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Забудьте антропоцен: мы вступили в синтетический век

Один факт о нашем времени становится все более известным. Независимо от того, как далеко вы путешествуете,  каком направлении указываете, нигде на Земле нет места, свободного от следов человеческой деятельности. Химические и биологические признаки нашего вида — всюду. Отпечатки человечества переносятся по всему земному шару сильными атмосферными ветрами, непрекращающимися океанскими течениями и вместительными грузовыми трюмами миллионов автомобилей, работающих на ископаемом топливе. Нетронутая природа навсегда исчезла.

Забудьте антропоцен: мы вступили в синтетический век

Голоцен сменился антропоценом

Эти планетарные изменения были охарактеризованы географами, геологами и климатологами как конец одной геологической эпохи, голоцена, и начало следующей, антропоцена. В этот недавно обозначенный «человеческий век» воздействие нашего вида на океаны, землю и атмосферу стало неотъемлемой чертой Земли. И эта идея о том, что человечество вызвало геологический переход, привлекает внимание людей не только потому, что эпохи редко сменяются. Дело в том, что наш вид одержим идеей того, что мы обладаем планетарными силами.

Второй факт о нашей эпохе гораздо менее привлекателен. Мы меняем планету. Дело не только в том, что человеческая деятельность запятнала каждый уголок планеты. Одновременное появление ряда мощных новых технологий начинает сигнализировать о возможном перехвате самых базовых операций Земли ее самым смелым видом. Начиная с сегодняшнего дня, технологии вроде метода редактирования генов CRISPR и климатическая инженерия будут превращать уже испорченную планету во все более синтетическое целое.

В феврале этого года, когда энтомолог Рут Мюллер открыла контейнер с генетически модифицированными комарами в лаборатории строгого режима в итальянском городе Терни, она не просто экспериментировала с новым мощным инструментом из мира биотехнологий. Она вносила изменения в менделевские законы наследования, которые управляют всей жизнью на Земле.

Комары, которых она выпустила, унесли «генные драйв», активированные при помощи CRISPR, чтобы распространить их в группе москитов. Это позволит проверить, могут ли люди успешно навязать модифицированную черту всему свободно живущему населению вида. Лаборатория, в которой работает Мюллер, была тщательно спроектирована таким образом, чтобы на данный момент изменения происходили в ограниченном масштабе и строго в помещении. Но генные драйвы в теории могут распространяться без посторонней помощи в любой уголок земного шара, в котором живут популяции скрещивающихся комаров. Они меняют генетические правила везде, куда путешествуют.

Исследования лаборатории Мюллера буквально вносят изменения в планетарные правила.

В начале этого лета группа ученых из Гарвардского университета проведет первые полевые испытания геоинженерии климата. Они планируют использовать высотный воздушный шар для размещения отражающих частиц в стратосфере над засушливыми ландшафтами юго-запада США. Там они изучат, насколько эффективно частицы отражают поступающую солнечную энергию. В надлежащем масштабе эту технологию можно будет использовать для изменения планетарных правил так, чтобы они уравновешивали изменения, вписанные генными драйвами.

Антропогенное изменение климата уже изменило процесс перемещения тепла через эту систему. Но изменение климата никогда не было вопросом преднамеренного планирования и проектирования. Наш вид никогда прежде не пытался откалибровать то, что поставляет солнце. Этот тепловой коэффициент был запечен в физике Солнечной системы. Если мы решимся на крупномасштабное размещение отражающих частиц в стратосфере, оно перепишет уравнение в наших собственных руках.

Такие технологии, как генная инженерия и климатическая инженерия совершают качественный скачок за пределы того, что имели в виду стратиграфы, рекомендующие переименовать эту эпоху в антропоцен. Стратиграфы — это специально обученные люди, которые отвечают за именование эпох. Между случайными изменениями и преднамеренными изменениями огромная пропасть. Дэвид Кит, один из ученых Гарвардского проекта по климат-инжинирингу, указывает на огромную разницу между преднамеренной разработкой чего-либо и созданием беспорядка. В первом чувство ответственности намного выше. Подумайте, почему умышленное убийство намного хуже непреднамеренного.

В отличие от разрушения среды обитания, выбросов углерода и других сигнатур эпохи антропоцена, испытываемые сегодня технологии предназначены для сознательного контроля некоторых ключевых физических процессов, которые формируют наш мир. Естественные законы природы никуда не исчезают, но становятся предметом более глубоких манипуляций. Подумайте о них не как о «косметических» изменениях, а как о «метаболических». Чарльз Дарвин, Грегор Мендель и соглашения по атмосферной физики становятся предметом деликатного пересмотра.

Пересечение этой линии представляет собой совершенно новую территорию как для нашего вида, так и для планеты. Сама природа будет формироваться процессами, переделанными и  «улучшенными» генетиками и инженерами. Нам следует назвать этот переход началом «синтетического века», времени, когда фоновые константы все чаще заменяются искусственными и «улучшенными» версиями себя. Эта переделка метаболизма Земли затрагивает самую суть нашего понимания окружающей среды и нашей роли в ней.

Ученым, политикам и людям всех стран придется сообща преодолевать эти пороги. Для некоторых они сулят захватывающие перспективы, для других — ужасные. Эпоха антропоцена потребовала психологической адаптации. Синтетическая эпоха потребует чего-то значительно большего.

Согласны? Давайте обсудим этот вопрос в нашем чате в Телеграме.

Источник: hi-news.ru

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