The Eco-Marasmus
[P. J.] [RU] [FR]

The Eco-Marasmus

I suppose, there is no need to explain to any sensible person that the so called ecological "studies" as well as the wide environmentalist actions are sponsored by quite certain economic groups as a part of their market competition strategy. There is no serious scientific background, the merest propaganda.

Well, no doubt, the very activity of monitoring the potentially dangerous for humans environmental shifts may be vitally important, objectively necessary, and sometimes, even useful. But one would strongly object to belief that all such changes should be indiscriminately attributed to our labors, meaning that all natural things must certainly be good, while any human deeds are sheer devil's instigation. At least, we need first to somehow tell the human in people from the natural in them, to determine the source of the allegedly disastrous effect of one's acts to one's life. On the other hand, is our "natural" environment any different from the artificial setup the humanity has been erecting for millennia? Human-made things, while bringing in a higher level of security and comfort, can also menace our very existence, and therefore, discussing the ecology of media, design, trade or personal contacts is in no way less important than drying up rivers or dying out animals. Indeed, the ecology of culture (including its protection from commercial ecologists) is exactly the first thing to start with.

They feed us the idea of scientific and technological progress as a rude force infringing the delicate planetary equilibrium, as the products of human activity are utterly injurious for nature. In a sense, this is basically true, since the very predestination of reason is to rebuild nature, to reorganize it on the new, more reasonable foundation, extinction of savagery. However, such purposeful reconstruction has nothing to do with irresponsibility and imprudence; it is never spontaneous, it is culturally oriented and ready to neutralize the negative consequences of any wrong step. What the bourgeois ecologists raise their voices against is rather the opposite, the lack of reason, insufficient cultivation, the wide masses being too natural in respect to nature.

Thus, they insist that there is more tin and plastic in the sea than the fish. The screens shower the brains with the professional propaganda pictures like the litter-covered forests or beer cans on the seabed down in the Mariana Trench. An average man is therefore to believe that the mass production of tins, bottles and plastic bags is harmful for the environment. With the conclusion that all that must be cut in favor to some very expensive biodegradable containers, which will turn to be as harmful on the next turn of the market competition spiral.

Where is logic? One might think that plastic, by its inner impulse, would take the route leading to the sea, jump from the cliffs into the waters, and swim the petty overarm style towards the least dirty spots. Or maybe, it is glass and tin that can make long flights to intentionally scatter themselves in the virgin thickets? Not at all. If one finds an empty can in a forest clearing or the middle of the Pacific, the logical conclusion is that somebody has brought and carelessly left it there. Will a person of reason act that way? Never. Consequently, a savage, a natural being, insufficiently civilized, not yet cultivated. That is, one does not have to fight the industry of plastic and tin, but rather the habits of wild nature, which tends to destroy itself, albeit using industrial products.

Yet another example. We are to cut the usage of paper since it badly affects our (already much thinned out) forests and woods; moreover, the very production process usually involves chemistry that is far from being too innocent. However, even admitting that shaping terracotta tables and stone steles for cuneiform inscriptions was a climax of ecological purity, one would hardly agree to stop at that stage; but even the dressing of vellum and silk spinning already means certain chemical treatment, and I would not bet that a modern pulp and paper plant should be more polluting (in a relative measure, on the unit of product). On the other hand, a rational approach to paper consumption would significantly reduce any possible environmental effects. Indeed, 90% of the press is mere advertising (including social and political), excessive book runs, journal and newspaper circulation, document copies, certificates, extracts, bulletins and ballot-papers, current information... Just drive that all away, and the woods will grow on; additionally, abandoning the habit of throwing waste paper all over, we entirely eliminate its potential environmental threats. Logic says that it is not paper production that brings harm but rather the deformities of the dominating economic system, which results in squandered natural resources and retarded cultural development of the humanity on the global scale.

So, what do the "defenders of nature" suggest instead? The same old slogan: back to the caves. The same naive illusion that it was all natural in the old ages, and hence clean and healthy... And that it is enough to recall the happy primitivism, repudiate the gift of science, for our ecologically perfect remains to feed the future fauna and flora on the sterile planet.

Of course, this is sheer lie. There was no "golden age", and our forefathers used to die in packs of infections and asperities, of unhealthy climate, of a lack of protection discipline and means. Underdevelopment was a source of epidemics and wars, leading to self-destruction. Rejecting modern technologies, we have no other choice as to return to that underdeveloped world, much less comfortable and efficient, and hence more harmful. Mass propaganda shows persuading people to drop certain cultural acquirements actually mean an increase in ecological pressure due to unjustified waste of resources and efforts.

For instance, when we restrict the usage of a motor-car as a regular means of transport, we need to find other ways to do the same job, often much more expensive and wasteful. If we turn down electrical lighters, we need (unless we do not mean to stop living) to replace them by some other sources of light, which is to cause much more damage to the environment. Thus, silly journalists show fountains of enthusiasm about somebody producing electricity by mere physical force, like walking or pedaling. We are suggested to believe that this is an ecologically pure source of cheap energy available to everybody at minimal diligence. But, technologically, this only means the replacement of modern electric plants with raw muscular drive, like in the most ancient ages. The efficiency of a human in generating electric power is unmeasurably worse; that is, it gives more waste products and hence increases environmental pollution. Indeed, any person needs at least food and water, and the more one works, the more one needs to recover. That is, we first convert food into muscular energy, and then partially convert this store to the useful mechanical work. Obviously, this many-stage process involves much dissipation and any modern electric plant will beat it in efficiency by orders of magnitude.

Turning down the cultural achievements won't soothe ecological diseases; it will rather aggravate them. No need to fall behind the progress; still, reasonable needs are to be satisfied in a reasonable manner: one should not demand or spend more than really needed, and efficient production technologies are to be complemented by as efficient utilization. Under this condition, technological development will draw forth human consciousness, bringing the humanity from the early primitive state to the culture of reason. People's attitude towards their environment will objectively change, thus influencing the habits and morals. In a way, the very growth of the public interest to the quality of environment (both natural and human-made) is an indicator of such development. So far, it is not but a matter of commercial speculation. With market economy gradually forced out, ecology will become what it should be, the search of the directions of the reasonable rearrangement of the world.

It is utterly stupid, to protect nature by attempting to freeze time. The Universe is all in motion, it will always destroy this to create that. Nothing remains the same. No change means death. With, or without the humankind, anything will change anyway. No use to seek for perpetual joy; even the most beautiful flowers are bound to fade. The face of the land will change; animals and plants will come and go; one society will leave the scene for another. Reason is to direct these inevitable changes rather than impede them. Wild nature destroys itself; humans are to make responsible decisions, to bid farewell and to meet. And be creative in the name of progress, without making it a market plaything.

[Assorted Notes] [Unism]