“Hero of the Revolution” — The Village Voice.
"Green-minded newbies look up to him, and why shouldn't they? He knows everything, urinates in the forest, and can build a wind-powered generator out of found materials. In the event of an apocalypse, Bates is president." — Vanity Fair
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Albert Bates is founder of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee, past president of Global Ecovillage Network and author of 20 books on history, ecology and the future, including Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth (2019); Transforming Plastics (2019); The Paris Agreement (2015); and The Biochar Solution (2010). He holds degrees in political science, law and permaculture and certifications in emergency medicine, horsemastership and forest management. He was co-recipient of the first Right Livelihood Award (1980) for the work of his organization, Plenty, in preserving the cultures of indigenous peoples. He designs drawdown ecovillages, ecodistricts and economies for ECO2, a carbon dioxide removal company based in the Dominican Republic
Albert Bates is author of Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth, The Biochar Solution, The Post Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, The Paris Agreement, and numerous books, films and new media on energy, environment and history. A former environmental rights lawyer, paramedic, brick mason, flour miller, and horse trainer, he has lived at The Farm, a pioneering intentional community in Tennessee for the past 45 years. When not tinkering with fuel wringers for algae or pyrolizing cookstoves, he teaches permaculture, ecovillage design and natural building.
The Farm intentional community in Tennessee was established in 1971 by several hundred hippies from San Francisco who were seeking land where they could build a community based on shared resources, an agrarian lifestyle, and close-knit community. At its height in the 1980s, The Farm population was about 1400 residents and 20 satellite farms in several states and countries. Although the population dropped to around 200 by the mid-1980s, The Farm is attracting a new generation today as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. What are the secrets of its longevity? Was it being able to can 1000 quarts of pepper relish in a day, use ham radio, or grind a ton of flour, or was it being able to manage conflict and emerge in good spirits, stronger each time, and going out to build a better world? Albert Bates takes us through the first 4 decades of The Farm from its early settlement as a hippy commune to its pioneering work as a ecovillage model today, focusing on the three pillars of sustainability -- social, ecological and economic.
Albert Bates is founder of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee, co-founder of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), and author of 20 books on history, ecology and the future. He was head of delegation for the Global Ecovillage Network at the Copenhagen, Cancun and Paris climate summits. He holds degrees in political science, law and permaculture and certifications in emergency medicine, horsemastership, regrarian design, and forest management. As a lawyer, he argued multiple cases before the US Supreme Court and drafted legislative acts. He was co-recipient of the first Right Livelihood Award (1980) for the work of his organization, Plenty International, in preserving the cultures of indigenous peoples.
Some describe what Albert Bates provides as permaculture but that is rather inexact. He is creator and director of one of the world’s first ecovillage training centers, now 26 years old. In the process of designing and augmenting that, he traveled to many like centers in scores of countries. More than 60,000 students from six continents have come to study with him, and many have gone on to implement very similar projects in their countries that imitate, replicate and sometimes surpass the Tennessee center. There are now some 20,000 ecovillages in the world.
Bates has 35 years experience with both temperate and tropical bamboos. He has designed and built chinampas. He has designed and built agroforestry systems. He has designed and built artificial wetlands for greywater and blackwater. He has designed and built compost toilets and solar showers. He has designed and built wind generators and solar PV arrays. He has designed and run volunteer and apprenticeship programs. He has instructed workshops and seminars in more than 50 countries, including teaching more than 50 Permaculture Design Certification courses. He helped design the standard Ecovillage Design Course now used around the world and contributed to the five-volume training manual.
From this experience, he has spoken widely and written or contributed to several books that set forward training curricula and pedagogies for transforming human habitat and behavior to a new paradigm; one that recognizes the need for balance with the flows and rhythms of nature. And, on that journey he discovered a killer app for repairing the earth's climate. It changes everything. This is the subject of his present lectures.
Albert Bates is a homeopathic Emergency Planetary Technician. He is founder (1974) and president of Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology (gvix.org), a non-profit scientific research, development and demonstration organization with projects on six continents. He is also Chief Permaculture Officer (2015) for eCO2, a COOL DESIGN services company focusing on commercial climate stabilization using off-the-shelf hardware and methodologies that let nature do what she does best. He facilitates metabiological entanglement and stranded investment rescues. He was co-recipient of the first Right Livelihood Award (1980) for the work of his organization, Plenty, in preserving the cultures of indigenous peoples. Most recently he has joined the Cloudburst Foundation and NOAH Regen. He has degrees in political science and law and certifications in emergency medicine, amateur radio, horsemastership, permaculture, regrarian design and edible forest design. He is author of 20 books, including Shutdown!: Nuclear Power on Trial (1979); Climate in Crisis (1990); The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook (2006); The Biochar Solution (2010); The Paris Agreement (2015); Transforming Plastics (2019); Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth (2019); The Dark Side of The Ocean (2020); Taming Plastic (2020); Plagued: Surviving a Modern Pandemic (2020); and Making Waves (2021). He serves as visiting lecturer for Gaia University, Nanjing Agricultural University, and Gaia Education. As past president of Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), he is part of GEN Consultants, designing drawdown ecovillages, ecodistricts and economies.
Albert Bates is the author of 18 books including Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth, The Dark Side Of The Ocean, Transforming Plastic, The Paris Agreement, The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change, The Post Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, and Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do. He is the cofounder of three organizations, including Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology (which he has headed for 45 years); the Ecovillage Network of the Americas and the Global Ecovillage Network. GVI channels resources to forward-looking social movements worldwide, including a peace-through-permaculture project in Israel and Palestine, a municipal landfill arts project in Mexico, and the Sail Transport Network, moving fair trade goods along coastal routes. Albert appears frequently as a public speaker, commentator and on podcasts, and is a regular blogger and tweeter.
In 1980, as part of Plenty International, Albert shared the Right Livelihood Award (considered an “Alternative Nobel”) “...for caring, sharing and acting with and on behalf of those in need at home and abroad.” His first book, Honicker v. Hendrie, a Lawsuit to End Atomic Power (1977) was considered by many environ-mentalists to mark the turning point in nuclear power’s ascent and the start of its demise.
Tracy Barnett, writing for Huffington Post, said, “Bates has woven together a highly engaging interdisciplinary answer to climate change ... a lively page-turner that blends clear-headed analysis with nuts-and-bolts advice ... enough danger to wake us up, but enough opportunity to emerge feeling hopeful.” Peter Bane, publisher of Permaculture Activist said, “Albert Bates' latest book has placed the biochar solution and the vision of a truly regenerative agriculture and settlement squarely in the center of the global crisis. New historical evidence that climate is remarkably responsive to human impacts had me gripping the edge of my seat. The comprehensive and well-informed review of current initiatives and technologies is a tour-de-force, and the grasp of the global policy debate equally sobering. It is hard to imagine a technical subject—compounded of organic chemistry, archeology, rural economics, climate science, and microbiology—presented with greater drama or clarity.”
Albert Bates holds a B.A. from the Maxwell School of Political Science, Syracuse University, with a minor in photojournalism from Newhouse School at Syracuse University (1969), an LL.B. and J.D. from New York Law School (1972), Dipl.P in permaculture design and Dipl.P in permaculture instruction from Permaculture Institute of North America, certification in Horsemastership from Silvermine School (1965), certification in Emergency Medicine from State of Tennessee (1973), certification in permaculture design (1994), certification in Edible Forest Design from Dynamics Ecological Design (2009), certification in Regrarian Design from Regrarians International (2016), and specialities in natural construction, finance, social governance, conflict transformation, and ecovillage design acquired from many mentors over many years. He serves as visiting lecturer for Gaia University, Nanjing Agricultural University, and Gaia Education Associates.