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2 : Mimic-Reality

We face a non-returning catastrophic ecological event produced by 10.000 years of constant deforestation and 200 years of intensive pollution. Industries and habitat need to change direction to allow our civilization to survive. 19th century science developed into 20th century technique, producing a self-destroying scenario where architects (which for centuries created beautiful universes) are not leading in the environment anymore. We have been replaced by technocrats, who ignore the nature of things. For three decades theoretical discussions showed a detachment from habitat. Architects became designers in giant urban proportions, often building anti-sustainable contraptions. Glass towers in deserts like Dubai are seen as a success, wasting energy, resources, becoming a sad example of what not to do. Marshall McLuhan anticipated that the speed of electronic information was catapulting perception, conscience and knowledge, while Jacques-Yves Cousteau saw both the oceans and the atmosphere dying. Virtual reality is deactivating children's reading, writing and interpreting capabilities (which are non-biological). In many cases, when applied to the real word, the so called search engines annihilate students' association and logical analysis capacities. Social networks kidnapped their mind. Our conscience understands what we see on screen as real, when we actually process mirrored images. For your subconscious, however, what you see in the Internet (as this) is unreliable, because it is unreal: there is no paper, no materiality, things you will never touch. Somehow we got trapped in between, we are confined in mimic information. Data collected indicates that most vertebrate and invertebrate species approach mass extinction before 2.100. There are 8 million life forms on Earth: 150 to 200 species disappear every day, not only insects. One million blue whales lived in the oceans: there are less than 1.500 left. Unlike the previous five known extinctions (the last one, 65 million years ago), this time is man-made. 

This is perhaps the most important graph our civilization has ever faced: the Arctic sea ice loss in the last 50 years and the immediate projection (the graph and these writings have been revised in July 2018). We started an (almost) Arctic ice-free summer in 2016, and we are reaching a full ice free Arctic within the next two or three years: once the sunrays will not be reflected, but absorbed by the dark ocean surface, the most severe positive feedback will not allow the ice-cap to recover. Between 1 and 1.5 degrees will be added to the average temperature. This means more than about 2 additional degrees in the continents, far from the coast, where the majority of agriculture of the planet is produced. In reserved documents, world food organizations estimate that, under that scenario, about 60% of the crops in the world will fail. The facts (not our opinion) indicate that within the next decade or two our industrial civilisation is collapsing; the ignition will not necessarily be political and economical instability, wars, oil, or a combination of all these elements, but lack of food production (mainly grains) because of sudden high temperatures and drought.

Whether human's destiny is (or has been) to live in a sort of dissociation reality where the image of the world we create reflects our wishes and particular interpretation, but something basically unreal and far from facts, or whether what happened (habitat destruction) had more to do with a sort of biological, instinct -proto-cerebellum type of mind- or with an unstoppable impulsive reaction, we will never know. In particular, I am not interested in that debate. The only thing that seems to be real is: our life span, as individuals and also as a society, is limited, we tend to survive in the short term and not to change unless we are forced to, and we do have a collective intelligence or -putting differently- a collective mind that tends to survive (to guarantee food and roof), but we destroy the environment in the process. Beyond the influence of the sun, which is indeed the most important warming factor in the Earth, there are more than 60 positive feedbacks that collaborate to Global Warming. Some of them, like the permafrost methane release in the Arctic, is not fully understood, but it is also happening. We have pointed above the most important one, which is validated by a large amount of scientific literature from the last fifty years: the ice-free Arctic, that will add to the atmosphere more than one degree of average global temperature. This is acting as a catalyst of many more global climate effects: warming of many deep ocean currents like the Gulf Stream, changing of air circulating patterns (the interaction between the two Earth's cups, covered by ice, and the central areas of the sphere produce air currents, sort of inhale-exhale daily cycles on the surface of the planet. Once the Arctic and the Antarctic melt -the former is about to complete the process, the latter started and will take decades- the Earth will stop "breathing"; temperatures will level in a new warmer global average, stronger storms will happen in unusual latitudes, and deep inside the continents the situation will be severe, unable to grow crops. We should be alerting and instructing our future architects (and our children) about this, right now, instead of inducing them to play with plastic toys and digital games that built a mimic reality far away from our fragile habitat.

Go to the next chapter, here.

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Background photo: planet Mars, dust storm, PIA15959, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), courtesy of NASA

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