage living."He has taught courses in sustainable design, natural building, permaculture and technologies of the future to students from more than 50 nations.
The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) is a global association of people and communities (ecovillages) dedicated to living "sustainable plus" lives by restoring the land and adding more to the environment than is taken. Network members share ideas and information, transfer technologies and develop cultural and educational exchanges.
A natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. As Michael G. Smith observes, it depends on "local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users."
Permaculture is a set of design principles centered around whole systems thinking simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. It uses these principles in a growing number of fields from regenerative agriculture, rewilding, community, and organizational design and development.
Bates' Climate in Crisis (1990) was the first book published on web (rolled paper) press using a 100% recycled product without chemically removing clays or inks. Since then, he has been planting a private forest to sequester carbon dioxide and related greenhouse gas emissions from travel, business and personal activities. At 40 acres under mixed-age, mixed-species, climate-resilient management, primarily being managed for ecosystem services, that forest now annually plants itself as it expands.
In 1980, Bates shared in the first Right Livelihood Award as part of the executive board of Plenty International. In 2012, he received the Gaia Award from Gaia Trust of Denmark for his efforts in fostering the ecovillage movement.
The Right Livelihood Award is an international award to "honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today." The prize was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, and is presented annually in early December. An international jury, invited by the five regular Right Livelihood Award board members, decides the awards in such fields as environmental protection, human rights, sustainable development, health, education, and peace. The prize money is shared among the winners, usually numbering four, and is EUR 200,000. Very often one of the four laureates receives an honorary award, which means that the other three share the prize money.
Albert Bates is the great-great-great-great Grandson of Issachar Bates, Revolutionary War fife major and among the most prolific poets and songwriters among the early 19th century Shakers, whose 1805 house is a National Historic Landmark in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Bates is also related to Katherine Lee Bates, author of the lyrics to America the Beautiful. The Bates family traces its arrival in North America from England to four Puritan families who sailed aboard the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 and settled in Massachusetts.
Bates is author of many books on law, energy, history and environment, including:
The Post-petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Changing Times, was published in 2006.In it Bates examines the transition from a society based on abundant cheap petroleum to one of "compelled conservation." The book looks at the ways of preparing for this transition. He regards the coming change as an opportunity to "redeem our essential interconnectedness with nature and with each other."
In his introduction, Bates outlines the realities of declining fossil energy and global climate change. He puts forward a "twelve step petrochemical addiction recovery program," from post-growth economics through methods to conserve fresh water, manage wastes, generate energy, produce and store food, and travel without the aid of fossil fuels. As a review by Ryan McGreal states: "The central message in this book is sustainability and permaculture. A recurring theme is that every waste product is something else's food, and that the most sustainable arrangement works with the prevailing conditions, not against them."McGreal summarizes Bates' proposals for human adaptation as follows:
Instead of wasting energy trying to fight nature, it makes more sense to understand nature and use it to your mutual benefit. This, of course, means the end of one-size-fits-all industrial solutions and a return to decentralized, idiosyncratic plans based on local conditions.
The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change, was published in 2010.In it Bates traces the evolution of carbon-enriching agriculture from the ancient black soils of the Amazon to its reappearance as a modern climate restoration strategy.
In The Biochar Solution, Bates repeats the urgency of declining fossil energy, especially in the context of chemical and energy-intensive progressive agriculture and global climate change. He proposes a carbon-oriented agricultural revolution that could double world food supplies while simultaneously building soil fertility and lowering atmospheric and oceanic concentrations of carbon. Bates suggests that, if sourced cautiously, biochar energy systems could eliminate fossil fuel dependency, bring new life to desertified landscapes, purify drinking water, and build carbon-negative homes, communities and economies. Peter Bane, the editor of Permaculture Activist, describes Bates' talents in this way:
If there is a smart, multi-functional, low-cost, democratic strategy that can help to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, it's probably in this book: chinampas, step-harvest planting of trees (with six times the carbon density per acre), harnessing youth to the task, agroforestry, greening the desert, uneven-aged forest management, carbon farming, the soil food web, and more. Each of these gets a relatively brief, punchy, and fairly technical description. Bates is a good and stylish writer; he has an ear for the pithy phrase, and reading him is generally a pleasure. This book, based on original scholarship, vast knowledge of a rapidly changing global field, and the arcana of many loosely linked disciplines brings the skills and interests of its polymath author together for a supremely important purpose.
Bates' most ambitious work to date is The Paris Agreement: the best chance we have to save the one planet we've got, published just weeks after the close of COP-21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in December, 2015. The book follows Bates' year-long travels leading up to the Paris conference, the delicate and often fractious negotiations, and dissects the final document agreed to by 196 countries. It includes anecdotes from a range of surroundings, from inside the halls of Le Bourget to boating the Seine with indigenous peoples there to protest the talks.
A fossil fuel is a fuel formed by natural processes, such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Other commonly used derivatives include kerosene and propane. Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon to hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquids like petroleum, to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields either alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates.
The Ecovillage Training Center is a "total immersion school" for sustainability. It is located at The Farm, an intentional community/ecovillage in Summertown, Tennessee, USA. The curricula of the center are "holistic and comprehensivist" and foster hands-on learning.
Carbon sequestration is the process involved in carbon capture and the long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon to mitigate or defer global warming. It has been proposed as a way to slow the atmospheric and marine accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are released by burning fossil fuels.
Renewable fuels are fuels produced from renewable resources. Examples include: biofuels and Hydrogen fuel. This is in contrast to non-renewable fuels such as natural gas, LPG (propane), petroleum and other fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Renewable fuels can include fuels that are synthesized from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Renewable fuels have gained in popularity due to their sustainability, low contributions to the carbon cycle, and in some cases lower amounts of greenhouse gases. The geo-political ramifications of these fuels are also of interest, particularly to industrialized economies which desire independence from Middle Eastern oil.
Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from biomass via pyrolysis. Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration, as it has the potential to help mitigate climate change. It results in processes related to pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS). Independently, biochar can increase soil fertility of acidic soils, increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Regarding the definition from the production part, biochar is defined by the International Biochar Initiative as "The solid material obtained from the thermochemical conversion of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment".
A low-carbon economy (LCE), low-fossil-fuel economy (LFFE), or decarbonised economy is an economy based on low carbon power sources that therefore has a minimal output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the biosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. GHG emissions due to anthropogenic (human) activity are the dominant cause of observed global warming since the mid-20th century. Continued emission of greenhouse gases may cause long-lasting changes around the world, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.
The Virgin Earth Challenge is a competition offering a $25 million prize for whoever can demonstrate a commercially viable design which results in the permanent removal of greenhouse gases out of the Earth's atmosphere to contribute materially in global warming avoidance. The prize was conceived and financed by Richard Branson, and was announced in London on 9 February 2007 by Branson and former US Vice President Al Gore.
Sustainable development in Scotland has a number of distinct strands. The idea of sustainable development was used by the Brundtland Commission which defined it as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." At the 2005 World Summit it was noted that this requires the reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands - the "three pillars" of sustainability. These general aims are being addressed in a diversity of ways by the public, private, voluntary and community sectors in Scotland.
This is a list of climate change topics.
Mitigation of global warming involves taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance sinks aimed at reducing the extent of global warming. This is in distinction to adaptation to global warming, which involves taking action to minimize the effects of global warming. Scientific consensus on global warming, together with the precautionary principle and the fear of non-linear climate transitions, is leading to increased effort to develop new technologies and sciences and carefully manage others in an attempt to mitigate global warming.
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) refers to a number of technologies of which the objective is the large-scale removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Among such technologies are bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, biochar, ocean fertilization, enhanced weathering, and direct air capture when combined with storage. CDR is a different approach than removing CO
2 from the stack emissions of large fossil fuel point sources, such as power stations. The latter reduces emission to the atmosphere but cannot reduce the amount of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. As CDR removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it creates negative emissions, offsetting emissions from small and dispersed point sources such as domestic heating systems, airplanes and vehicle exhausts. It is regarded by some as a form of climate engineering, while other commentators describe it as a form of carbon capture and storage or extreme mitigation. Whether CDR would satisfy common definitions of "climate engineering" or "geoengineering" usually depends upon the scale on which it would be undertaken.
Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is the process of extracting bioenergy from biomass and capturing and storing the carbon.
The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, includes all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth.
The environmental impact of the energy industry is diverse. Energy has been harnessed by human beings for millennia. Initially it was with the use of fire for light, heat, cooking and for safety, and its use can be traced back at least 1.9 million years. In recent years there has been a trend towards the increased commercialization of various renewable energy sources.
Biosequestration is the capture and storage of the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by biological processes.
The carbon bubble is a hypothesized bubble in the valuation of companies dependent on fossil-fuel-based energy production, because the true costs of carbon dioxide in intensifying global warming are not yet taken into account in a company's stock market valuation. Currently the price of fossil fuels companies' shares is calculated under the assumption that all fossil fuel reserves will be consumed. An estimate made by Kepler Chevreux puts the loss in value of the fossil fuel companies due to the impact of the growing renewables industry at US$28 trillion over the next two decades-long. A more recent analysis made by Citi puts that figure at $100 trillion.
Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. Practices include, recycling as much farm waste as possible, and adding composted material from sources outside the farm.
Paul Yeboah, is an educator, farmer, permaculturist, community developer, and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and coordinator of the Ghana Permaculture Institute and Network in Techiman, Ghana, West Africa. It is located in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. The purpose of the Institute is to build and maintain a stable food system, to take care of the local ecosystems, and to improve the quality of life in the rural areas. The GPN trains students and community in sustainable ecological farming techniques. They support projects throughout Ghana; women groups, micro-finance projects; teach growing moringa; mushroom production; alley cropping, food forests development and Agroforestry.