Tag Archives: let’s build a world after climate change

Answering a question asked in meatspace

In my post about world building one of the people I sometimes interact with in real life AKA “meatspace” asked why the detailed information about the tropics and how to cross them became part of the world for LMOE, and I thought it might have come up to some of my readers I don’t know personally.

The tl;dr version is “Do you really think the LMOE could be kept only for women in the Northern Hemisphere?” but the longer answer is it was much more practical to send the LMOE south than it was to force thousands of women to make the risky journey north to have a chance at propagating without the intervention of advanced technology, and it took 3 chapters to get him there and back again. And in this case at least one chapter was steamy because it was literally hot and steamy, not because there was a lot of sex involved. When the AC involved requires a megawatt power supply just to maintain human life for 3 people it’s hot. The condenser field for the AC was about 2/3 of an acre for a facility roughly the size of a suburban duplex with 2 BR/BA each unit.

The scenario was the submarine carrying the LMOE was the regular supply run for a research station studying the flora and fauna of the former Panama Canal since the Last War, and the scientist demanded an overnight visit from the LMOE, ostensibly to share a gourmet dinner with a Distinguished Guest. I’m not saying there wasn’t any sex involved, get real, it’s porn of course there was sex. But in this chapter it was just the once before everybody got too hot to continue. There is a possibility that with only one person at the station she might have gotten more than a bit lonely for actual physical human contact, and sharing a bed with the LMOE was just a good excuse to have a snuggle with another human being, I dunno. The station had 2 guest rooms that went completely unused for that chapter. That chapter spent more words describing the dinner than the sex, which was uncharacteristically quick for this series. The researcher never physically left the station but instead used remote observation robots that allowed visual and haptic feedback of the plants and animals. The animals were so heat-adapted that in air temperatures below 82°F they would die from hypothermia and suffer cold injury at anything below 100° so any up close examination had to be done outside the air conditioned spaces of the station. Similar things would happen to plant life brought into the station. I’m not an evolutionary biologist so I was very vague describing everything except the bugs because I know something about bugs evolved for extremely high temperatures in deserts and extrapolated to the expected environment in Central America post-apocalypse. I did spend about a year and a half within spittin’ distance of the Sahara in North Africa and I wasn’t totally oblivious despite being in the throes of puberty at the time. Said throes and a pretty girl almost got me married because of my abysmal language skills. But that is another story.

Anyway I think I was getting physically uncomfortable writing the detailed description of the conditions outside and inside the station, which may have had something to do with the brevity of the sex in that chapter. I also wasn’t good at writing threesomes at that point, so that might have been part of the problem. And for the expected temperatures I did a metric buttload of Googling and fudged the expected worse conditions by about 10% higher and may have also fudged adiabatic lapse a bit for the mountaintop research station being cool enough to go outside at night without a coolsuit. I also extrapolated that any biting insect life would not identify humans as being edible because we would literally be colder than air, and that any mammals would only be active at night through dawn.

I’ve been doing some world-building

About the only fiction writing I have been doing lately was a sci-fi porno mostly for my own entertainment, but the site I post to has given it mostly positive reviews. But I did a metric buttload of world-building for the setting, while the story is pretty much “last man on earth gets laid a lot” that really doesn’t need such an elaborate setting. So as a public service I’m going to make the setting public domain, so that other people can play in my sandbox.

About 250 years in the future a time warp drops The Last Man on Earth outside a farming village in what used to be north Texas which is now part of Canada. He was riding a bicycle which is now a twisted piece of steel and aluminum that is barely recognizable as to what it was, and ditto LMOE. The villagers see the man and alert authorities as they take the injured person to one of their medical facilities called an AutoDoc, an automated device capable of anything short of transplant surgery including repairing extensive brain damage. It can’t restore memories, but it can restore full function to make new memories. Our Protagonist will have to spend the next year or so inside this device, so it is placed on a separate power source and transported to the nearest big city where more supplies are available and also the village AutoDoc needs to be replaced in case of illness or injury. Their old AutoDoc is now performing life support for what’s left of the LMOE as it was not a very gentle time warp but closer to getting pulled through a mini-wormhole that left most of the larger bones in the LMOE’s body with at least one fracture, and some have 3 or 4 fractures with most non-displaced but some are compound and protruding through the skin, so it will be a while until we see the LMOE again. One of the things the AutoDoc can do is make real blood from the patient’s own genetics so it’s not a problem that the LMOE has some rare blood subtypes.

So, since the LMOE is going to be in the AutoDoc and rehab for a while, let’s take a look at the world where he’s going to live. The world of 2270 is hardly recognizable to our 21st century eyes, as climate change and the wars that came with it have devastated the planet. Antarctica is one of the most populated land masses in the Southern hemisphere after all the ice melted leaving a mostly temperate climate similar to Siberia, Canada, and the Nordic Countries. The world population of humans is right at 950 million, spread thinly from outside the tropics to both poles with everything between the tropics considered uninhabitable except for a few researchers and insane people, with a great deal of overlap in the Venn diagram. Average temperatures in the tropics are about 130°F with highs reaching 150 and nighttime lows sometimes as cool as 95°F but mostly about 110. Obviously nobody can live here without refrigeration, and crossing the equator outside of a plane or submarine usually results in death except for very fast sailing ships that have refrigerated cabins. Outside the tropics temperatures are lower, but even the poles are in the temperate zone with summer highs in the low 90s at the North Pole and the high 90s at the South Pole even though the South Pole is a high plateau, and both poles getting below freezing in winter for about a week or so at the North Pole and about a month at the South Pole.

I never mentioned why the LMOE was the absolute Last Man on Earth. Well in what is called the Last War a bioweapon was deployed that attacked people with Y chromosomes, and the last person carrying a Y chromosome died 147 years before the arrival of the LMOE. Now at first this only affected the human population, but eventually it took out all the Great Apes and a few other primates as it mutated and spread. After that there was no longer anything to propagate it as XX chromosome people could not be infected. The only reason the human race survived was the Lesbian Breeding Program that began before the Last War as XX chromosome people started getting disgusted at the XY people. Basically women learned how to fuse eggs to make babies so that men became superfluous. It is rumored that one of the members of the Lesbian Breeding Project created the bioweapon that made all XY people non-fertile and less viable, but there is evidence that it was a religious fanatic who actually did it, and it was definitely a religious fanatic that deployed it after he was told it would only attack those of other races and not his. It might have been that way at first, but eventually every human, great ape, and some primates lost the use of Y chromosomes to reproduce. Now all viable settlements have to have a specialized AutoDoc available to harvest the eggs and perform the fusion and quickening that results in pregnancy after implantation in one or the other donors’ uterus. For some reason implantation in a 3rd party uterus has a much lower success rate and is mostly not done. And with a population of 100% women there hasn’t been any large scale conflict since the Last War, hence the name.

As for what we have now, most of the coastal cities were flooded out of existence in a gradual process that finally stabilized about the same time as the last human with a Y chromosome died, mostly because there are no ice caps anywhere in the world. If you want to know what the coastlines look like just look up the Worst Case Scenario for global warming and that will be very close to what the world for the LMOE looks like, except for The Netherlands. The entire country is below the new sea level and is mostly surrounded by water and enormous walls keeping the sea at bay.

As you can imagine burning fossil fuel is a Crime Against Humanity that is punishable by the death penalty, and the entire economy is run on sustainable energy. Also with the drastic reduction in the world population there is a lot more land available for cultivation, and solar farms have shade-grown crops under the solar panels making them true farms. With climate change also comes crop changes as there is no longer the infrastructure to make the agricultural chemicals that used to be required to get crop yields per acre needed to feed 8 billion people, nor the need to feed that many with the world population now less than a billion and there is likewise more land available to cultivate. Organic farming is now the rule rather than the exception, and fiber crops are also a part of crop rotation. Texas is one again one of the largest producers of cotton after new strains were genetically engineered to withstand the new climate and produce even longer staple than old natural strains. Even kudzu has been genetically engineered to produce 80% of the ethanol fuel used in the world, and also is a major food crop. Chicken and Kudzu stew is a favorite meal in South Canada since the introduction of Spicy Kudzu with capsaicin in the leaves, identifiable by the red streaks in the leaves instead of the deep green of Fuel Kudzu that is also grown in the same fields with Spicy Kudzu used to deter insects. Fuel Kudzu is edible, but doesn’t taste very good because of it’s high sugar content combined with nicotine originally derived from tobacco plants used to also deter insects. People tried to smoke Fuel Kudzu, but the high sugar content made keeping it lit a lost cause as a tobacco replacement, and tobacco is restricted to First Nation use in religious ceremonies. There is some cross-pollination between Fuel and Spicy kudzu at the boundaries between the two crops that are very effective as insect deterrents, but aside from that aren’t much good for either food or fuel.

Speaking of insects, there were a ton of species that were lost or almost lost before the Last War, including most of the bees, most of the butterflies, and even most of the crickets and grasshoppers. Spider farming is now a major thing as harvesting their webs is a source of high strength fabrics with one species now accounting for most of the bulletproof fabrics in use, and another species is prized for the rainbow colored silk it spins. There aren’t many species of cricket left, but they are a commercial source of protein for most of the world as large mammal farming is mostly restricted because of the amount of methane it created. If you want to find a noisy farm just listen for a cricket farm, they can be heard for miles away.

I mentioned shade-grown crops on solar farms. Most of what used to be the DFW metromess is now solar farms raising traditional vegetables in the shade of endless rows of solar panels, with what used to be suburban cities now farming villages of a few hundred to about a thousand people running the robots that do the work of running a farm, and also running the carbon capture machines that are gradually reducing the amount of GHG in the atmosphere in hopes of eventually making the equatorial regions habitable again, not because the living space is needed, but because solar capture works so much better between the tropics as both sides of roofs are capable of being used for solar panels to run carbon capture. The law requires all southern facing roofs in the northern hemisphere have solar panels, and northern facing roofs in the southern hemisphere as the organic solar panels made after the Last War don’t have the same efficiency as the silicon panels from before the war and they tend to break down because of bad weather. Not that there is any shortage of electricity here in the former DFW area between the houses, factory roofs, and solar farms. Mentioning factories, the primary products made in the North Texas province of Canada are textiles from locally raised cotton and spider silk, and solar panels.

I guess I should say something about transportation of how goods get from where they are made and grown to where they are used/consumed. I also mentioned planes burning ethanol crossing the equator, and submarines and fast sailing ships which carry almost all commerce across the equator as away from land the temperatures are less hot. Local transport inside villages consists of bicycles and electric buses for people with electric assist tricycles or quadcycles for goods and refrigerated electric trucks for foods. All villages have a motorized speed limit of 18 MPH (30 km/hr) in the outlying areas and manufacturing areas, and 9 MPH (15 km/hr) in the market and residential areas. Between villages and the few cities is an extensive rail system that is totally electric for both passenger and freight and most trains having refrigeration for passengers and some cargo that doesn’t do good in the heat.

The economy is Democratic Socialist, in that corporations still exist, but almost all labor is performed by robots that belong to the government that pay back to the people. The way that works is the government charges companies for the use of robot labor, and the proceeds from the rental is paid back to the people. It’s not quite GBI, but you own the robots as a consequence of being a citizen so you get an equal share of the proceeds minus taxes. If you perform a service you keep what you make minus the taxes that would be taken out if you were a robot. Most people have a side gig to keep them busy at least some of the time, but it is possible to exist solely on your cut of the robot labor without being too deprived. You wouldn’t have the biggest house or the most wives and daughters, but you would have a comfortable home with AC and more than enough to eat and also support a daughter. Of those side gigs the one that employs the most is robot repair, followed by solar power systems repair and restaurant worker, which is mostly cooking and serving as everything else is robots or automation. A cook is a highly-regarded professional in the world of the LMOE, a server nearly as much. Houses are made with robot labor under human supervision so that there is always more housing than people by a few percent at each economic level to allow for economic mobility and to make homelessness nearly unheard of, especially at the late stages of this story. Another profession that is highly regarded is teacher with almost one third of people employed being teachers. They tried using automation to teach kids, but for the most part found that to not work well with human teachers getting 45% more effectiveness than automated schools. Educated humans are basically an artisanal product best made in small batches or even one at a time in the LMOE universe. Needless to say education is free at all levels and compulsory up to 9th year (equivalent to our 8th grade) and 9th year is roughly the same educational level as a HS graduate for us, but education can continue to 16th year or between a Masters and a PhD in our system, and beyond that for their post-grad system. In spite of the AutoDocs actual medical professionals exist to research new and better modes of treatment for the AutoDocs. Research uses patients in AutoDocs but directed by a human or team of humans instead of the AI usually doing the treatment in an AutoDoc. The education required for this is roughly 20 years, or graduating doctors at 24-25 YO.

Restaurants in the LMOE universe are… interesting. The food is free, but you are charged for the cooking and serving, what is basically a convenience fee. Some places don’t have servers, the cook calls your order either by food or number or in some places your name and you get your plate straight from the cook. The kinds of restaurant also varies as some cook what you bring (You Kill It We Grill It being the generic name, and actual name of some) , some cook a specific menu that varies by season, some only cook certain foods (like a French, or Japanese restaurant) and some are just places for the cook to show off and you can literally get anything in season prepared to any cuisine. Fast food is also a thing with McCriket’s (mikCRYkits) being a popular chain that trains their cooks how to make the best cricket burgers in the world using premium local crickets prepared to a secret recipe. Almost every village has a McCriket’s with cities having as many as 10 or 12, which gives you an idea of the relative sizes of villages and cities.

I should also mention that the government owns all the farms as well as the robots that run the farms so all food is “free” in that your taxes pay for it, and everybody gets food even the homeless people in the early chapters. And by the latest chapters the quasi-religious discrimination that causes the homelessness has been wiped out by education. The people that had been previously effected by this discrimination still exist because it is a lingering effect of the bioweapon that wiped out Y chromosome people, but they are no longer discriminated against. And obviously medical care is free as the AutoDocs are community/government property.