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The Paris Agreement: the best chance we have to save the one planet we've got Paperback – December 29, 2015
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About the Author
Albert K. Bates is a retired public interest attorney and author of several books on energy, environment, and history. He is a co-founder of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas and the Global Ecovillage Network. During his 26-year career as an attorney, he argued environmental and civil rights cases before the US Supreme Court and drafted a number of legislative acts while publishing Natural Rights, a quarterly newsletter on deep ecology. His books Shutdown: Nuclear Power on Trial (1979) and Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What You Can Do (1990, with foreword by Al Gore) provided early insight into two of the greatest dangers now confronting the world. In 1980 he shared the first Right Livelihood Award for his work with Plenty International in preserving indigenous cultures. An inveterate inventor, he holds a number of design patents and was designer of concentrating photovoltaic arrays and solar-hybrid automobiles displayed at the 1982 World's Fair. He has been director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology since 1984 and of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm community in Summertown, Tennessee, since 1994, where he has taught natural building, sustainable agriculture, permaculture and appropriate technology to students from more than 50 nations. His books, The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook (with foreword by Richard Heinberg) and The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change (with foreword by Vandana Shiva) are available in print and all e-book formats from New Society Publishers. A series of books, the ecovillage imprint, collecting his investigatory research and reporting over 30 years is available on Amazon for Kindle. Most recent additions are Pour Evian on Your Radishes and The Paris Agreement. He blogs at The Great Change and tweets @peaksurfer. A YouTube channel is available at the Collapse Café.
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Also, he describes how he and his permaculture colleagues showed audiences and individuals at the Paris conference a very large suite of proven and sophisticated agricultural, forestry, and people-empowerment strategies for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering it longterm in our soils. Many strategies pay back so fast they’re nearly free, and then keep paying forever, in financially valuable food, fiber, and energy, in satisfying employment, in community health and solidarity, and in removing carbon from the atmosphere.
The biggest news is that these proven forestry and permaculture strategies scale so fast that biological sequestering can begin significantly cooling the Earth within a short time, and none too soon. He quotes a new paper from NASA scientist James Hansen and 17 colleagues on the extreme risks of even a two degree rise (we’re at one-degree-plus right now). They cite the Permian Extinction of 95% of the Earth’s species 250 million years ago that was triggered by a lava flow in Siberia melting enough frozen methane to quickly spike temperature 6 degrees, and they say another degree of warming in the 21st century could trigger a sudden methane burp from melting permafrost and shallow seas that might even have greater impact than the Permian release.
We humans reduce this risk by acting NOW both to immediately replace fossil fuels with cheaper non-polluting alternatives and to quickly plant and grow tropical forests and global biochar-based permaculture that ratchets atmospheric carbon to pre-industrial levels—Albert Bates and his permaculture colleagues show: WE KNOW HOW TO DO IT, IT PAYS BIG, and IT EMPOWERS COMMUNITIES.
Albert’s Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do 25 years ago was one of the first clear and simple explanations of the climate crisis, his The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change 5 years ago was the first clear and readable explanation of how forests and agriculture can (and historically have) quickly and powerfully shifted our climate, and more research conducted around the world over the past five years has confirmed the biochar potential and spawned a new global industry. These beautifully written dispatches from the year-long COP21 marathon that just concluded with the Paris breakthrough finale are packed with insight, information, and good stories. I am deeply grateful for access to the newest information and research on real solutions that can work if we decide to work them. Thank you, Albert.
The Paris Agreement: the best chance we have to save the one planet we've got.