Today it is becoming more and more evident that the major problems of our time — energy, the environment, climate change, food security — cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means they are all interconnected and interdependent and require corresponding systemic solutions.
Systemic problems have harmful consequences in several different areas; this important insight can be illustrated with the example of agriculture and its causal connections with climate change. Chemical agriculture, for instance, with its disregard for soil health and its reliance on synthetic fertilizers, leaves soil especially at risk to extreme weather events, such as droughts and flooding. Moreover, industrial agriculture contributes significantly to the greenhouse gases causing climate change, especially because the system is so energy intensive and fossil-fuel dependent.
Fortunately, there is a viable and sustainable alternative to industrial agriculture. It consists of a variety of agricultural techniques, based on ecological principles that have been refined over the past century and are being adopted around the world. Agroecology is able to raise agricultural productivity in ways that are economically viable, environmentally benign and socially uplifting.
Agricoltura e Cambiamento Climatico is part of the collection International Lectures on Nature and Human Ecology. A series of editions that offer the possibility of focusing, with the help of scientists, naturalists and philosophers, on the system of relationships that links man and nature. It is, in fact, increasingly obvious that evolution is not possible without nature, and it is exactly in the context of the new science, qualitative and probabilistic, that the undeniable value of natural as opposed to synthetic production and genetic modification is strengthened. The purpose of this collection is to give voice to the avant-garde lines of thought that deal with these subjects in an international perspective. It intends to help us understand a little more of the relationship between our species and the environment in which we live and therefore to help blaze the trail towards a future different from what we now glimpse in the horizon.
- Frtjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy. Capra is the author of several international bestsellers, including The Tao of Physics, The Web of Life, and Learning from Leonardo. He is coauthor, with Pier Luigi Luisi, of the multidisciplinary textbook, Vita e natura. Una visione sistemica (Aboca Edizioni, Sansepolcro, 2014)
- Anna Lappé is an internationally recognized expert on food systems and sustainable agriculture and a bestselling author. She is a contributing author to ten books and the author or co-author of three, including her most recent, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It (Bloomsbury USA, 2010). She currently directs the Real Food Media Project.