By Tony

The changing climate concerns in the century’s early years were overshadowed by the Arab Spring of 2011. The military arm of the western powers, NATO, feared a ground force confrontation, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they failed to suppress the barbaric reactions of the sheiks. Oil prices surged; the sheiks lined their coffers; the West shivered and overheated alternately.

The heating planet horrors hit the West in the thirties. Politicians had ignored warnings from the 1992 and 2012 Rio climate change conferences. But after the 2032 conference they acted. Cars were miniaturised, SUVs were demoted to veterans and expensive permits were needed for manual cars. Great oil economies were achieved with dial-destination vehicles. These would travel just short distances before boarding underground cylinders and then be debouched near their destinations. Cement manufacture had been second to transport in guzzling fossil fuels, so concrete was banned. Brick and stone were restored as prime building materials. BANANA inherited the NIMBY mantle: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Tent dwelling became fashionable. Wind and wave energy enjoyed 30 years of popularity until the maintenance costs became excessive. Few media graduates willingly took up the welder’s torch even though they could command ten times the wage of a bank’s CEO. The answer came with advances in nuclear power; the latest fast-breeder reactors were cheap,
produced almost no waste and were as safe as rocks. The sheiks suffered. They couldn’t sell their oil so they couldn’t pay for reverse-osmosis water purification plants that were saving the western civilisations, especially the great cities of New York, London and Scarborough. Nor could they capture massive icebergs from the Antarctic, as in the 20th century. These had melted. Their answer was to beat the West into submission using the nuclear might of Iran. And so the great oil and water wars of the fifties began.

Introduction to Chapter Five, The Oil and Water Wars
in A History of the Twenty-first Century by Anton Grünfeld
Published 2342 by Wiley (Chichester)

(More about Tony)


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