Viral Implosion - Chapter 16
Planet Earth breathed a contented sigh. Her current evolution is almost done. Her plans for growth and change were slowed at times and sped up at times by the pests inhabiting her skin.
But, as it had been for billions of years, she had her way in the end. It just took longer with human beings who didn’t have the right perspective. But when it’s time for a population to shrink, like lemmings running to the sea, the self-destruction will happen one way or another. This human population not only had to become less populous, they had to learn that in a war between them and Planet Earth, Planet Earth will come out on top. Human beings had to learn that they were not only damaging their home, but they needed to reconstruct their way of living here or they would not survive.
With no regulation nor enforcement of regulations already in place, drugs, guns and vehicles took their share of lives.
National borders dissolved, as the soldiers died and there were no people to replace them. Military leaders, with no military to lead, went begging to corporations and governments for positions. If there was no place to go, suicide appeared as an honorable exit. Military installations closed one by one, releasing a sizeable civilian population to the wild. Military support personnel found themselves without jobs, facing an ominous, leaderless future. The only viable military still existing were those who protected the corporations – national guard and mercenaries. Some tried to use their leftover artillery to bully civilians, but all there was for profit was food and many communities had their own militia for protection. So the bullies became part of the communities – protection for food and a place to live.
Politics had taken on a new face. Countries being led by dictators, war lords, chieftains or emirs tried to hold on to their territories by force. Democracies found themselves with fewer and fewer citizens, as lack of medical support and regulation enforcement thinned out the populace. Congresses found themselves with shrinking budgets and little to do. Ambassadorships tried desperately to build accords with other nations, but there was little to bargain with. Essentially, all governments were turning into figureheads.
The linchpins, corporations, started to founder. New product development had become so focused that it was totally dependent on the wealthy citizens for support, and those citizens had become too jaded to make demands or help finance the efforts. Boredom became the drug of choice. Agriculture had reached its peak with hybrid seeds, but the demand was dwindling as populations shrank. Farms no longer grew; at best they stayed the same size and number, but the soil was drained of nutrients, and therefore the crops were nutrition poor. Animal husbandry was facing the same fate; cattle feed was becoming less nutritious, weakening the animals; efforts with antibiotics and hormones, when available, did not seem to help.
The atmosphere was warming up, as it was meant to. Flora renewed its succession of biomes. Depleted forests started to revive. Fires reset the prairies. Rain forests flourished. As expected, the poles shrank a little and Antarctica reclaimed some of its land and started to develop some plants of its own, brought in by winds from the lower ends of Africa and South America. New plants and trees, adapting to the new temperatures, developed all over the globe.
Animals evolved as well. Having gotten freed of human control, wild animals roamed previously domestic land and vice versa. Natural selection was allowed to occur, strengthening some gene pools and depleting others. Those animals better suited to the new temperatures flourished. Those animals that were long overdue for extinction were allowed to disappear. With the human population dwindling, there was more land available to free animal usage.
The human population, in an effort to survive, shifted power. The wealthy class, military and politicians were foundering. Seeing the weakness as an opportunity, the lower class rebelled. With little to nothing to lose, they used a passive method of revolution – simply refuse to obey commands from above. Hidden stores of food and good water were ferreted out and seized. Armies simply went home to their families to join the rebellion and struggle for existence. Almost everyone turned to farming and animal husbandry to take care of their families.
The scattered communities which had survived started, carefully, to visit other communities and share discoveries of earth-friendly (and people-friendly) methods, such as the artificial leaves, and extruding spider silk from goats’ milk, which made a very strong fiber for rope and cable. What was left of the Internet was still unsecure, so communicators reverted to the original Internet usage, avoiding http sites, instead using user nets for information sharing. Since towers were often down or in disrepair, ‘landline’ telephones were used when available, and often information was carried between communities by hand, by someone who travelled by horse or cart. To maintain independence from corporations, successful communities developed renewable power from wind, sun and water. Such homesteading ‘tricks’ such as solar ovens, wind trees and underground housing were revived.
Meanwhile, Planet Earth started to protect herself. With the new growth of trees, there was more oxygen in the atmosphere, burning off the solar flares which occur every eleven years or so. Wild plants spread, including vegetables and fruits. New forests bound the land together again. New ecologies were forming with the mix of wild and domestic animals. Insects and birds were little affected by the changes, except in the sources of food.
© 2017 Bonnie-Jean Rohner