A pinboard by
Anna Firsova

After completing my PhD, I work on how to make the growth of the emerging economies more sustainable


Environmental Crisis of Capitalism and Communism: State Control and Market-Based Solutions

In ten seconds? Capitalism and western Christianity are often blamed for the Global Ecological Crisis, however historically, atheistic socialism and communism have also lead to environmental degradation. State control by policies and legislation and voluntary mechanisms encourage improvements in both capitalist and communist countries.

It is often argued that capitalism in the post-Industrial Revolution world with its extensive consumption can be blamed for the Global Ecological Crisis. Based on Marx, capitalist society alienates mankind and nature, and everything, even the people and the nature, had a price, everything could be bought and used, as long as someone had the money for that. Another aspect is that Christianity which places man above Nature, and in particular, Protestantism with its focus on labour, could potentially be one of the driving forces of environmental degradation.

But do the atheistic socialism and communism offer viable alternatives in caring for the environment? History of the last century and modern history show that even though consumption in Eastern Europe and China was in many positions less extensive than in the West, environmental degradation was arguably even worse at same points of time.

Nowadays, new technological developments are aimed at combating environmental degradation caused by older technological developments (read more).

In Western countries, the measures are generally very successful with regard to traditional pollutants and there is an evident progress with greenhouse gas emission control. It is done not only through voluntary incentives, but mostly by the introduction of new policies and legislation. At the same time, currently communist China also makes certain progress, for example, with reforestation, flood control and sand storm mitigation using not only command-and-control methods, but also voluntary mechanisms.

by Anna Firsova


An Environment Friendly God: Response to Nancy Hudson’s “Divine Immanence”

Abstract: This paper is a response to Professor Nancy Hudson’s paper “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” (Nancy Hudson, “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” Journal of Theological Studies 56.2 (October 2005): 450–470). The global ecological crisis has spawned intensive reflection about living in right relationship with the earth. Western Christian thought has received special scrutiny since modern alienation from nature has been traced to Christian theology. Undiscovered within the mystical theology of Nicholas of Cusa lies an ecologically promising vision of nature. The concept of divine immanence presented by this medieval thinker provides a rich spirituality that is inclusive, rather than exclusive, of the natural world. It is also far more intimate than contemporary stewardship theology. Cusanus interprets theophany as divine self-expression. A series of striking metaphors, including God’s enfolding and unfolding, God as ‘Not-other’, and Christ as the contracted maximum, reveals a holistic spirituality. Nicholas of Cusa’s concept of divine immanence infuses the world with immeasurable value and gives rise to a Christian theology that can address the current ecological crisis. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God in response to a presentation of Nancy Hudson’s “Divine Immanence.”

Pub.: 03 Oct '07, Pinned: 12 May '17

The Introduction of Woody Plants for Freshwater Wetland Restoration Alters the Archaeal Community Structure in Soil

Abstract: Due to the severe degradation of wetland ecosystems in China, great efforts, such as the reconstruction of forested wetlands, have been devoted to restore the damaged and degraded wetlands to support species diversity and ecosystem services. However, less attention has been given to the diversity and ecological significance of prokaryotes of the domain Archaea compared with prokaryotes of the domain Bacteria during the reconstruction of forested wetlands. Here, the effects of introduced woody plants (Taxodium distichum and Alnus trabeculosa) on the archaeal community in a freshwater wetland in the Yangtze estuary were investigated. The results showed that Thaumarchaeota obviously predominated at three studied sites in the freshwater wetland, the relative abundance of which decreased with increasing depth, ranging from 93.9% (0–10 cm) to 1.9% (30–40 cm) in mudflats, from 100% (0–10 cm) to 64.8% (30–40 cm) in T. distichum sediment and from 100% (0–10 cm) to 66.7% (40–50 cm) in A. trabeculosa sediment. The abundances of the archaeal amoA gene in woody plant sediments, ranging from 3.27 × 107 to 2.45 × 108 copies g−1 dry soil, were significantly higher than those in bare mudflat, ranging from 9.23 × 106 to 1.35 × 107 copies g−1 dry soil. The archaeal community, which was significantly affected by pH, microbial carbon and SO42− contents according to a canonical correspondence analysis, was significantly altered by plants and soil depth (p < 0.05). These results indicated that the introduction of woody plants stimulates the proliferation of Thaumarchaeota, especially ammonia-oxidizing archaea, which could be important contributors to the N cycle in forested wetland ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Pub.: 10 May '17, Pinned: 13 May '17