Corporate lobbying, deregulation, and privatization of America’s social programs created the right mix for the perfect storm. What would people have done differently knowing that tectonic shifts, solar flares, and a massive reversal of the Earth’s polar fields would disrupt telecommunications worldwide? Supermarkets, bank systems, and unshielded networks collapsed within hours. After three days, food was gone from store shelves, hyper-inflated dollars became useless, and fossil fuel took a whole new level of luxury. The geomagnetic reverse took four years to calm down, but it was already too late by then.
It’s been 24 years since The Great Cataclysm of 2012. Though humanity survives, we are 4.5 billion less people (as the former United Nations predicted would die from war, hunger, and disease). Despite our tragedies, it gives the rest of us a chance to sustain the limited resources that are available. Desertification increasing in the Western U.S. and sea levels rising along the coast (along with the radioactive buildup, seismic activity, and genocide) has caused massive immigration to the region over the years. Corporate owned NGOs have become the new decentralized “government,” creating safe havens in the metropolis of San Antonio-Austin, hosting a combined population of 28 million. Private armies protect the local colonies against the Mexican syndicates, who are now fully in control of the United Mexican States. After drugs were legalized in the U.S., the cartels focused their illicit efforts on human organs and the slave trade. Cannibalism is rumored to be rampant in many parts South of the Rio-DMZ.
Extreme wildfires destroyed many former suburbs deep into the city. We live in a newer multi-level ecovillage built primarily with adobe block, bamboo wood, and hemp insulation. Collected rainwater is filtered for gardening, drinking, and cleaning. Food is grown organically on the roof, vertically on the patio, and even in the window-garden. We no longer have to use the solar cooker like many still do in South Town. Nano solar allows us to contribute energy back to the restored CPS smart-grid, even while traveling outside along the new conductive streets on bikes between transit lines.
There’s always work to be done around here. Much of what we have is retrofitted from salvaged materials. There’s a local co-working space on the bottom floor where a variety of hacktivist talent gathers, focusing mostly on printing 3D biorobotic repairs for a nearby treatment facility. Other coworking spaces in the neighborhood provide free custom health and educational services, linked to cloud server relays, via fiber optic networks.
Despite our best efforts, life is still dangerous in the super metropolis, even in these parts of town. The Municipal Order has agreed to allow my family to join the space colony Nuevo Alamo. After a few months training, we’ll be departing on Galactica Spacelines out of Aeropuerto Intergaláctico San Antonio. There we will be given the chance to start a new life and get things right. However, I sometimes miss the days when the world, and humanity, was alone in the galaxy. — Rick Canfield
1604 will be totally deadlocked. There will be 1 giant school district. Any one without a computer or cell phone will be considered disturbed and put away in camps. There will be a squatter’s city outside Stone Oak area with people that lost their homes due to foreclosure. The Spurs will finally win another Championship. … The Chinese government will own most of the buildings downtown and they will make a restaurant out of the Alamo. There will be no more droopy pants; everyone will wear the same uniform. — Michael Knott
We will continue to be a very diverse culture. Because of this diversity we will be a center for many types of customer service jobs, as many of our residents will be bilingual. … Public schools will become smaller. No more big schools, as we see a return to several smaller campuses. — James Hope
Traffic will come to a halt, the roads will be full of holes, everything will be gang-tagged. — Robin James
Solar is on almost all rooftops and many building sides. I especially like the free parking throughout the city since solar roof topped parking buildings & lots generate funds for their owners or the city of SA. Also, we’ll be recharging our solar-roofed electric cars in these lots. With citywide free wi-fi keeping communication going, we will be plugged in and communicating positively on top of events. We will be a 24-hour city, rather like NYC, but more intimate. The new automated hovercraft (AHCs) are a favorite of boomers such as myself who no longer have driver’s licenses. It is thrilling to travel between the skyscrapers built during the sustainable energy boom of 2017. Plants thrive everywhere, especially orchids, due to constant compost games. The river is crystal clear, a favorite destination of fishing hobbyists. The blur of ethnicities continues. Spanish is one of the main languages spoken here, as are English, Chinese, and Urdu. Literacy is not quite 100 percent, but close, since the paid boomer-mentor program kicked in. … Best of all Texas is #1 nationally in education, safe Angel-patrolled streets, … and #50 in teen pregnancy. — Alice Canestaro
The creative community here is growing and the future will bring artists, musicians, and filmmakers from all over the world to make creative work collaboratively. This is already happening and I can imagine it getting better over the next couple of decades. Arts and media organizations like Local 782 are inspiring action and educating creative people in San Antonio, encouraging them to do big things with their ideas. Record labels, local touring bands, and production companies will enjoy success and recognition. I’m optimistic. — Carly Garza
If we keep moving toward using renewable energy and stop the sprawl, San Antonio will have more tree canopy, less pollution and be using more solar. Only if we prioritize education will we have a society that does not fear science and understands that we may have to give a little to improve our quality of life. We will promote birth control, embrace clean air and water, and vote for politicians who want what is best for the city. — Karen Seal
Three words: jet-powered chanclas. — Jennifer Gillespie
In many ways, it is an unsettling and unpredictable time. Because humans did not act soon enough or dramatically enough decades earlier, the impact of climate change is everywhere felt — we must cope with the increased ferocity of drought and storm and flood and heat and will for a long time to come. Our local landscapes and ecosystems are in many ways altered and bereft. But because community after community in the past 25 years has broken an addiction to fossil fuel, we are reweaving the human story. San Antonio is often held up as a city that knows how to gather the collective wisdoms and energies of her diverse citizens to redefine what a city can be. We are part of a great movement charting a new course based on cooperative, earth friendly values. — Mobi Warren
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