Henri Rousseau – Il sogno” by Henri Rousseau – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.”

Slavoj Žižek, em Viver no Fim dos Tempos, comenta sobre o livro The World Without Us (2007), de Alan Weisman:

“O livro de Alan Weisman The World Without Us, propõe-nos uma visão do que aconteceria com a humanidade (e só a humanidade) desaparecesse subitamente da Terra: A diversidade natural floresceria de novo, enquanto a natureza colonizaria pouco a pouco os artefactos humanos. Nós os humanos, somos aqui reduzidos a um puro olhar desencarnado olhando a nossa própria ausência. […] <<O mundo sem nós>> é, assim, fantasia no seu estado mais puro: O espetáculo da própria Terra que reconquista o seu estado pré-castrado de inocência, antes de nós, os humanos, a termos devastado com a nossa hubris. […]. Um bom contraponto dessa fantasia, que assenta uma representação da natureza com um ciclo equilibrado e harmonioso perturbado pela intervenção humana, é a tese de um cientista de meio ambiente em cujos termos, embora não possamos ter certezas quanto aos efeitos últimos das intervenções da humanidade na geosfera, uma coisa é certa: se a humanidade interrompesse abruptamente a sua imensa atividade industrial e deixasse a natureza retomar o seu curso equilibrado, o resultado seria um desmoronamento brutal, uma catástrofe inimaginável. A <<natureza>> na Terra “adaptou-se” já de tal modo a intervenção humana – e à <<poluição>> humana está já tão profundamente envolvida no equilíbrio abalado e frágil da reprodução <<natural>> na Terra – que a sua interrupção causaria um desequilíbrio cataclísmico (ŽIŽEK, Slavoj. Viver o fim dos tempos. Editora Relógio D’Água 2010, p. 113-114) “. Fiel à tradução portuguesa da Editora Relógio D’Água


Rewilding isn’t about nostalgia – exciting new worlds are possible

“The restoration of natural ecosystems – “rewilding” – ought to be a chance to create inspiring new habitats. However the movement around it risks becoming trapped by its own reverence of the past; an overly nostalgic position that makes rewilding less realistic and harder to achieve.

Synthetic animals will save the planet

“Synthetic biology is not a new concept. Craig Venter proposed the idea a few years ago, and recently a Stanford research team created the first complete model of a living organism. But what Ginsberg is proposing — at least at a conceptual level — is something a bit more…macro.

Her new project, called Designing for the Sixth Extinction, is intended to spark debate about how artificial animals could be used to solve environmental problems. She suggests we should go about “rewilding” in order to “preserve or maintain a state of nature using synthetic organisms that are designed to save other species.”

Setting aside half the Earth for ‘rewilding’: the ethical dimension

“A much-anticipated book in conservation and natural science circles is EO Wilson’s Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, which is due early next year. It builds on his proposal to set aside half the Earth for the preservation of biodiversity.

The famous biologist and naturalist would do this by establishing huge biodiversity parks to protect, restore and connect habitats at a continental scale. Local people would be integrated into these parks as environmental educators, managers and rangers – a model drawn from existing large-scale conservation projects such as Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica.”

Bucket lists are a good way to ruin the experience of nature

“A new government programme in South Korea encourages hikers to slow down and enjoy nature. The reason behind the initiative is that South Koreans are, it seems, taking many of the stresses of their daily life along on the trails, bringing the competitive streak from the city to the supposed tranquility of the outdoors. The tendency to rush and ‘do’ nature as quickly as possible led this government to tell its citizens to take their time to appreciate their natural surroundings.

The idea of slowing down, even for just a moment, leads to the question: how do you approach time outdoors? We ought not to have it dictated how we ‘should’ enjoy nature. Some might want to run up trails as fast as possible for exercise. Others might prefer to remain in their cars and take in scenic views. But there are ways of consuming the outdoors – of ‘doing’ nature at a bustling pace – that suggest these ways are part of the problem, rather than its solution.”

‘Auto-rewilding’ landscapes and the Anthropocene – Interview with Anna Tsing

“In the keynote lecture you mentioned the ‘eco-modernists’?

In the Anthropocene, I’m annoyed with the developing of this louder voice from these ‘eco-modernists’. They advocate for what they call the ‘good Anthropocene’, where humans are entirely in control by using more capitalism, more technology, more of the very kinds of practices that caused the problems in the first place. Instead of being critical or imagining that their solutions have problems too, they just say ‘no, just put us in charge and we’ll take over and fix everything’. I think if the Anthropocene discussion is going to be worth anything those people can’t get the upper hand in defining what the conversation is about.”

Bio City

Terreform ONE’s Mitchell Joachim pushes the boundaries of architecture with experimental materials such as living trees and engineered animal tissue — to design future cities that merge with nature.

Robobee under the spotlight: the micro bot that will save us

“Robobee is a robot insect realized by Harvard scientists. This micro bot is going to save us all. Honeybees, in fact, are dying at unprecedented rates because of a mysterious phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The problem is serious, because one-third of the food we eat depends upon pollination. About 80% of plant pollination requires the help of other living to transfer pollen from one plant to another, while just 20% relies on wind. And it’s not enough. Without the pollination honeybees provide, it’s estimated that 85 percent of the Earth’s plant species would be in danger. If bees continue disappearing at this rate, it is estimated that by 2035 there will no honeybees left in the US. Governments are trying to discover the reason why which is probably explained by a mix of diseases, parasites, and pesticides. In the meantime, researchers are developing miniaturized insects which can replace the original ones. From one to a colony, then to a multitude of coordinated hives that can artificially pollinate crops.”

Are ‘Treescrapers’ the Future of Dense Urban Living?

“Yet these buildings are inflected with nature. They are defined by their allegiance to nature, even though the buildings are not natural. They do not derive from nature, like the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, the other architect in the Big Three. Instead these buildings assimilate nature, incorporating it into the machine.”

When rewilding isn’t mad: guanacos can transform the espinal of Chile

“Rewilding is considered one of the crazier ideas in contemporary conservation. The idea of resurrecting woolly mammoths and setting them loose in Siberia and the American Great Plains or lions roaming through central Europe is pretty mad. Mostly though, rewilding is much less barmy to the point of being conventional.Rewilding projects tend to have some features in common that distinguish them from your typical conservation programme. These include, reintroducing a species (such as elephants) or introducing a proxy species (such as elephants in the place of extinct woolly mammoths). They also often seek to restore the ecology of the location (such as by creating a new habitat type or by improving the existing one) and tend to have a significant social impact as a result of the species reintroduction and habitat restoration.”

Old mobile phones are helping to save the rainforest”

Give your old mobile to Topher White and he’ll use it to save the rainforest. “Illegal logging accounts for 50 to 90 per cent of all logging in tropical regions,” says the 33-year-old founder and CEO of San Francisco-based non-profit Rainforest Connection. “It’s an immense issue, but it’s really not feasible for humans to monitor large swathes of rainforest.”

Is Zero Deforestation Possible for the Brazilian Amazon?

“Zero deforestation is vital to maintain the environmental services the Amazon provides: water provision, climate regulation, carbon storage, pollination, biodiversity, natural pest control, scenic beauty, tourism and more. For example, the Amazon forest has an important function in maintaining rainfall beyond the borders of the Amazon region. The water vapor that comes out from the Atlantic Ocean is recycled through the woods and is responsible for the rainfall beyond the Amazon basin. And the forest acts as a large air conditioner for the region, playing an important role in maintaining cool temperatures across the landscape.”

The Problem with Nature Therapy

“Nature Rx is also a refraction of a deepening trend: the medicalization of nature. In an increasingly tech-driven global culture, with more than half of humanity living in cities and your typical North American spending 90 percent of his or her time indoors, concern has become widespread—first among psychologists, but now also parents, educators, urban planners, artists—that our disconnection from the living world comes at a high price to our health.

The condition to be treated, in a term coined by the writer Richard Louv in 2005, is “nature-deficit disorder,” and the symptoms are a roster of the most talked-about medical obsessions of our times, from stress and anxiety to obesity, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even the desire for epidemiological self-maximization expressed by the phrase “better than well.” In each of these cases, a growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to nature can help.”

Concrete jungle? We’ll have to do more than plant trees to bring wildlife back to our cities

“The federal environment and acting cities minister, Greg Hunt, on Tuesday pledged to increase the number of trees in Australian cities. In a bid to fight higher urban temperatures, the plan will set targets for tree cover.This is part of a green revolution spreading through the world’s cities. From New York to Singapore, urban areas are undertaking bold “greenspace” initiatives – removing concrete and allowing trees and vegetation back in.

Some of the benefits include replacing the ugly infrastructural trappings of vehicles and motorways as well as cooling cities, absorbing air pollution and minimising runoff. These greenings further have mental health benefits, by bringing residents and visitors alike back into contact with the land.”

The world’s forests will collapse if we don’t learn to say ‘no’

“An alarming new study has shown that the world’s forests are not only disappearing rapidly, but that areas of “core forest” — remote interior areas critical for disturbance-sensitive wildlife and ecological processes — are vanishing even faster.Core forests are disappearing because a tsunami of new roads, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure is rapidly slicing into the world’s last wild places, opening them up like a flayed fish to deforestation, fragmentation, poaching and other destructive activities.”

Artist Makes Rugs That Look Like Nature | Insta of the Week

“At a glance, this post by Alexandra Kehayoglou looks like a charming moment in a fairytale forest. A second look reveals the edges of a workshop or studio. “Clearly this is Photoshopped,” the mind reflexively assumes. The Argentinan artist’s bio reveals the truth: this is a wool rug. Kehayoglou spends hours sculpting and dying textiles to create surprisingly realistic interpretations of nature that look great in front of the fireplace.

Check out her amazing process on her website, and a few more examples of her work in the Instagrams below.”

Rainforests Regrowth Boosts CO2 Capture

“Secondary tropical forests are able to regenerate after cutting, and this process can often be quite fast. This news comes from Panama, home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where a group of scientists recently released results of a study aimed to investigate the forestry regeneration capacity of earlier surfaces almost completely deforested for agricultural purposes.”

Why E O Wilson is wrong about how to save the Earth

“The ‘nature needs half’ idea is not entirely new – it is an extreme version of a more widespread ‘land sparing’ conservation strategy. This is not about setting aside half the Earth as a whole but expanding the world’s current network of protected areas to create a patchwork grid encompassing at least half the world’s surface (and the ocean) and hence ‘about 85 per cent’ of remaining biodiversity. The plan is staggering in scale: protected areas, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, currently incorporate around 10-15 per cent of the Earth’s terrain, so would need to more than triple in extent.

Wilson identifies a number of causes of the current ecological crisis, but is particularly concerned by overpopulation. ‘Our population,’ he argues, ‘is too large for safety and comfort… Earth’s more than 7 billion people are collectively ravenous consumers of all the planet’s inadequate bounty.’ But can we talk about the whole of humanity in such generalised terms? In reality, the world is riven by dramatic inequality, and different segments of humanity have vastly different impacts on the world’s environments. The blame for our ecological problems therefore cannot be spread across some notion of a generalised ‘humanity’.”