Any attempt to break the compulsion of nature by breaking nature only succumbs more deeply to that compulsion. That has been the trajectory of European civilization.
Nature has all sorts of forces and dangers in store for mankind. This begins with the human body, which always requires sufficient fluids and food, whilst it needs protection against cold, disease and (natural) disasters. This is how our societal relationships with nature develop, which are increasingly seeking to control and manipulate nature so that it can be dominated by man. And so it happens that the more we try to free ourselves from nature through technology, the more dependent we become on it.
Cars are no longer simple machines. The less we try to impact nature with large-scale technology, e.g. by using air pollution control, or the more we try to isolate ourselves from nature, e.g. by regulating interior temperature, the more we end up consuming and needing to manipulate nature. In both cases, completely new material cycles are required, which in turn require input products and result in output products. Resource consumption thus increases or is delayed, but in both cases the
Straitjacket of Nature
tightens instead of becoming looser.
Housing offers some protection from the sun, wind, cold, rain and wildlife. Some flats also offer other amenities such as convenient access to transit, high-speed internet and running water. In terms of water supply alone, we will have to accept that the
Straitjacket of Nature
will be tightened for everyone, because it is through the construction, operation and maintenance of a 7,816 km long water supply network with 69,300 hydrants that we are able to meet the basic water demand for all people living in Berlin.
Je weiter die Automatisierung voranschreitet, desto abhängiger machen wir uns von Technik. Zusätzlich zur Zwangsjacke der Natur streifen wir uns noch eine
Zwangsjacke der Natur
über. Technik hat uns und unser Handeln damit immer mehr im Griff - bis zu dem Punkt, an dem unser Handeln nur noch der Technik dient. Bereits heute hat all das, was das Internet ausmacht den weltweit drittgrößten Energieverbrauch nach China und den USA. Mit der zunehmenden Digitalisierung und Automatisierung der Industrie wird dieser Energieverbrauch noch weiter wachsen, da ja zukünftig jede Schraube einen Sensor trägt, der ans Internet angeschlossen werden soll, um zu funken, dass sie locker ist.
Due to the current compartmentalization of agriculture, natural cycles are disrupted, at first on a per-farm basis, gradually in entire regions and now on a global scale. However, the
Straightjacket of Nature
is not affected. As a result, a shortage of nutrients in the fields must be compensated by mineral fertilizers, which are a finite resource. Simultaneously, entire areas of Lower Saxony in Germany are being literally flooded with nutrient-rich liquid manure as a result of intensive pig breeding for the global market, causing one of the highest nitrate levels in the EU and thus endangering the water supply.
The massive use of oil in every human activity lets us forget the
Straitjacket of Nature
for a few moments. When we put on our glasses for sharper vision, or when we help our hearts with pacemakers, or when we board a long-haul flight to Bali or when we simply cruise at 230 km/h to the bakery around the corner...what we see for a moment as a free ride for those belonging to a species freed from nature only ends up constraining us even more. The smooth delivery of all these seemingly ‘free rides’ and ‘free lunches’ relies heavily on the operation of massive global infrastructure, the consequences of which we have long lost the ability to understand or control.