Civilization 2.0

by Albert Bates

Ecological and Regenerative Living in a One Planet World

Regenerative Food Production for a New Civilization

Suppose everyone in the world planted one tree every day. How long would it take to restore the carbon balance? My co-workers and I at the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology have done this calculation a number of different ways. The simple answer is that if everyone in the world planted one tree each day, by the end of the second year, the sequestered carbon would exceed current global industrial emissions. Atmospheric concentrations would begin to decline and return to normal. The principal obstacle is not lack of manpower, however, it’s the availability of land. Seven billion planters could plant the equivalent of global carbon dioxide emissions in two years, but they would use up all the fallow arable land in the world. Where do we send those treeplanters after all the unused arable land is planted? Deserts cover a third of the earth’s surface. Climate change is causing deserts to expand at an accelerating pace; and yet, what is true about desertification affecting climate is also true about de-desertification.

Traditional Milpa Planting in Latin America
The Milpa Cycle
An example of a diverse Agroforestry landscape in Laos

The Challenge

Permaculturalists are fond of saying that all of the world’s problems can be solved in the garden. Our obstacle is not gardening; it’s not even switching broadscale agriculture from ‘conventional’ (using chemical salts, herbicides, pesticides and machinery to derive the greatest dollar profit) to organic (marking ‘profits’ not in dollars but in the health and continued productivity of the soil food web). The greatest challenge is in changing the growth paradigm away from

  • Civilization 2.0 — ‘Glocalization’; a steady state economy characterized by stable (and in the near term rapidly declining) population size.
Ecological Footprint: The Annual Deficit becomes and Ecological Debt

Ecological Living as the Foundation for Civilization 2.0

All of the necessary changes are not only do-able, they are being done in myriad ecovillages and many other communities and initiatives around the globe. A sustainable future, as best we can divine it, provides each requisite for human survival — food, shelter, heating and cooling, cooking, the daily activities of commerce and ennobling pursuits — but with a new, added mandate to separately or in combination sequester more greenhouse gases than we emit.

Regenerative Building is not only using regenerative materials and resources but is also done by locals as a community event and affair helping to create trusting and cohesive communities


Many of us feel that our current consumer lifestyles are no longer sustainable nor desirable, on a personal to global level and that our ecological systems appear to edge closer and closer towards collapse, but we believe that more sustainable or regenerative ways of living our lives are possible, feasible and viable, but what are these alternative ways of living? In trying to Design for Sustainability we seek to consciously reinvent ecological living from the ground up, honing in on aspects such as sustainable production and consumption, regenerative agriculture and food production, appropriate technologies for water and energy systems, green and sustainable building and construction, and weaving all together through whole systems and regenerative design approaches and methods to achieve one planet living design and development outcomes.



Cultural Creative | Evolutionary Activist | Change Agent | Whole Systems, Transition & Regenerative Designer | Facilitator, Trainer and Educator

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Peter Gringinger

Cultural Creative | Evolutionary Activist | Change Agent | Whole Systems, Transition & Regenerative Designer | Facilitator, Trainer and Educator