-2007 Sustainable Los Angeles lecture series: Phone: 323 667 1330
March 24th 2007 Program details:
* 10:00 AM:
ALBERT BATES - The great change to a post-petroleum world will be
wonderful, Applying Permaculture and Appropriate Technology. Albert Bates is a permaculture and appropriate technology instructor at
the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm community in Summertown,
Tennessee, inventor of solar cars, pedal flour sifters and cylindrical
tofu presses, and author of eleven books, including Shutdown: Nuclear
Power on Trial (1979) and Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and
What We Can Do (1990). His Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook:
Recipes for Changing Times (New Society 2006) envisions the world as it
will be transformed by peak oil and climate change, and offers a
prescription for re-inhabitation. As one of the founders of the
Ecovillage Network of the Americas (1994) and the Global Ecovillage
Network (1995), Albert used his lifetime of eco-community living skills
to create an incendiary meme, sparked by dedicated individuals and
fueled by the pressing necessity of changing the way in which human
communities relate to nature.
Payment Instructions: Use Pay Pal and RSVP on-line. * Our brains, with linear thought processes, do not stop choosing complex
solutions once they hit diminishing marginal returns. We simply cannot
fathom why the problems we thought we had just solved have in fact not
been solved but have only continued becoming more complex. Earth's
systems are non-linear, vastly interlinked and dynamic, and are not
solvable by human brains. We need to get over the idea that we are
somehow in charge. By throwing new technology at our cascading
ecological problems, merely maintaining the status quo, never mind
returning to a status quo ante, consumes a greater and greater
percentage of one-time, irreplaceable resources. Consider
firewood. Our grandparents went back to it when the kerosene ran out.
What will happen when China, India and other countries soon run out of
oil and gas, and what will that mean for climate change? First they
will burn more coal, and then the people will burn the forests.
simian brains are unable to comprehend concatenating layers of
ecosystem complexity self-reinforcing in unanticipated, unprecedented,
and unseen patterns. So we split atoms to warm ourselves. We splice
genes to grow our corn.
Fact: our petroleum civilization is
about to enter into its natural decline phase and, if the transition to
a solar income economy and much warmer climate is not well managed, the
global food and water supply that supports our unprecedented human
population could rapidly collapse. Most people arrive at this
understanding with a sudden realization. Hurricane, sea level rise,
prolonged drought, scorching heat, or the high cost of water, power,
and gas may provide the wake-up call. And the reaction is entirely
predictable. This is a new reality, completely contrary to our life
plan and preparation. The normal response is denial, then debate, then
acceptance, with a mix of panic and dread. Relax. Breathe deeply. It
doesn't need to be that bad.
The great change that is about to unfold will be wonderful.