Closed Socio-ecological life support systems (CsELSS)
Closed Socio-ecological Life Support Systems (CsELSS) – A class of Bioregenerative Life support systems (BLSS) related to Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS), where human cultural and ecological complexity are driven to emerge as a function of environmental control & life support systems (ECLSS) operation.
Coined by Nicholas A. Carlough, CsELSS are best understood by its contrast with CELSS spesificly the function of the humans and there culture within the CELSS as a regulating mechanism. CsELSS are essentially CELSS that make use of the self organizing (Gaian) nature of ecology with humans fulfilling a fully integrated role replacing automation technology for the transport of materials such as water and organic wastes, as well as regulation of atmospheric systems through burning of materials or stimulation of plant and algae growth. CsELSS finds relevance in arcology, seasteading, para-terraformation and space settlement.
This kind of life support systems is an all encompassing way of life where the human culture is entirely integrated with the ecological systems hence the distinction between ecological (E) and socio-ecological (sE). Industry would still need to exist for the maintenance of the shell that contains the CsELSS and for imports of materials for expansion, however by the time we implement this method on mars, industry should be self maintaining and fully automated.
In my view CsELSS are a path towards transcending civilization as we know it, and even the human organism. I see an eventuality where Gaian ecology becomes a kind of organelle providing diversity of consciousness to a larger technological organism. Much like mitochondria inhabit our cells, one day we (Gaian ecology) will inhabit the cells of massive organisms that are independent of planets, forming clusters in solar orbit. It is a true fractal iteration of our own evolution, and represents a future of harmony between our technological and our ecological self.