A world with a decentralized technostructure powered by ecological empathy.
Rampant unchecked capitalism has caused irreversible damage to the climate. The oceans are growing more acidic while sea level rises, hundreds of animal species are going extinct, acid rain falls from the sky, extreme weather gets worse and worse, and the atmosphere is growing warmer and warmer. The Big Storm of 2092 marked the most devastating day for human civilization. A solar flare caused polar ice to melt at a shocking speed causing global sea level rise of 40 feet in one day. Many cities that had not listened to the decade long warnings to build sea walls were halved in population instantaneously.
1) The Space-Farers include 30% of the Global Population… but mostly wealthy white men who actually caused most of the climate devastation. Alas, they have created a human settlement on Mars. They have terra-formed but it is not very cozy. The 8-year old settlement has already seen 24 violent wars as different factions have struggled for power to drive the political and economic direction of the new society.
2) The Stuck include cities around the world that did not heed the warnings of the United Nations to divert more energy to adaptation strategies since the mitigation agreements were not going to be met even near close enough to slow Global Warming - see New York City. Sea Level Rise has submerged 60% of the skyscraper volume. Food is scarce. Cars are useless; the public transportation too. No one goes outside. Ever. For risk of Solar Xeroderma Paralysis. Now, instead of changing human behavior to live more sustainably with the environment, the devastation continues as people are stuck in their ways, unable to fathom a lifestyle without the luxury of times before the Big Storm. The stock markets continue, betting on how quickly the sea level will rise. People consume even more energy-intensive foods like meat because they want to. E-commerce continues, with Amazon leading the way - they are the sole providers of all human needs. Because they have a monopoly, they build everything cheaply so that people have to re-buy items like clothes, phones and TVs every 2 weeks. When people’s items stop working, they throw them in the ocean. Every day, the sea level rises 3 inches in The Stuck.
3) The Coastal Browns include African, Caribbean, Latin, and Asian coastal indigenous communities and villages all around the world. The Coastal Browns have seen the worst of climate change effects. Extreme flooding , temperature and weather. An invasive species known as the water hyacinth has taken over every freshwater body on the planet, rendering boating transportation impossible and fishing scarce.
But, because the coastal browns were dealing with climate change effects decades in advance of northern latitudes, they were well prepared for the Big Storm, building large arcs of made of local materials to ride out the sea level rise. After the Big Storm, indigenous leaders called a climate workshop to re-organize their communities along the theme “collaborative resilience”. Only two groups came to the workshop - one from Bangladesh and one from Benin. The other groups migrated to The Stuck feeling discouraged about prospects of recreating communities from scratch.
The communities exchanged rituals, traditions, sacred goods and myths for several months. One myth that emerged from the Bangladeshi community was about the transformative nature of the cabbage. The myth stated that inhaling the essence of cabbage produces a psychological effect that made one see the truth. The leaders of each community decided to roll the cabbage into a joint and spoke it. They both experienced something called hyper-empathy, but instead of just human-to-human, one became ecologically empathetic, having a deep understanding of interactions among organisms. The two leaders would intensely feel the pain of any animals being consumed with a 200 kilometer radius. With their eyes closed, they could see the patterns of birds fleeing areas with high pollution concentrations. They also had unique knowledge of how to interact with the environment that constrains environmental damage to a net-zero.
The two leaders remained in that state for a full year. They instructed the boat captains to sail to Benin. Without exchanging any words, they constructed a laboratory experiment to combine the water hyacinth cells in Lake Nokoue with that of the cabbage. Then they waited…
When they returned, instead of the dense horizontal mats of water hyacinth that they were accustomed to, the water hyacinth was growing vertically into structures that were both buoyant but sturdy.
This amazing invention allowed the two leaders to reprogram the water hyacinth in all of Lake Nokoue into floating infrastructure.
They then created a fleet of drones to capture high-resolution data of the Lake ecosystem. They programmed the drones with algorithms based in ecological empathy - which gave the drones artificial intelligence to know exactly what measurements to take of the Lake and at what frequency.
The drone data is fed into a rich database that feeds into a tool that helps humans to make the most Ecologically empathetic decisions (EEDs) for agricultural, transportation, building design and fishing activities.
This free open-source tool powers all of the human decision-making in the community. The wave forces from extreme weather events are harnessed by smart sea walls that morph to allow fish to migrate and sediment to redeposit.
Traditional Clay mixtures are combined with cabbage residue to create a substance that protects humans from sun damage so they can go outside.
The tool enables the communities to design a self-assembling eco-city composed 3-D printed entirely of biodegradable material. Vertical farming techniques are used everywhere. Solar Panels have reached peak efficiency.
Every human has housing that of course, does not disturb any local habitats. Every human is fed on 100% vegan diets. Every human contributes to the societal needs. No human is overworked. Every human is respected. Every human is valued and NOT based on their contributions to society. Every human is values for their place in the complex interconnected ecological community that connects microbes to plants to animals to humans.
So, how does this community work?
The community is surrounded by sea walls. Any climate refugees that want to enter must smoke the cabbage and pass a biometric scan test verifying that they are ecologically empathetic with a series of tests.
The 100% compliance of smoking the cabbage results in a decentralized community that do not use any typical forms of governance or economic structures. Democracy failed over and over again in the history of humanity leading to rule by the majority that often was not the most, how do you say it? SMART. Dictatorships were not humane.
The governance is the absence of governance. There are no meetings or voting. The economic system is the absence of economy. There is no money or salaries. Every member of the community wants the best for the ecological system, not the individual. It works…. if everyone complies.