Interesting MR article by a philosopher who worked on the 'nature' question before.
The crux of Kate Soper’s Post-Growth Living is simple: we need to redefine “the good life.” We need to move away from a culture that equates the good life with endless consumption and toward one that equates it with experiences that are not defined by the market. Not only is this transition ecologically necessary, but it will also lead to fairer, and far more pleasurable, experiences, such as Soper’s desired “alternative hedonism.” I am confident that this singular plea is both fecund and needed, even if, after reading, I am still not sure exactly what “alternative hedonism” actually is.
For decades, Soper has written elegantly and persuasively on feminism, continental philosophy, environmental ethics, and other topics, never ceding to a position without first interrogating it for herself. In what is likely her most well-known work, What Is Nature? Culture, Politics, and the Non-Human, Soper genuinely absorbs arguments from what she terms “nature-endorsing” approaches, typical of natural scientists who invoke the intrinsic value of “nature,” and “nature-skeptical” approaches, characteristic of poststructuralist scholars who draw attention to the cultural, discursive construction of “nature,” synthesizing the best of each through critique. What emerges is an understanding of socioecological relationships that is at once realist and humanist, and, most importantly, immensely useful.
they're actually gonna make toyot's food machine lmao
its a very nice paper and method, and a very well engineered efficiency too but its important to note that their method is better described as a way to convert CO2 AND 3 equivalents of hydrogen to starch efficiently, at least efficiently compared to the state of the art. the whole thing hinges on (chemical and not enzymatic) hydrogenation of CO2 by hydrogen to methanol, so how to produce that hydrogen and what the energy inputs of that are like is external to the published method. This hydrogenation is normally done under conditions of high pressure and high temperatures with low yields. check the SI for the conditinos they used for the hydrogenation, ZnO-ZrO2 catalyst, 315 C, 50 bar, ~10% yield. the reaction mixture they used is V(H2)/V(CO2)/V(Ar)=72:24:4, gettign concentrated CO2 and removing most O2 is also gonna come with a big energy cost.