Urban ecology, small nature, major damage

@Chronicles of Architecture

When urbanity puts pressure on rural areas … Recently, the world’s gaze has turned to the Ukrainian crisis. This serves as a pretext for politicians to free themselves from our dependence on fossil fuels. This pressure cruelly highlights the effect that our urban ecological desires have induced on our landscape.

In fact, after years spent promoting gas heating through outrageously favorable thermal regulations, we are now dependent on a Russian gas that has become unacceptable. To get rid of it, the public authorities place emphasis on Biogas, the name is well found, it is natural!

But how is this biogas made? Initially, thanks to methanisators that were to collect cow dung from farms … with one swipe, manure no longer contributes to global warming, and they produce energy! Enough to reconcile an ecologist with cattle breeding, who is nonetheless well criticized for his consumption of maize – even a water consumer – and its supposedly catastrophic CO2 footprint!

However, to ensure the mass production of biogas, not all French cows are sufficient. The public authorities have therefore given the right to put maize directly in methanisators! because the plant has a gas production equivalent to cow dung! In other words, so that city dwellers can have buses ” green for Biogas and heat, the State therefore asks farmers to plant maize, not to feed humans or animals, but to decompose it directly and thus produce gas!

In addition to the disturbing side of transforming our farmers into gas producers, such a policy could leave doubt about the ecological struggles of varying geometry: the ayatollahs are regularly scandalized by the amounts of water needed to grow maize, but rise to the occasion, made to meet. them and at the same time promote methanizers! This ecologism, which advocates vegetarianism, even veganism, speaks against animal cruelty to the livestock sector, but does not mind the cows being turned into a biogas plant!

Construction is no exception. After fashion in wood construction, urban ecologists are rising up against the industrialization of the forest! Wood is good, but trees are better! They have apparently just discovered that wood is not a miracle material that arises by magic, in the form of a beam or a plank, but that it is the result of an industrial process that begins with the planting of a shoot, then the cutting. a tree to finally transform it.

And this industry actually selects species for their profitability and performance and changes the territory. In short, forestry, yes, but you have to leave nature unused, so wooden construction has already gone out of fashion in favor of hemp and straw!

Faster, annual plant with strong development, hemp has many qualities that we find after leaving it for years. So now it has to be built in hemp, hemp wool, hemp concrete, you name it! But where does hemp grow? Good in the fields! So let’s ask the farmers to produce it, in addition to corn to make gas! So our farmers are also our producers of building materials!

The current geopolitical context is also straining the grain market, and some countries like India have openly announced that they will no longer export their production and reserve it for their own people! So French farmers will have to produce more, but with fewer fields!

The positive is that the townspeople are now also requesting straw to insulate buildings! Again two flies with one swipe! This is to omit the fact that the rural areas already used the straw, for breeding and preferably natural fertilizer. Cows producing biogas will have to fight against the producers to preserve their bedding and feed!

While our farmers are being transformed into producers of building materials and energy instead of the nation’s feeders, into a city with ” business angel ‘Squander tens of millions of euros in lost funds to support start-ups trying to solve the circle trying to produce in white gloves and without bending down, three strawberries and two carrots in a few cellars or containers in the city because that ” short circuit »It’s green! And what does it do then, if it happens with a lot of ‘data centers’ and artificial light, this pollution is not seen in the city!

It is clear that so far no start-ups have succeeded in finding a viable economic model in the production of high-tech fruits and vegetables to believe that agriculture can eventually spread manure with its back bent and both hands in the ground. a bright future ahead!

Remarkable exception, to remedy the nutritional deficiencies of vegan diet, have factories of “farmed meat begins to take shape … in the countryside. Projects are certainly not initiated by startups, but by good agrifood specialists with a well-established business model!

This urban ecology’s appetite for food production, systematically towards nature, raises questions … When does the world think it is better to grow fruit and vegetables in containers or cellars without soil? , in artificial light and in disinfected environments, and meat in laboratories, than eating with what nature provides by processing it? When did the world slip to the point where it trusted that city nerds would provide for our food needs more than farmers? At what point does a sensible person come to say to himself that: this is the future! »?

By throwing everything that disturbs out of the city, the city is actually putting enormous pressure on the rural areas. By accumulating the production of energy, building materials, while ensuring the nation’s food maintenance.

All energy production green depends on the landscape, from nuclear power plants to be located far from urban areas, to wind turbines including biogas, building materials, warehouses and finally the food supply to the entire population because it is not urban agriculture that will change. the situation on the subject …

That is the whole paradox when our country continues to invest and over-equip ” dense urban areas on the grounds that they would be organic and that, thanks to the taxes of the entire population, he continues to divest rural areas, deserted by all public services and aid. For some, it is state-of-the-art and crowded public transport, hospitals and universities, etc. For others, the mandatory use of individual transportation is dependent on fossil fuels, medical deserts and school closures.

When the maps of the results of the last presidential election are compared with this obvious imbalance, it is possible to believe that the use of extreme voting is rather related to the fact that the rural population is generally tired of the exploitation they have been subjected to by the wealthy. do urban ecologists who have an immigration problem as the media so easily sells it to us.

When our urban ecology wants ” the nature of the city », She actually generates the industrialization of the country, which she hastens to condemn and point out in order to better convince herself that life in the city would be more virtuous!

It may be time to find a more balanced relationship between urbanity and rural areas, to understand that it is by valuing rural areas that urbanity can tend towards a peaceful ecology.

Stephane Vedrenne
Urban architect

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