Icarus: A Climate TL

Icarus: A World Avoided

Upon the left they passed by Samos, Juno's sacred isle;
Delos and Paros too, were left behind;
and on the right Lebinthus and Calymne,
fruitful in honey. Proud of his success,
the foolish Icarus forsook his guide,
and, bold in vanity, began to soar,
rising upon his wings to touch the skies;
but as he neared the scorching sun, its heat
softened the fragrant wax that held his plumes;
and heat increasing melted the soft wax—
he waved his naked arms instead of wings,
with no more feathers to sustain his flight.
And as he called upon his father's name
his voice was smothered in the dark blue sea,
now called Icarian from the dead boy's name.
— Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book VIII

“‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
— “Ozymandias”, Percy Bysshe Shelley



Okay, well now that we have the requisite poetry dealt with, welcome to the thread of Icarus, a maps and graphics timeline detailing a world dealing with a significantly worse climate crisis than OTL.

Point of Divergence
In 1974, Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer, following the work of other pioneers in the field of atmospheric chemistry. By the 1970s and 1980s, awareness of the growing “ozone hole” had led to decisive action by governments worldwide, culminating in the global ratification of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 that helped curb the use of CFCs and eventually, other similar chemicals. This means that today, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050.

But, say, Rowland never took a position at UC Irvine in 1964, and thus he and Molina never meet. If that influential 1974 paper is never published, what could happen? Well, other theories besides CFCs could be used to explain the growing ozone hole[1], which means that CFCs might not have been the widely accepted theory until much later.

Icarus describes such a world. By the time the reason the ozone hole is worsening is discovered, the political window for action to happen is fast closing. Thus, the climate continues to steadily worsen, and by the 2010s, vast swathes of the world are uninhabitable as governments continue to drag their feet on meaningful ozone and climate legislation.

[1] For example, proposed theories included changes in Antarctic atmospheric circulation, malignant effects of nitrous oxide, or chemical changes as a result of cloud particles. See “http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/SEES/ozone/class/Chap_11/11_1.htm”.

The Timeline
Icarus occurs in real time, so most updates will be about the situation in the early 2020s. There may be a few updates regarding events in the past or glimpses into the future.

Index of Previous Works
Nov 19
Arcavist,

Disculpas for the long interval tween messages recently. I’ve had troubles with the post and seems my correspondense sometimes gets lost on the way to Santa Rosa (prolly thanks to those degens in Vallejo). If this letter doesn’t arrive by next week, it’s prolly better for you to visit inperson.

Now, onto bisness. Part'a the roof at Sacto’s Central Library was caved in when I visited, so that means I cant get most'a the books you requested. On the other side, I was able to find John Brunner’s “The Sheep Look Up” and John Steinback’s “Grapes of Wrath” thru other means; they’ll be delivered to the usual address.

Also, I’ve a friend up in Yuba that was finally able to fix the oldworld laptop you sent, and somehow that teck wizard managed to recover something useful from that hunka crap. Hope that makes up for the lack’a material I’ve sent your way the past couple weeks.

Attached you’ll find a description’a the files from the laptop that I think are’a interest to your line’a work. Seemed whoever owned it was some top dog pre-Collapse.

PS — maisure that payments arnt sent by express mail, that just makes it more likely to be stolen by raiders. Still need around 300 platas from our last exchange.

LIST’A RECOVERED FILES

-A sorda news report about some long deadlanded city, dated 2021

-Again, nother news report, this time about food shortages (wouldint even count as news now), dated 2021

-A third news report, something about a military op in the tropics, dated 2021

-A map’a Hawaii, c. ~2010s

-A map’a Korea, dated 2021

Come down to Sacto and I’ll show you the files in person. Be quick tho, the battery isn't likely to last all too long.
I been watching this in the graphics thread for quite some time now, I'm glad it's a proper TL now:D
rGM7VOA.jpg


Abstract, Disclaimers, and Rules

A national government is any internationally recognised political authority that has jurisdiction over a designated area. For the purposes of this forecast, “internationally recognised” means that the national government is a member or observer of the United Nations, or is recognised by multiple U.N members.

For a national government to collapse, it must have disintegrated to the point where it fails to govern or function. That includes the following characteristics:
  • Loss of control over most or all of their territory
  • Ineffective enforcement of the state’s “monopoly on violence”
  • Failure to uphold their part of the social contract (e.g providing protection, maintaining order, economic assistance, or continuing public services)
  • Loss of recognition from other states
  • Prolonged lack of clear leadership structure and authority
Please note that coup d'etats, regime change, revolution, or any scenario resulting in an immediate successor state that does not fulfil the above criteria does not count as the national government having collapsed. However, if a change in government results in a continuing civil conflict where there is no clear successor state, the national government is considered to have collapsed.

At least two reputable news sources (e.g. Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, BBC News, etc.) must have used the word “collapse” or an appropriate synonym when discussing the country at hand for the ongoing cycle to be resolved in that contract’s favour. Clairvoyant reserves the right to unilaterally determine the winning option and close the ongoing cycle. An explanation on the thought process behind choosing the winning contract will be posted to our blog 14 days after the cycle closes.

1 March 2019 Update: Increasing confusion regarding contradictions between reputable sources means that the 15 January 2019 to 23 February 2019 cycle is invalidated. Points will be refunded to the appropriate accounts, and pending payouts and credit conversions will be retracted. We apologise for the inconvenience.

To limit future confusion, countries in Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) will not be contracts in this forecast. Furthermore, a government going into exile will be counted as a “collapse” moving forward.

17 July 2020 Update: Given the recent rise in popularity this forecast has seen lately, it should be noted that payments are not given out directly after making a successful prediction. You must first convert points into credits. Residents of the European Economic Area are not eligible to have their points converted into credits.
Dang, are things that bad in Brazil that we are considered a country a bit likely to collapse?
 
A couple of the things I’m the most curious about in this timeline are the surviving Soviet Union and reunified Korea. What stemmed off from the POD to cause those changes?
 
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Dang, are things that bad in Brazil that we are considered a country a bit likely to collapse?

Brazil might well be considered a beacon of hope for Latin America, considering it has not collapsed into complete anarchy yet. But yes, a combination of a water crisis, increasing UV levels, refugees from the former Peru and Bolivia, spillover of violence from Colombia and Venezuela, an IMF loan deal falling through, and political instability means that some people think it's next on the chopping block.

A couple of the things I’m the most curious about in this timeline are the surviving Soviet Union and reunified Korea. What stemmed off from the POD to cause those changes?

The USSR dissolves like normal in 1991, but butterflies manage to strangle Russia's economy even worse in 1998. Yeltsin becomes even more unpopular, his bribes are revealed, is impeached, and Primakov becomes President. In time, the Communists gain more power, cruising off of nostalgia, and Russia is rebranded as the Socialist Federative Republic of Russia. Still referred to as Soviets in the West.

In 2011, North Korea is hit hard. A slighter harsher climate compared to OTL means that there are more floods and a smaller harvest in summer of 2011. Military talks with South Korea become heated, and the South pulls out much of its aid. Kim Jong-il dies in early December, while on a visit to China. The worsening humanitarian situation and the loss of their leader creates a power struggle in the country, which both China and South Korea intervene in to secure any nuclear warheads lying around.
 
The USSR dissolves like normal in 1991, but butterflies manage to strangle Russia's economy even worse in 1998. Yeltsin becomes even more unpopular, his bribes are revealed, is impeached, and Primakov becomes President. In time, the Communists gain more power, cruising off of nostalgia, and Russia is rebranded as the Socialist Federative Republic of Russia. Still referred to as Soviets in the West.
That all makes sense to me. What’s the situation in the former Soviet Bloc? Are the previous SSRs and Warsaw Pact states still under some semblance of Russian influence, or have they largely gone their own separate ways? In other words, has this nostalgia you mentioned propelled the SFRR to re-expand communism further beyond its own borders?
 
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Brazil might well be considered a beacon of hope for Latin America, considering it has not collapsed into complete anarchy yet. But yes, a combination of a water crisis, increasing UV levels, refugees from the former Peru and Bolivia, spillover of violence from Colombia and Venezuela, an IMF loan deal falling through, and political instability means that some people think it's next on the chopping block.
Wouldn't it make more sense for Peruvians and Bolivians to go to Chile or Argentina?
considering that the countries speak Spanish. With the Venezuelans it was like that. Not to mention that the region that Peruvians can flee is acre (which is not a human-friendly region).

Regarding violence from Venezuela and Colombia, is it concentrated in the Amazon region?
It is the region that borders these countries, but it does not have a major impact factor in the political or social area, it has a small population and economy.

The biggest problem will probably be internal migration from arid regions (especially the northeast) to other regions.
Political instability is likely, but if the nation becomes unstable at this point, a military coup will occur, as has happened on other occasions in this nation's history. Supported by the middle/upper class probably.
Honestly, if the pressure gets that big, there's likely to be a war in south america. with countries trying desperate measures to survive, even if it means the death of another nation. Nations between war and collapse always choose war.
 
That all makes sense to me. What’s the situation in the former Soviet Bloc? Are the previous SSRs and Warsaw Pact states still under some semblance of Russian influence, or have they largely gone their own separate ways? In other words, has this nostalgia you mentioned propelled the SFRR to re-expand communism further beyond its own borders?
There is significant Russian influence in Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The rest of the former satellite states prefer to be closer to Europe. Russia isn't all that interested in spreading communism, it's content with keeping its current sphere of influence of authoritarian-leaning states.
What happened to Turkey?
Europe's bulwark against climate refugees. Like OTL, it receives generous payments for stopping migrants, and most of the time, migrants are put into facilities in southern Turkey or northern Syria/Iraq. Its relationship with the West has been frayed in recent years due to disagreements over the refugee deal and due to increasing tension with Greece over Cyprus and the Aegean Sea.
Wouldn't it make more sense for Peruvians and Bolivians to go to Chile or Argentina?
considering that the countries speak Spanish. With the Venezuelans it was like that. Not to mention that the region that Peruvians can flee is acre (which is not a human-friendly region).

Regarding violence from Venezuela and Colombia, is it concentrated in the Amazon region?
It is the region that borders these countries, but it does not have a major impact factor in the political or social area, it has a small population and economy.
Peruvian and Bolivian refugees flooded everywhere, which was primarily Chile/Argentina but also included Brazil. The bulk of the violence is concentrated in the Amazon region, and though it is sparsely populated, Brazil still has to try to maintain some semblance of control in the region.

Yeah, internal migration is also a major issue I didn't mention, and most people would probably be shoved into expanding favelas in the least arid parts of the country.
 
How exactly common are these sorts of anti-gov't militias and their associates in the U.S.? They must be significant in some regard, considering that they're seemingly successful in seizing control of places like national parks.
I imagine they'd be pretty common. There are a couple little clues that tell you that the domestic situation in the South has reached crisis levels, such as the fact that hardly any southern states have even taken action on the ICA, and the ones that did are the more northerly ones. Stay at home orders are in effect for most southern cities, but what of the countryside? The federal government is busy enough as it is.

Where governmental authority wanes (or falls out of trust), parallel structures of social control tend to emerge. What we're seeing here is the political and social disintegration of the South happening in slow motion.
 
According to the clairivoyant screenshot, gas prices as of that tl's present are lower than OTL by a bit. Okay 4.39 or so instead of around $5.
That could still be too expensive for most people given the state of the economy. Also, the bit about the UK passing a moratorium on new car sales seems to indicate that governments are trying to discourage private automobile use.
 
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