Earthly good: the editorial of the director of Terra Nuova

Here is the complete text of the editorial by the director of Terra Nuova, Nicholas Bawtree, published in the January issue of the magazine .

“Construction of the largest radio astronomy observatory in the world began in Australia in December. It will serve to expand the boundaries of our knowledge, to trace the birth and death of galaxies and to intercept any possible life form in the universe. In other words, we’re trying to figure out if the conditions exist for another habitable planet. The deepest desire of these operations is to be able to understand if we are really alone in the universe.

Planet Earth, for many of us, seems to have become far too narrow, inhospitable and even uninhabitable. But, let’s remember, perhaps we are a real exception of the cosmos and it will not be easy to find similar conditions “out there”. This exceptionality is given by the soil, the great mother who feeds all creatures, which absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, which makes it possible to contain and purify water, which offers us every earthly good. If we don’t want to make our planet look like any other planet, a skeletal ball of rock and sand, we have to do something about it.

Meanwhile, when we talk about soil, we have to learn to scale down. There are more living organisms in a spoonful of earth – 9 billion – than there are people on the planet. Without land we cannot live. Of course, vegetables are also grown with hydroponics and we will soon have synthetic meat on the supermarket shelves, but it’s not such an exciting future.

The soil in Italy disappears at the speed of 2 square meters per second, devoured by the concrete. To stop it, a different culture of public parks and urban livability is needed. But there is another big problem linked to erosion and desertification: the land is no longer able to hold water and has lost its fertility due to destructive agriculture that exploits the land, depleting its vital forces forever. and the ability to regenerate. We have to stop it, because in less than 20 years we will be 9 billion people.

Already today the orphans of the earth are forced to emigrate in search of better living conditions. The world powers stretch their hands on the lands of Africa, Asia and the Americas, to exploit the subsoil, take possession of genetic resources, find new arable lands for the most profitable monocultures.

This is where our choices come into play once again. To curb climate change itself, a radical transformation of the way of doing agriculture is needed. Every day at the table we can choose to be part of the solution rather than the problem, reducing the consumption of meat and choosing products that come from organic farming.

On the other hand, however, we cannot limit ourselves to consumption choices either. We need a much deeper cultural and spiritual change that leads us to understand that the earth is not a simple support for plants, but is itself nourishment, universe, complexity».


Check out the January issue of Terra Nuova magazine

Ecology, nutrition and health, wellness, recipes, green building, natural agriculture, experiences, sustainability, environment, spirituality, new education, solidarity, community and much more.

New Earth January 2023


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Earthly good: the editorial of the director of Terra Nuova