The world scene in Iskander’s 2309.

I mentioned in the post before last that I envisaged the intended Iskander mission, developing the infrastructure on the colony world N-3, would be a corporate one. This wasn’t because I particularly admire corporate projects, although I have been employed in a few good ones, but because it reflects the social and economic changes necessary before the crises threatening the world can be dealt with. I guess my postulating a technologically active world in 2309 is itself a vote of confidence that this will happen.

Before disasters such as runaway climate change and nuclear warfare through proliferation can be controlled it is essential that both corporate and public enterprises cooperate instead of preying on one another, and that the operating charters of each hold up the furtherance of the public good as their primary responsibility. This would bring an end to such crimes as the huge resources deployed by the oil and coal lobby to prevent any meaningful legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The course of public policy once established should be an inviolable principle and any action to hinder it would become a criminal offence.

Similarly the military-industrial complexes worldwide and their huge misuse of public resources, not only in the USA, must be reined in and the cultivating of trained xenophobes in military circles ended. Many years ago I proposed in the disarmament newsletter I edited that the only military force allowed in the world should be operated as a single international force under a world body. I hesitate to say this should be the United Nations because of the inherent limitations of the present world body caused by the power plays of the nations that set it up.

In my 2309 Earth, the General Assembly of the UN would be replaced by an elected body, requiring universal suffrage, and the present Security Council would be the executive arm of that elected body. This is impossible to create within the charter of the UN and so a new international body must replace it.

How does climate change develop in my projected Iskander Earth of 2309? Firstly, I see no meaningful action to control greenhouse emissions until the last quarter of the 21st century – perhaps even later. Nothing meaningful will be done until the Netherlands and Manhattan are under water. The costs of containing or even mitigating the disaster will be, as promised, far in excess of the cost we would incur in curbing it today (or yesterday, when the need was first pointed out.) My biggest regret is that those who have blocked action for their own personal gain will be dead and buried when the full extent of the crime cripples civilization, and they cannot serve the life sentences of hard labour they deserve.

What are some of the features of Iskander 2309 that shape their world? The US will be hit particularly hard by climate change and social pressures. Not only will the southern states become full deserts rather than semi-deserts, but the coastal regions that account for a significant portion of the national wealth will be swamped and uninhabitable. The mid-west corn belt will be completely unproductive, even with the water diversion from Canada that a future quisling government in Ottawa will cave in to. The unbalanced social structure where the top 0.01% make 6% of the income (and the top 10% make 50%) particularly mitigates against developing a sound social system where everyone works together to solve problems. Today’s news reflects that. All the sun-belt developments will become ghost towns as the people board up the windows and return north where the last of the water resources can be eked out. The remains of the Great Lakes will be the last existing National Parks, but they will no longer be deep enough to float an ocean going freighter.

What will happen to nuclear non-proliferation, currently a project on the Obama to-do list? I predict that the Obama administration initiative will die an ignominious death because nothing can be done without bargaining between the Israeli nuclear arsenal and the Islamic ones – the existing Pakistani and the possible Iranian ones. The Jewish lobby in the US will man the barricades on this one, because even admitting the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons will be a huge setback to their preponderance of power, and I predict Obama will blink.

I hate to suggest the awful outcome of the standoff in the region, but all indicators point to the impossibility of settling the Palestinian/Israeli issue as a two state solution. It will never happen. Not two real states, each with full national powers, living peacefully side by side. That leaves only a single state, with either one side or the other in the driving seat, and at best, continual political strife in the single legislative assembly representing everyone. At worst, it will lead to continued civil strife and bloodshed until one side has taken more hits than they can sustain.

If the fratricidal conflict in the Middle East (they are both Semitic peoples) escalates it seems inevitable that nuclear weapons will be used. Perhaps the ultimate sacrifice of so many innocents will provide the driving force for the rest of the world to firmly say. “Never again” and actually work toward nuclear disarmament.

I think that’s enough prediction for today. It leaves untouched the size of the world population in 2309, which will determine the amount of resources the world will have to launch ambitious programs like the N-3 colony. It also leaves my estimation whether such an off-world endeavor would ever be possible – a given in the series scenario but still a big doubt in my own mind. I have not suggested any name for the top dog among the world’s nations, or even presented a case for believing that national administrations will whither away as people become more used to a  multicultural world and more mature institutions. Perhaps the readers already have their own ideas on these matters.

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