No 1159 Posted by fw, October 4, 2014
By 2040, heat waves and droughts were the norm. Control measures – such as water and fund rationing and Malthusian “one-child” politics – were widely implemented. In wealthy countries, the most hurricane- and tornado-prone regions were gradually but steadily depopulated, putting increased social pressure on areas less subject to those hazards. In poor nations, conditions were predictably worse: rural portions of Africa and Asia began experiencing significant depopulation from out-migration, malnutrition-induced disease and infertility, and starvation. Still, sea level had risen only 9 to 15 centimeters around the globe, and coastal populations were mainly intact.
So continues the provocative and grimly fascinating narrative by a historian living in China in the year 2393 as he recounts events that led to the Great Collapse of Western Civilization. The book from which these brief passages are excerpted is The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, Columbia University Press, 2014. The authors, both American history scholars, have invented this dystopian vision of our future life on Earth by extrapolating from a treasure trove of recent past and current climate science research.
The purpose of sharing selected excerpts is twofold – to raise awareness of what will likely be in store for us if we do not immediately begin to drastically alter our lifestyle habits, and to highly recommend a full and careful reading of this slim volume.
Continuing this cli-fi (climate-fiction) chiller, consider the scenario in the Northern Hemisphere in 2041 leading to the union of the US and Canada in creation of the United States of North America …
Then, in the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2041, unprecedented heat waves scorched the planet, destroying food crops around the globe. Panic ensued, with food riots in virtually every major city. Mass migration of undernourished and dehydrated individuals, coupled with explosive increases in insect populations, led to widespread outbreaks of typhus, cholera, dengue fever, yellow fever and viral and retroviral agents never before seen. Surging insect populations also destroyed huge swaths of forests in Canada, Indonesia, and Brazil.
As social order began to break down in the 2050s, governments were overthrown, particularly in Africa, but also in many parts of Asia and Europe, further decreasing social capacity to deal with increasingly desperate populations. As the Great North American Desert surged north and east, consuming the High Plains and destroying some of the world’s most productive farmland, the U.S. government declared martial law to prevent food riots and looting. A few years later the United States announced plans with Canada for the two nations to begin negotiations toward the creation of the United States of North America, to develop an orderly plan for resource-sharing and northward population relocation. The European Union announced similar plans for voluntary northward relocation of eligible citizens from its southernmost regions to Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
From this point forward, in this retrospective saga back to the future, things on planet Earth get worse, much much worse. To find out how much worse, read the book.
FAIR USE NOTICE – Click on above tab for details