An Eco-sustainable World
To the Future

Investing in the Bioeconomy

Investing in the Bioeconomy

With the advent of the industrial revolution, which progressively characterized human society, starting from the second half of the 18th century, humanity experienced a period of progressive and growing well-being.
In this historical period the economic and social repercussions have been notable but, especially in recent times, all the critical issues and consequences on the ecological and social systems have emerged.
The industrial revolution has not only led to an increase in technology, electronics and, in recent times, information technology and the development of networks but has required an increasing use of non-renewable resources:
– Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas;
– Nuclear fuels, such as Uranium and Plutonium;
– Terrestrial minerals and metallic minerals.
Their use has not only transformed economic systems but also our habits and lifestyles to such an extent that society itself has become a determining factor in the increasingly frantic search for these resources and their use.
A cat that bites its tail to which he, with the obvious graduality, dictates the end.
An overload of resources that the Earth can no longer bear.
To make this overshoot known, Earth overshoot day is calculated every year, which in 2023 was August 2; that is, the day on which the resources that our planet manages to make available for the entire calendar year are completely exhausted.
We need a reversal of the trend but above all a new industrial revolution.
This revolution is called Bioeconomy.
The term bioeconomy indicates the economic theory, proposed by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, for an ecologically and socially sustainable economy.
Ecologically and socially sustainable is equivalent to saying that the use of resources, their transformation and their use must have connotations and assumptions that are completely different from the logic of use of non-renewable sources.
Ecologically and socially sustainable also means social justice and gender equality.
These resources must be available for a long period, they must be renewable, they must be able to be used without interfering with ecosystems, they must be widespread and they must be able to enter into our lifestyles and customs guaranteeing real and not fictitious well-being; which is equivalent to saying not exclusively material but also spiritual wealth.
The source of all this already exists and should not be sought either on Mars or in any other part of the universe; it is the biosphere itself, with its incredible ecodiversity and biodiversity, source of everything we need (and in overabundance) and rich (extremely) in renewable energy (95% of which is solar energy).
Biological resources are everywhere around us.
Animals, fish and birds. Fungi, insects and algae. And many tiny microorganisms invisible to the naked eye but essential to human and planetary health.
We can build a better world by managing our biological resources more intelligently.
We can use them to increase food security, support local economies and rural development, fight poverty, fight climate change and biodiversity loss, eliminate waste and pollution and promote innovation.
To understand what has been stated we can also make a concise list of what is needed in our life. Here are just some of the things we rely on biological resources for:
– Food: fruit and vegetables, cereals and mushrooms, meat and fish are all biological resources that nourish our body; however these must be produced respecting ecosystems, through agroecological methods.
– Shelter: Forests provide homes for people, animals and birds, and wood for buildings. We need to retool our economy and manufacturing systems using more sustainably sourced wood and less steel and concrete in buildings; this could help us fight climate change.
– Energy: Wood pellets, sustainably harvested wood, food residues and animal waste can be used for energy production. In rural areas, they can help fight poverty and provide economic opportunities to millions of people. Furthermore, the large quantity of solar, water or geothermal energy, to name a few, can guarantee a very long-term sustainable system.
– Medicinal: some of the most commonly used medicines are natural extracts; these come from plants, trees, algae and fungi. Furthermore, these biological resources have fewer contraindications when used.
– Clothes: probably not everyone knows that t-shirts can be made of cotton, hemp and other vegetable fibres; but few know that t-shirts can also be made with banana plant residues or pineapple leaves, etc. In practice (in a very virtuous concept of circular economy) we can transform food waste into fashion.
We can thus use the leftovers of our biological resources to minimize waste. In fact, through a “circular” or “cascade” approach, these wastes can even regenerate new life, for example providing nutrients to the soil, plants and trees.
To escape the vortex of the linear economy (typical of the industrial or disposable era), we need, first of all, a cultural revolution. Starting from schools, raising awareness from birth about the relationship with objects and their use.
We need a new “spirituality” of matter; observed not as an inanimate thing but as part of a much larger entity.
We must return to the womb of Mother Earth to become a new civilization full of light and vision of the future.
All this can only be achieved through the development of the bioeconomy; a new system that proposes the intelligent and sustainable use of renewable resources. All this can benefit the environment and lead to the creation of new jobs based on “green” work
In fact, in a world where biological resources and ecosystems are not infinite, an effort of innovation is needed to feed the population and guarantee the protection of natural resources, such as water and soil, for everyone. The bioeconomy allows us to transform algae into fuel, create biodegradable and compostable plastic from renewable resources, produce furniture and clothing from waste, obtain biomass-based fertilizers from industrial by-products, and much more. Developing the bioeconomy, i.e. the renewable segment of the circular economy, means identifying new solutions to meet the needs of food, products and energy. And this will not only benefit the environment and the climate, but will also produce a significant amount of “green” jobs (only one million are estimated in Europe by 2030).
This is why to transition into this new future we need to invest in young people and their sensitivity; not only the technological one but above all the spiritual one.

Guido Bissanti

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