288 pages, no illustrations
Biotechnology as generally understood is a misnomer, having less to do with biology than with generating profits from genetic manipulation. The corporatizing of genetic science is just the latest risky manifestation of a dysfunctional industrial paradigm based on consuming natural capital and producing toxic waste--an economic model totally at odds with the evolutionary intelligence of living systems.
But there is another way. The "true biotechnologies," described in this second volume in the Bioneers series, are working strategies grounded in the innate complexity, relatedness, and sustainability of natural ecosystems. The contributors to this volume are visionary leaders in fields such as biomimicry (mimicking nature in order to restore nature and serve human ends harmlessly), "living machines" that break down toxics biologically, natural design for industrial processes and buildings, and the restoration of natural capital. Their guiding principles include diversity, kinship, symbiosis, reciprocity, and community. These brilliant innovators illuminate a future environment of hope by "wedding human ingenuity with the wisdom of the wild," as contributor John Todd puts it.
Human beings are a keystone species with an essential role to play in the ecological well-being of our world; we are only just learning how to go about it. Sector by sector--from energy and agriculture to transportation, industrial production, and land management--the true biotechnologies described here show how nature has already orchestrated a symphony of intelligent design that we can emulate and adapt, to the benefit of humanity and all life on Earth.
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