Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Region 35


Sally warned me that statistically half of Region 35 was effectively dead, with three in four people living in what WICO classified as a state of collapse and the rest pushing for more growth that could eventually drive everyone into collapse. What I found when I visited there was an urban area that was indeed half-dead, if you counted infrastructure that had no resemblance to natural habitat (where anyone or any animal could survive using what was there) as “dead.”

There were plenty of stores around that imported food and other supplies from outside; and I could see how, on average and with a lot of imagination, they might be considered “habitable.” The areas where the wealthy lived had more green spaces, populated by trees and animals that seemed to be more visitors than residents. A few parks added to the appearance of natural habitat around the region, but they were by definition designed more for visitors only, with attempted residence by any creatures strongly discouraged.

This was where the core group of saboteurs had lived and worked while they hatched their plan to keep the world from inverting the ratio of artificial to natural habitat. They thrived in this environment, or thought they did, depending as they did on imported resources whose ultimate origins were no longer visceral enough to comprehend or respect.

I realized that the global strategy was as much about re-establishing that direct connection with the sources of life as it was about preserving the life itself. Here there was no urgency to achieve that goal, and I could imagine how even starting down that path might be perceived as scary, or even repugnant. Sally’s insistence on viewing each region as a spectrum of conditions reminded me that there were pockets of people who felt differently, especially among those who visited more directly habitable areas, but there were also people who were literally dying and failing to be born because the connection to their nature was effectively severed.

Reality Check

This is largely based on a simulation of a global region, intentionally vague in terms of location in order to focus on the characteristics of interest. General observations are based on my extensive experience in urban environments, mostly through my thirties.

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