Why lack of sacredness is at the roots of climate change?

Long ago Galileo proved, we as humans are not the centre of the universe. I feel it is about time where we need to establish that we humans are not the centre of everything around us. Just think of our modern cities, which are largely conceptualised, designed, and built “against” nature. We still “primitively” think in externalities, with animism surfacing in our behaviours, rituals, and relationships with everything around us. We need to think and design with a totally new paradigm. Our future cities instead need “to be” nature, a large ecosystem, a web, a fungi network, that harmoniously integrates all the elements.

At a macro-level, the study and application of human metabolism is a totally new paradigm for conceptualising and designing a future city. The way the human body requires energy, water and fresh air to function so does our cities. There are flows of services, goods, data and money in a city. There are also a few byproducts like the waste that needs to be efficiently disposed of or managed like in our human body. Many of our future challenges would involve understanding these flows thoroughly. The human metabolism as a system or metaphor would help us better design our future cities that are efficient, less entropic, antifragile and harmonious.

At a micro-level, immersion or exposure to nature in our daily life might open our eyes and make us aware of our (strong) sense of separation between “private”, to be nurtured and protected, and “public”, to be used and abused. The way we behave in our backyard garden in terms of waste management and care is mostly different from how we behave in a park or an open city area. Till the time my home is clean, I’m fine and then I don’t care about my precinct or the city is the prevalent attitude. The urban and unfortunately now the rural belief of responsibility implies the exclusion of the exterior and clashes with the notion of sacredness, e.g. a sense of sacred when visiting a forest or a beach. This lack of sacredness is at the roots of climate change because our modern economies, cities, and cultures have lost the notion of what is never to be broken or infringed; the sacred.

In this respect, we should totally rethink or kill the concept of parks, natural reserves, or even CSR departments in corporations, because they represent the way of thinking whereby we aim at creating and maintaining islands of intelligence in an ocean of stupidity, or islands of creativity and care in a sea of selfishness and destruction. The notion of a park is the protection of a minor part of nature, say a small portion or part of a river, versus the exploitation of the larger part that is not included in the park. This must be reverted, and whole rivers, whole forests, whole mountains, whole corporations, and whole cities should become sustainable in the way they are conceptualised, designed, and managed.

We need to think and design with a totally new paradigm!

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NID I TEDx Speaker I Member CII’s National Committee on Design I Jury India Design Mark, Govt of India I Founder Director Lokusdesign

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Shekhar Badve

Shekhar Badve

NID I TEDx Speaker I Member CII’s National Committee on Design I Jury India Design Mark, Govt of India I Founder Director Lokusdesign

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