Our idealisation, romanticism and paradoxical thinking in ecology is holding us back from finding new ways to interact with nature. Neo-nature is part thought experiment, part manifesto which suggests a new way to interact with nature in which we let go of our presumptions and emotions through rationality in ecological thinking.
The first chapter, Animalia, deals with the animal kingdom and suggests three alternative ways to conserve coral reefs. In all three alternatives, the humans speed up the coral’s evolution by genetically modifying it to adapt to the new environmental conditions that put the species in danger. The motivation behind why each coral is created illustrates how humans can donate, protect, or exploit.
Coral A – Donation
This coral colony is a pure act of donation from conservationists in order to save the species from extinction. The corals pass plankton efficiently between each other, creating a temple of nature, a celebration of marine life, and a spectacle for visitors to witness. This is a pure act of selflessness from humans.
Coral B – Salvation
This species is seeded in areas where tsunamis might hit. The humans plant the coral, the tsunami hits, the coral takes 70% of the impact, thereby saving the humans. Because of the impact of the tsunami, the colony gets wiped out. A lifecycle emerges where humans plant the corals, the corals save the humans, and the humans resurrect the corals.
Coral C – Exploitation
In the aftermath of an environmental catastrophe by an energy company, this coral is created to offset the ecological impact. This precisely hydrodynamic coral is extremely efficient at slipstreaming and merging water currents into powerful single streams. At the end of the coral colony, a convenient jet of water is exploited by the creators of the coral to harvest electricity.