Downfall

Downfall

San Francisco, August 28, 2030

Hi! It has been a while since I wrote last – but big news!… The US has announced plans to annex Ecotopia citing reports of “humanitarian crises and inhumane practices” (I presume it’s the war games), but I know that’s bullshit.

I want to detail the downfall of the greatest social experiment of modern history. All those years ago Ecotopia was a breath of fresh air (literally), but it appears the contentment of stagnation and lackadaisical lifestyle has left us vulnerable. In fact, our obsession with stable-state became so intense that all natural resources became a non-renewable as resources slowly leaked from Ecotopia’s grasp through small trade and the slowing of the planet’s natural productivity as the effects of climate change set in. Desalination is great but it doesn’t make up for the Sierra snowfall, Northwest rain that would fill the dams and aquifers of the early 2000s. Just because Ecotopia cleaned up its act doesn’t mean it is immune to the consequences of actions to the other 99.9% of humanity.

But the advancement and capitalistic drive of other societies left Ecotopia as a relic of the past. For example, the increased commonality of neuro-chips (internet in the brain) in other countries has fundamentally altered the human experience for people elsewhere, increasing innovation at astounding rates through “human-assisted machine-learning” (HAMaL). We shunned neuro-chip, deciding that face-to-face “real” experiences were more Ecotopian – but it was one of the major decisions that spelled out downfall.

The “waste arms-race” of the 2020s began after a UN treaty had outlawed the production of “artificial poly-carbon plastic” on the merits of catastrophic damage to ocean resources and countries had agreed to introduce the major financial market to mine ocean plastic. Through advances in technology and biotechnology enabled by HAMaL, our American neighbors had perfected “micro-mining” of microplastic ocean waste. Not only is America paid by the rest of the world to mine plastic – they also are the sole source of “old plastics” (which by their non-corrosive nature are far more useful in many situations than our “natural” plastics). In many ways, micro-mining had become the new oil of the mid-21st century – and had already caused conflict in the ocean gyres of the North Atlantic.

I believe Ecotopia is in now in the firing line of the US military, because of the thermohaline currents off the San Francisco coast. Thermohaline currents are often described as submarine rivers – deep ocean currents that traverse the globe for 90 years before upwelling near the California coast. Experiments five years ago in India (the other upwelling site) have shown microplastics for the first time. India is a strong strategic ally of the US in Central Asia but this still caused tensions. The plastic mining companies aren’t going to pass up an opportunity to sit a river mouth of liquid money. I’m told the hungry mouths of the plastic miners have paid nationalist lobbyists under the table to incite war against Ecotopia – and it worked.

I guess plastic got its revenge after all. Ecotopia viewed it as artificial waste, “unnatural” – an unfair label considering that nothing we see or touch on this planet doesn’t come from nature.

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