We don’t know, certainly at the community or the national level, how to envision a future that is attractive and which doesn’t have growth in it.

In September, 2020, a rodent named Magawa won the animal equivalent of Britain’s highest civilian honor for bravery because of his uncanny knack for uncovering landmines and unexploded ordnance. In 2016, he travelled from his home in Africa to Cambodia’s famed Angkor temples to begin his bomb-sniffing career. Trained to cover the area of a tennis court in 20 minutes, he detected and alerted his handlers to 71 landmines and 38 items of unexploded…


Major producers of animal products are at risk of a serious economic shock.

A few years ago I was at a conference and had a chance to try a fake burger. Vegetarian or vegan since 1970, I had not forgotten the taste of a nicely grilled hamburger and was pleasantly surprised at how good this fake one was. I have to say it was better than most of the bean, gluten and tofu burgers we make at The Farm.

I still wasn’t all that keen on the concept of lab food for the masses, though. I know, and teach, the…


The reveal came when China moved to control the price of infant formula.

Two decades into their 81st Century, the powers that be in China announced a succession of dramatic policy shifts. They began with a move on the transnationalist Chinese financial sector, including Hong Kong; disrupting ownership of the largest online retail chains; sidelining their wealthy oligarchs; keeping enterprises from leaving China through public stock offerings in New York, London or Brussels; banning BitCoin miners; and reasserting authority over the all-important data that technology companies — FinTech, MedTech, EdTech, gaming, telecommunications, even China’s version of Uber, Didi Chuxing —…


image by author after Landscape with a Goat and Two Dogs (1644) by Hendrick Hondius

The world’s population is now leveling off to 10 billion. There it will stay, do whatever anyone will.

In 1786, an anonymous “Well-Wisher to Mankind,” later revealed as one Joseph Townsend, published in London A Dissertation on the Poor Laws. In it he described the history of an island named Juan Fernandes in the South Seas.

In this sequestered spot, John Fernando placed a colony of goats, consisting of one male, attended by his female. …


How do you advance climate measures without negative social feedback unwinding the whole proposition?

A flurry of carbon pricing bills await the US Congress when it returns from vacation next month. Fifteen now pending are supported by Democrats and 5 of those are also supported by Republicans.

With 79 co-sponsors, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act ($15/tC from 2021 rising 10%/y+inflation) is the most broadly supported carbon pricing bill in Congress at the moment. Its economy-wide price on carbon would push for net zero by 2050. …


Some of the future occupants of 160 unmarked graves found at Kuper Island School, B.C., operated from 1890 to 1975 by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

We may not have noticed that we are borrowing from our children. Our children have noticed.

All of the books I have written about climate change — Climate in Crisis, Post-Petroleum Survival Guide, The Biochar Solution, Burn — have had sections on money somewhere towards the conclusion. That is because a real solution requires system change and money is at the heart.

The best things in life are free
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Now give me money
That’s what I want

Money (That’s What I Want), 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr, Janie Bradford…


Natural climate solutions are waiting, palms outstretched, for the capitalization to get rolling.

MONACO, December 12, 2029. Microsoft founder Bill Gates released to authorities today the engineering study his foundation commissioned following the catastrophic explosion May 8th in this city. The report by consulting firm Explogenics describes second-by-second details of the attack that sank Gates’ nuclear-powered yacht, Earth 300, along with 12 other super yachts within the blast radius, and contaminated a large portion of the Monaco waterfront, which is still cordoned off.

The terrorist suspect apprehended in the immediate aftermath, French national Franz Wilber, confessed to police he was…


The popular meme of returning to the growth patterns of the past still holds sway.

“There are grave doubts at the hugeness of the land, and whether one government can comprehend the whole.”

— Henry Adams

As a young man doing solo hikes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire I learned a very important lesson, which may have saved my life more than once. If you lose the trail, don’t plunge ahead hoping to find it again. Retrace your steps until you are back on it.

I remembered that when I was lost in the back alleys of Medellin…


From 1331 to 1353, gypsies, Jews, foreign travelers, and lepers were hunted down and killed because they were blamed for the pandemic.

Finger-pointing is nothing new in times of plague, but putting the blame for the Pandemic of 2020–2025 on President Turnip, the Wuhan Lab, or Facebook has modernized the practice.

In the 2007 film The Reaping, Hilary Swank’s character explains the 10 plagues of Egypt this way:

In 1400 BC, a group of nervous Egyptians saw the Nile turn red. But what they thought was blood was actually an algal bloom that killed the fish, which prior to that had been living off the eggs of frogs. Those uneaten eggs turned into record numbers of baby frogs, which subsequently fled to…


The Edinburgh study found pet food was responsible for more climate pollution than 147 nations.

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” is a meme made popular by Carl Sagan, paraphrasing Laplace’s “the weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.

Last week I stirred some emotions in readers with my noir homage to our felinious friends. This week I will revisit the numbers in greater detail. Many people, especially cat lovers, may find this boring. Climate wonks should love it.

I start from the first principle Alan Savory uses in Holistic Management — to assume you are wrong. This exercise is not to prove or disprove what I wrote — let’s…

Albert Bates

Emergency Planetary Technician and Climate Science Wonk — using naturopathic remedies to recover the Holocene without geoengineering or ponzinomics.

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