Reclaiming the Oceans
Destiny or fool’s errand?
In the year 3099 AD, the oceans began to recede, yielding more land to claim. But this newly exposed land is mostly marshland with high salt content, and is unsuitable for sustenance. Nevertheless, the presence of an Absurdist government makes it likely that the people will spread into these lands, bypassing population density rules, therefore getting an opportunity to multiply.
Critics argue that this will only result in the overpopulation of those lands as well, unless the government amends the population density laws. However, this is unlikely to happen, especially since expansion was one of Mayor Ivan’s key campaign promises. The Scientists are spearheading an effort to reclaim these lands and desalinize the water. The people seem optimistic and the Mayor enjoys unprecedented popularity but he is only in the middle of his term.
The previous Atavist Mayor Whitehead was extremely popular at this juncture of his Mayorship too, mostly as a result of his sweeping population control measures that solved the Crisis of 3076. Then celebrated, he was soon reviled for his oppressive surveillance and punitive measures after the crisis had abated. In 3085, he lost his bid for reelection to the current incumbent Ivan and was decapitated in the revolution that followed. As many of you are aware, this was the year we lost a beloved friend and an excellent journalist here at the AA- Michael Nambuta. He died before he saw the fruits of the revolution he had dreamed of his entire life. Will Ivan meet a similar fate?
His latest efforts in collusion with the scientists, have drawn whispers of “building sandacastles”. If the ocean were to return, there would undoubtedly be catastrophe. The scientists insist that this will not happen for another millennium, but admit that their calculations could be off by an order of magnitude. Nonetheless, the people are excited about having the opportunity to finally reproduce.
The proportion of individuals of reproductive age in the current population is a staggering 75% and may explain Ivan’s meteoric rise to power on this platform of social change. The means of multiplication also remain unclear. Debate rages in the halls of power as to whether this should occur clonally, as is customary, or whether sexual reproduction should be revisited despite its obvious dangers, evolutionary compromises and crippling disadvantages. The question on everyone’s lips - is variation necessary?
Said an older gentleman yesterday “The problem is that they think life is a gift.” A younger neighbor offered a rebuttal “It is all there is, isn’t there? I just want to bring more of it into this world. Is that such a crime? I’m never going to be rich, talented, or famous. I must leave something behind.”
It is still too early to guess which of them is right. They have both been vindicated at various junctures in recent history. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those that had the courage to multiply and we would likely have been dead if the foolishly optimistic breeders had not been restrained by the jaded elders.
In any event, one thing is clear - we must prepare ourselves for the vagaries of nature. I, for one, am buying land in the marshes while it is cheap but you can be certain I’m not giving up my cell apartment in the city.