What to do with nature – Weekend – Kommersant

There are different levels in the environmental movement. One is specific and relatively rational measures, which were initially aimed at improving the human environment and now more at protecting nature from human activities. The second is the religious consciousness, which comes from the sinfulness of man, whose existence destroys nature. At the same time, one is impossible without the other.

In the Pyrenees, say, the ibex Bucardo has recently died and we will never see it again. The event is very unfortunate, but by itself does not work very well. It’s a pity for the goat, but many of us have never seen it. It is different when this information has a tuning environment that is tuned to expose the sinfulness of human existence. Bucardo then becomes a victim of humanity, a scapegoat, a lamb who gave himself up for our sins, and can therefore rely on wide posthumous attention.

It is not difficult to formulate the environmental program of a city; there are many of them, and everything is more or less formal. It should include:

– ubiquitous landscaping

– waste reduction, which currently falls into three areas: improving waste treatment systems, reducing their production, using materials that decompose quickly, safely and without a trace.

– reduction of energy consumption, mainly for heating and air conditioning, which falls into three areas: improvement of artificial air conditioning systems towards energy efficiency, then all mechanical systems (from pumps to vacuum cleaners) to reduce energy consumption and, finally , changing building standards to improve energy efficiency (protecting buildings from heat loss and overheating). The same logic applies to lighting: improving luminaires, reducing usage time and reducing lighting standards both indoors and outdoors.

Transport ecology, which falls into three areas: first, the displacement of internal combustion engines for the benefit of electric motors and alternative transport; second, the displacement of private transport for the benefit of public transport; and third, urban planning. on the maximum reduction of necessary movements;

– use of renewable energy sources, mainly wind and solar;

– water saving (collection and reuse of rainwater, leakage control, water meters).

The problem is that these are first-rate programs, small operations that aim for specific improvements. Not that they have doubts. But there is no city of the future. In relation to the city, we have a set of rational measures, but there is no mystical component, eschatology.

It’s amazing. Environmental awareness is today the most influential ideology in the First World, differentiated from the respected speeches of scientists at the 1992 World Scientists’ Warning for Humanity signed by 102 Nobel laureates in environmental extremism. Such a construction can only have a formula for the city of the future. But she is not. So, how not?

Ilya Lezhava, who together with Aleksey Gutnov created the last major Soviet project of the city of the future, the NER, in the 1960s, at the end of his life (died in 2018) formulated his idea for the city of the future. as follows: “Imagine a huge cruise ship floating in the sea. Afternoon. He is all on fire. Patio, twelve floors. Hundreds of residential cabins, offices, greenhouses, workshops, restaurants, ballrooms, music lounges, swimming pools, massages, gyms, etc. All this is served by a single computerized, technically very complex group of machines. Not only does this boat move, but it also functions as a life support system for all the people on board. Ventilates. It cools. Warm. It illuminates. Recycles waste (can not be thrown into the sea). Provides information and entertains. I see something similar as a prototype of an autonomous city of the future. “

This image of the city of the future, formulated by Ilya Georgievich, is brighter than others, but on an intuitive level, it seems to me, widespread, if not universal. A city under a hat, a “complete city”, as he called it, that gives back to nature what it has, and just as clean, it needed, plus a little more because of what it had received in the past. The idea is that nature is special, and the city is special, the city floats in nature without harming it, without even leaving a trace, as there is no trace of a ship in the ocean. Utopia, but it is precisely utopia that manifests the ideal. This is such a city of the future, in which the ideal is not in it, but in another place. He swims according to the ideal, without being himself.

I would dare to suggest we have a fork in front of us.

Such a construction is sustainable and can increase its stability indefinitely. Now more than half of the world’s population is urban dwellers, by 2050, according to UN forecasts, the rate will be two-thirds. It is natural for these people to believe that nature is, in a way, another world that is not encountered in their daily lives. At the same time, catastrophes are happening in this other world, and they are happening through our own fault. Here the goat of Mount Bucardo died. This is like the suicide of an angel who could not stand the sinfulness of the human race. This is very promising.

“Humanity and nature are in conflict. Human activities cause profound and often irreversible damage to the environment and key resources. If this is not brought under control, both the future of humanity and the habitats of animals and plants will be attacked. The world will change, there will be no more life as we know it. “If we want to avoid a global crisis, urgent action must be taken.” This is an excerpt from the Nobel laureate’s alleged warning to humanity. The original premise – the conflict between man and nature – is one of the basic problems for man as a rational being, tearing, say, the horizon of the irrational of the universe. Efforts to bridge the gap – through familiarity with the highest harmony or through techniques to reduce this rationality – organize the space of world culture. This issue is analyzed in Mikhail Arkadyev’s book “Language Disaster”. Its power lies in the alignment of the ecological agenda with this central nerve of culture. It involves an undefined set of basic issues of our consciousness.

In a sense, let’s say, the above passage about the conflict between man and nature seems completely Russian. Rousseau created a global framework for the critique of culture. It took on any of its institutions – social stratification, public administration, education, theater, music, etc. – and said that this does not happen in nature. Therefore, this institution is unnatural. And it has no right to exist. If we do not take into account the links of ecological consciousness with such nodes of European thought, it is difficult to understand where the ecological rejection of inequality, property, capitalism, luxury, etc. is. – the reincarnation of the “natural man” Rousseau. And if you look at it, then everything becomes clear, but apart from that, the power of inertia of this type of thought is understood, which absorbs the tradition of the critique of European culture itself.

However, there is a significant vulnerability in the design, which nevertheless allows us to talk about a fork, about the possibility of another path. There is a city – it is unnatural, unnatural, non-ecological. There is nature – it is beautiful. Any contact between them is harmful to nature. The city must be transformed into a ship that floats in nature, it must be trapped so as not to harm it, and humanity must move completely to the cities. This is classical Manichaeism, the division of the world into the world of Evil and Good, and humanity is entirely in Evil, and can enter into the Good only at the cost of death, which, incidentally, ensures full fusion with nature.

The vulnerability here lies in the fact that people are ready to accept such an image of the world, but are not willing to compromise with it. They always want to bring good to the world of their evil, to bring paradise to earth. Manichaeism always breeds millennialism – the strategy of building the kingdom of God on earth, which, of course, is the same sect and is fraught with no less effort. This determines the fork, the possibility of another route.

It is to design an ecological city of the future. Not a city with minimal emissions and minimal resource consumption – that goes without saying, but it’s not enough. We need an ecological city of the future as an ideal. This means the city as a natural phenomenon, as an organic phenomenon that has developed naturally. I do not know how this is possible and what it means – houses like plants (“pumpkins are rented to poor families as cottages, summer residents live in a pumpkin and eat it, they tried to rent watermelons, but it is wet to live in them”) , street animals, financiers lying on Wall Street next to bucardo goats, ban on animal feed for civil servants – humanity is complicated by its religious inventions. But ignorance does not nullify ambitions. Today we do not have an ecological city of the future, but it will probably appear, someone will finally compose it. And, once it has appeared, it will, of course, become the capital of the future civilization in its present form.