The alternate US of the Great Nebraska Sea.

The Soviet Union was importing grain because they wanted to produce more beef, not because they were short on bread.
So at the very least like the US they would not starve but would have a lower standard of living for a time. I could see this timeline adding a few more years onto the life of the Soviet Union . However I dont think it means they win the Cold War. Also I think we have to clarify what would winning the Cold War mean ? Holding onto the Eastern Bloc withought any breakaways that preceeded the collapse of the Soviet Union in OTL is one thing and perhaps something they did ITTL. But If we are talking any kind of incursion into West Berlin or Western Europe then there is no way the US would allow that. Perhaps the Soviets still invade Afghanistan and more involved in the Middle East,Africa and to the great annoyance of the US Central and South America. Perhaps they get away with more there but iif we are talking about installing pro-Soviet communist governments in all those places then still no. Sadly they might advance farther in space than the US for a time as well. The formation of the Great Nebraska Sea would injure the US for a time but it would not really completely cripple or destroy it....
 
The United States pulls back from global affairs for at least two decades because of a near economic collapse coupled with a refugee crisis, infrastructure crisis and massively altered weather.

The global economy is rocked by the sudden withdrawal of so many staples leaving the market at once.

Soviet Union gets a free pass for a while, not that they'll be able to utilize it to its full extent given the global economic shock.
 
The United States pulls back from global affairs for at least two decades because of a near economic collapse coupled with a refugee crisis, infrastructure crisis and massively altered weather.

The global economy is rocked by the sudden withdrawal of so many staples leaving the market at once.

Soviet Union gets a free pass for a while, not that they'll be able to utilize it to its full extent given the global economic shock.
I agree and I think the Soviet Union survives at least into the 2000's and is possibly the leader in space, I could see what happens to the US despite its pulling back from global affairs is its becoming more involved in international norms from things like adopting the metric system to adopting a greener approach to fuel and other items. Gven what happened to the US climate change denial is much less prevalent. Over time a good deal of the US population comes to live on or close to the shores of the Great Nebraska Sea ....
 
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I agree and I think the Soviet Union survives at least into the 2000's and is possibly the leader in space, I could see what happens to the US despite its pulling back from global affairs becoming more involved in international norms from things like adopting the metic system to adopting a greener approach to fuel and other items. Gven what happened to the US climate change denial is much less prevalent. Over time a good deal of the US population comes to live on or close to the shores of the Great Nebraska Sea ....
I'm not sure America goes green simply for the sake of growing green. It's going to take decades to even get to pre-event levels of economic stability, so going green isn't going to be the priority. Keeping the lights on and everyone fed and watered with a roof over the tens of millions of refugees heads is going to the top priority. Internal politics is going to be so massively altered its impossible to say what happens long term.
 
I'm not sure America goes green simply for the sake of growing green. It's going to take decades to even get to pre-event levels of economic stability, so going green isn't going to be the priority. Keeping the lights on and everyone fed and watered with a roof over the tens of millions of refugees heads is going to the top priority. Internal politics is going to be so massively altered its impossible to say what happens long term.
Thats true but the US wouldnt be alone as it would likely get some significant help from Western Europe, Canada, Japan ,Australia etc perhaps at least partially under UN aegis. Also the going green isnt done just for the heck of it. Much of the infrasturcture would have to be redone anyway so why not make it more efficient and sustainable? Also its possible that some of the external help from the private sector as well as public sector comes with some green strings attached . Im not saying it all happens overnight but it would make sense as a starting point...
 
Thats true but the US wouldnt be alone as it would likely get some significant help from Western Europe, Canada, Japan ,Australia etc perhaps at least partially under UN aegis. Also the going green isnt done just for the heck of it. Much of the infrasturcture would have to be redone anyway so why not make it more efficient and sustainable? Also its possible that some of the external help from the private sector as well as public sector comes with some green strings attached . Im not saying it all happens overnight but it would make sense as a starting point...
But why? This is the 60s, the green movement wasn't even a pipedream yet. The EPA didn't exist and 'Silent Spring' is just entering the cultural consciousness. Europe and Asia just lost their biggest military benefactor at the same time as the price of food explodes and the economy crashes. Green technology is pre-infancy (except nuclear and hydro) and even natural gas power plants aren't mainstream yet. Sustainability simply doesn't exist yet, you're projecting modern sensibilities onto a different era.

And even if there were, the money isn't there. 1/3 of the country is gone, literally gone. All that GDP has vanished, all of your economic pieces so delicately tied together have unraveled. How much investment is tied up in all that land, equipment, factories, farms and mines? What's going to happen on Wall Street? You're going to see the stock market collapse, banks will start going under and liquidity will evaporate as lending freezes. It's going to look like '08 but the size of Godzilla. Sure you can borrow to bail them out... but borrow from whom? You're the one everyone borrows from, and now that the economic shockwave is happening and spreading everyone is going to want to borrow to keep themselves afloat.

In short, green investment won't happen. At minimum two decades. But by the '80s the world will be so radically altered that any domestic political decision is complete guesswork.
 
But why? This is the 60s, the green movement wasn't even a pipedream yet. The EPA didn't exist and 'Silent Spring' is just entering the cultural consciousness. Europe and Asia just lost their biggest military benefactor at the same time as the price of food explodes and the economy crashes. Green technology is pre-infancy (except nuclear and hydro) and even natural gas power plants aren't mainstream yet. Sustainability simply doesn't exist yet, you're projecting modern sensibilities onto a different era.

And even if there were, the money isn't there. 1/3 of the country is gone, literally gone. All that GDP has vanished, all of your economic pieces so delicately tied together have unraveled. How much investment is tied up in all that land, equipment, factories, farms and mines? What's going to happen on Wall Street? You're going to see the stock market collapse, banks will start going under and liquidity will evaporate as lending freezes. It's going to look like '08 but the size of Godzilla. Sure you can borrow to bail them out... but borrow from whom? You're the one everyone borrows from, and now that the economic shockwave is happening and spreading everyone is going to want to borrow to keep themselves afloat.

In short, green investment won't happen. At minimum two decades. But by the '80s the world will be so radically altered that any domestic political decision is complete guesswork.
The short story was written in 1963 but the setting is 10 years later in 1973 and by the 1970's more was available.Again I reiterate that this is something that doesnt happen overnight and doesnt happen all over the US but it could very well start to happen in areas close to the Great Nebraska Sea that are either expanded and or developed-ie Denver and KC before NY and LA.




 
Also I think that the overall demand for gasoline actually would go down as there arent as many people driving cross country on interstate highways which now have good sections underwater . That probably causes some butterfles in the Middle East as OPEC doesnt quite have the US over an oil barrel anymore.

If something like this happened and everything just went back to the way it was before that wouldnt be very much AH fun
 
The author mentioned an Oklahoma Oil Company drilling oil from the waters of the former state of Oklahoma and this is set in 2073 circa (one-hundred years after the earthquake), so for same reason it seems green energy is somehow backward, at least in the US.
 
The author mentioned an Oklahoma Oil Company drilling oil from the waters of the former state of Oklahoma and this is set in 2073 circa (one-hundred years after the earthquake), so for same reason it seems green energy is somehow backward, at least in the US.
Right .There would be tons of oil and natural gas deposits down there so although it would be ideal and nice if none of it was tapped it would also be pretty naive and unrealistic to expect that. That said that doesnt totally preclude green energy being much more developed ittl by 2023 -50 years on and certainly by 2073-100 years on. Also the first time there was an Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon type incident along the shores of the Great Nebraska Sea such survivng fossil fuel companies would be in for some pain.

So as far as the weather/climate changes would those happen pretty instantenously with the formation of the Great Nebraska Sea or would it take a ew years for them to take hold ? What types of fish and other wildlife would thrive in the Sea and along its shores? How far north would you see palm trees ?
 
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This honestly sounds quite fascinating - it's fun to imagine some retrofuturistic tale of the Distant Future of AD 2021 as imagined by the 1970s showing the struggles of farming communities struggling to hold their ground against the glamorous new cities of the Interior Sea (possibly showing the political wrangling as the rump states left behind after the Deluge struggle to avoid 'mergers' - "Hey, if Connecticut can make a go of it, why can't little old Kansas?"), possibly with a sub-plot of the usual cockamamie kids digging (or in this case dredging) up the past from the bottom of the neighbouring sea.

The only question is how to balance delicious '70s kitsch against some good old incisive Science Fiction ...
 
Possibly but said states contained a large part of his base at the time.

Despite what will be seen as an act of god by a large part of the population I could see this event actually making the US somewhat more liberal and secular in the immediate aftermath. After all as is noted above it was the god fearing Heartland of the US that was hit hardest by this disaster as far as population lost. Oklahoma for example is sometimes called the buckle of the Bible Belt and it got completely submerged...

A somewhat dangerous assumption - one imagines that the Believers would more likely be split between 'God is dead' and 'We did WRONG - REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!' types (so there might be some secularisation, but the odds are in favour of some elements going EVEN MORE hardcore).


From a weather forecaster's perspective... the midwestern coast will get rocked by summertime tropical-strength storms due to Low pressure systems that form over the Rocky Mountains and move over the, presumably, shallow and warm Sea of Nebraske (SoN). Tornado Alley will probably shift into the central plains of Canada since the relatively warm waters of the northern SoN will provide the same warm moisture interaction of the current Gulf of Mexico. The entire coastline of the Sea is at risk of being ravaged by tropical storms and hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico. Although the northern coast of TX and NM are fairly protected they will still be impacted by weakened storms that make landfall on their southern coasts but rapidly strengthen again as it enters the SoN (much like storms that cross FL now). "Sea-effect" snowfalls will be a real concern for the newly formed western coasts. Since very little of the SoN will freeze in the winter, bitterly cold, dry arctic pushing down from Canada will rapidly absorb water into the atmosphere and dump massive amounts of snow, much like the Great Lakes region.
The new western coast will also experience very strong winds throughout the year since the winds that currently make the central plains one of the richest wind energy places on earth will have even less friction to slow them down as they sweep across the sea from the northwest. We will probably see the emergence of rain forest conditions in much of the midwest and I imagine rivers on the western slopes of the Appalacheans will increase dramatically and many current low lying areas will become lakes as rainfall should incrase dramatically as the gradual increase in elevation from the eastern shores of the SoN wrings out all of the moisture picked up by the normally dry air from Canada and the mountain west.
This is just scratching the surface of the climatological and localized weather effects the Nebraska Sea would have on North America. Interesting exercise and thank you to MaxGerke01 for bringing this scenario and short story to out attention and to frustrated progressive for dropping the map.

sanpro, thank you for sharing this rather intriguing speculation: one can only wonder if the rainforest conditions you mention would be full-blown tropical or more like the temperate rainforests of the West Coast.
 
A somewhat dangerous assumption - one imagines that the Believers would more likely be split between 'God is dead' and 'We did WRONG - REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!' types (so there might be some secularisation, but the odds are in favour of some elements going EVEN MORE hardcore).




sanpro, thank you for sharing this rather intriguing speculation: one can only wonder if the rainforest conditions you mention would be full-blown tropical or more like the temperate rainforests of the West Coast.
Right I think it more than likely the disaster would engender some more religious fanatiscism but I think there would be a more secular US in he long run ....
 
The economic impacts of this - both national and global - would be utterly catastrophic, almost beyond imagination.

To begin with, I'm going to guess something like 25,000,000 people in that area; if you start out assuming 14,000,000 dead, that leaves 10 million displaced - and where are they going to go? Who's going to pay to relocate them? Remember, the vast majority of the survivors will have lost not only their jobs but everything they own. Tens of millions of people will be unemployed in a very short time - not just the residents of that area, whose jobs, businesses, and farms will all be underwater, but perhaps as many as tens of millions of people all across the country who work in industries dependent on that region. Hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of commercial, residential, and agricultural property is just wiped completely off the books, and considering how many average Americans have almost all of their lifetime net worth stored in their home equity, that means that tens of millions of people are basically bankrupt and have to start over in a strange place.

Almost all of the nation's wheat and corn production is gone, along with much (or most) pork and beef. From eyeballing that map, I'm gonna guess maybe 60% of the country's crude oil production and refining capacity, maybe 45% of the natural gas. A lot of that production will eventually be recoverable by deep sea drilling, but it would take years to get up to speed, and the refineries would have to just start from scratch. We'll have to import most of our oil, but the ports that can handle petroleum imports are all underwater.

Think back to Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. Basically one large metropolitan/industrial area flooded, and it knocked an estimated 1.1% off our GDP. Can you imagine he effect on the GDP if you multiply that by hundreds, or even thousands? This isn't just a matter of redrawing some maps and relocating some people; this is something that would actually be comparable to the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano. It would be unprecedented in recorded human history.

Add to that the human costs that result from such widespread trauma - depression, suicides, alcoholism, PTSD, broken families, etc. Millions of people will need not just financial and logistical help, but emotional, spiritual, and psychological support. The country would be in a state of shock, for many years to come. Many people will never recover from their losses.

Politically, the country is in chaos. The majority of the people will be deeply unhappy with the way the government handles the crisis, no matter that they do. All of the states that have been evacuated are Red states, and the majority of the refugees will be conservatives moving to states that are mostly Blue. Internal politics of many of the remaining states will bein turmoil as new residents demand financial assistance that many of the states will not be able to afford, because they're all going to be badly damaged by the Depression. Blaming, vilifying, and angry fingerpointing will be the new norm in a country still deeply inflamed by the Vietnam War divisions.

The US is basically knocked back to almost a 3rd world economy, heavily dependent on food and fuel imports from countries who suddenly don't really need us as much as they did when we were the biggest kid on the block. Other major powers such as Russia and China will be able to cut more favorable deals for commodities, pricing us out of the market and forcing us to deal on their terms. Aside from our nuclear arsenal, we would quickly become a middle-of-the pack military power, because we won't even be able to afford to feed our own people and keep our lights on. The era of projecting unlimited force anywhere on the planet to achieve our national policy objectives are over; we can't afford that anymore. Our internal problems will take priority. For many years to come, we are basically post-WWII Europe.

As far as international affairs are concerned it's now the Soviet Union's world, and there won't be a damned thing we can do about whatever they decide to do. The Cold War will come down to a world-wide pissing match between China and Russia, and the nations of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific will have to choose sides between the two of them and line up in whatever way they feel suits their best interests. They won't be getting any more help from us for the foreseeable future. Both countries will be in a good position to achieve their goals through diplomacy, because the US is just no longer a player - who else is everyone gonna deal with, but the Soviets and the Chinese? Longterm, China will emerge as the world's sole superpower, because the inherent structural flaws in Soviet society are irreparable, and the collapse of their house of cards is inevitable at some point. In the short term both Russia and China will jockey for position in Central and probably South America, trying to turn those poorer countries against their imperialist neighbors to the north.

And, finally - the Dallas Cowboys never become "America's Team", and disco never really happens because people won't be able to afford cocaine. So, it's not entirely bad after all.
 
How would the demographics change?
We would see tens of millions of refugees fleeing from areas that are what we now call "Red States". We can safely assume that most of them would be conservative christians, and many (if not most) of the states to which they relocate would be more liberal and secular. This would affect the internal politics of many states - at the very least, leading to more closely contested elections and possibly even turning some Blue states Red. It's conceivable that this could affect national electoral politics and the D/R balance of the Senate, tilting both toward the Republican end. I can't think of many scenarios that would benefit the liberal/Democratic demographic.
 
The economic impacts of this - both national and global - would be utterly catastrophic, almost beyond imagination.

To begin with, I'm going to guess something like 25,000,000 people in that area; if you start out assuming 14,000,000 dead, that leaves 10 million displaced - and where are they going to go? Who's going to pay to relocate them? Remember, the vast majority of the survivors will have lost not only their jobs but everything they own. Tens of millions of people will be unemployed in a very short time - not just the residents of that area, whose jobs, businesses, and farms will all be underwater, but perhaps as many as tens of millions of people all across the country who work in industries dependent on that region. Hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of commercial, residential, and agricultural property is just wiped completely off the books, and considering how many average Americans have almost all of their lifetime net worth stored in their home equity, that means that tens of millions of people are basically bankrupt and have to start over in a strange place.

Almost all of the nation's wheat and corn production is gone, along with much (or most) pork and beef. From eyeballing that map, I'm gonna guess maybe 60% of the country's crude oil production and refining capacity, maybe 45% of the natural gas. A lot of that production will eventually be recoverable by deep sea drilling, but it would take years to get up to speed, and the refineries would have to just start from scratch. We'll have to import most of our oil, but the ports that can handle petroleum imports are all underwater.

Think back to Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. Basically one large metropolitan/industrial area flooded, and it knocked an estimated 1.1% off our GDP. Can you imagine he effect on the GDP if you multiply that by hundreds, or even thousands? This isn't just a matter of redrawing some maps and relocating some people; this is something that would actually be comparable to the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano. It would be unprecedented in recorded human history.

Add to that the human costs that result from such widespread trauma - depression, suicides, alcoholism, PTSD, broken families, etc. Millions of people will need not just financial and logistical help, but emotional, spiritual, and psychological support. The country would be in a state of shock, for many years to come. Many people will never recover from their losses.

Politically, the country is in chaos. The majority of the people will be deeply unhappy with the way the government handles the crisis, no matter that they do. All of the states that have been evacuated are Red states, and the majority of the refugees will be conservatives moving to states that are mostly Blue. Internal politics of many of the remaining states will bein turmoil as new residents demand financial assistance that many of the states will not be able to afford, because they're all going to be badly damaged by the Depression. Blaming, vilifying, and angry fingerpointing will be the new norm in a country still deeply inflamed by the Vietnam War divisions.

The US is basically knocked back to almost a 3rd world economy, heavily dependent on food and fuel imports from countries who suddenly don't really need us as much as they did when we were the biggest kid on the block. Other major powers such as Russia and China will be able to cut more favorable deals for commodities, pricing us out of the market and forcing us to deal on their terms. Aside from our nuclear arsenal, we would quickly become a middle-of-the pack military power, because we won't even be able to afford to feed our own people and keep our lights on. The era of projecting unlimited force anywhere on the planet to achieve our national policy objectives are over; we can't afford that anymore. Our internal problems will take priority. For many years to come, we are basically post-WWII Europe.

As far as international affairs are concerned it's now the Soviet Union's world, and there won't be a damned thing we can do about whatever they decide to do. The Cold War will come down to a world-wide pissing match between China and Russia, and the nations of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific will have to choose sides between the two of them and line up in whatever way they feel suits their best interests. They won't be getting any more help from us for the foreseeable future. Both countries will be in a good position to achieve their goals through diplomacy, because the US is just no longer a player - who else is everyone gonna deal with, but the Soviets and the Chinese? Longterm, China will emerge as the world's sole superpower, because the inherent structural flaws in Soviet society are irreparable, and the collapse of their house of cards is inevitable at some point. In the short term both Russia and China will jockey for position in Central and probably South America, trying to turn those poorer countries against their imperialist neighbors to the north.

And, finally - the Dallas Cowboys never become "America's Team", and disco never really happens because people won't be able to afford cocaine. So, it's not entirely bad after all.
I agree with most of what you say here. The fact that the US remains a sizable nuclear power would play a role in mitigating much of what the Soviets would try and do in response.The US already has lots of power projected at this time and despite what some would want not all those troops and equipment would be withdrawn to the US. The US couldnt and wouldnt do as much as it use to but it doesnt completely fold when it comes to international affairs. There are some clear lines in the sand that are backed up if need be by ICBMs that the Soviets will be expected to not cross..
We would see tens of millions of refugees fleeing from areas that are what we now call "Red States". We can safely assume that most of them would be conservative christians, and many (if not most) of the states to which they relocate would be more liberal and secular. This would affect the internal politics of many states - at the very least, leading to more closely contested elections and possibly even turning some Blue states Red. It's conceivable that this could affect national electoral politics and the D/R balance of the Senate, tilting both toward the Republican end. I can't think of many scenarios that would benefit the liberal/Democratic demographic.
Well there are some things that could mitigate this .Firstly most of the refugees would be going to the next state or two over and at this time those were also mostly red states as well. So its not like they are all ending up on the west coast or the Northeast therefore the growing red /blue fault line in the US would not change that much at least demographically.
Politically it depends on how the new reality in the US Congress and electoral representation is handled. If the destroyed states still have congressional representation in the form of 2 senators and at least 1 house member despite what you might think this might actaully help the Democrats somewhat over the Republicans depending on how that representation is chosen. If the refugees from the destroyed states are allowed to vote as residents in those former states then its a much smaller electorate that allows the Democrats chances at winning seats that they never would have had OTL.
Also if these people from destroyed states remain legal residents and voters in said destroyed states then that doesnt have an immediate impact on the political demographics of the remaining states they moved to. There is also the effect that this would have on the society as a whole.Oklahoma is the buckle of the Bible Belt. If you are inclined to believe that a god would do something like this it wouldnt be lost on you where this god chose to hit .Not Berkley or NY or even New Orleans-close but not quite. There would be some increase of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism but I think that this also gives a huge infusion to secularism much more than during these years OTL. Armageddon came and it hit Vaction Bible School not Woodstock-not the best argument for converts to those beliefs....
 
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To begin with, I'm going to guess something like 25,000,000 people in that area; if you start out assuming 14,000,000 dead, that leaves 10 million displaced - and where are they going to go? Who's going to pay to relocate them? Remember, the vast majority of the survivors will have lost not only their jobs but everything they own. Tens of millions of people will be unemployed in a very short time - not just the residents of that area, whose jobs, businesses, and farms will all be underwater, but perhaps as many as tens of millions of people all across the country who work in industries dependent on that region. Hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of commercial, residential, and agricultural property is just wiped completely off the books, and considering how many average Americans have almost all of their lifetime net worth stored in their home equity, that means that tens of millions of people are basically bankrupt and have to start over in a strange place.
It's impossible for "hundreds of trillions of dollars" of property value to be wiped off the books considering the modern estimates for the property value of the whole United States are in the tens of trillions. Not that this isn't financially catastrophic for the people affected, but they can't lose ten times more value than actually exists.

Almost all of the nation's wheat and corn production is gone, along with much (or most) pork and beef. From eyeballing that map, I'm gonna guess maybe 60% of the country's crude oil production and refining capacity, maybe 45% of the natural gas. A lot of that production will eventually be recoverable by deep sea drilling, but it would take years to get up to speed, and the refineries would have to just start from scratch. We'll have to import most of our oil, but the ports that can handle petroleum imports are all underwater.
No they're not. At a minimum, Houston, Beaumont, Southern Louisiana, and New Orleans are unaffected or not directly affected given the map, and those are four of the biggest petroleum importing ports in the country. I think you're also considerably overestimating the impact on oil and possibly natural gas production; yes, some major fields are down for the count, but there's still a ton of capacity in California, Texas, and Louisiana. And you're definitely overestimating the impact on food production. Take corn, for instance. Of the top ten producing states, six totaling over half of overall U.S. production last year are mostly or totally unaffected in a direct sense by the flooding (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin), and a seventh (Missouri) is very far from being completely wiped out. Losing half of the corn harvest would be bad, but it's a "bad" that you solve by rationing beef and corn, not starving. Wheat would be worse--indeed, most of the biggest wheat-producing states are entirely underwater--but there is still slack from cutting exports (which account for about half of the wheat crop) and ramping up plantings in current smaller production centers like the southeast and cis-Mississippi Midwest (as well as using unaffected Washington wheat), which could probably allow for comparatively regular consumption patterns, again given rationing.

The biggest impacts would really be outside of the U.S. Certainly the United States isn't going to be exporting very much food at all for the next decade or so, which throws a massive wrench in the global food trade system. It's also going to be importing more oil and gas, which gives OPEC states and especially Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela (the traditional main producers for the United States) a geopolitical advantage. And it's probably going to have a pretty bad time economically, more like the Great Depression than the actual 1970s (though, ironically, this might make Keynesianism work better than it did IOTL; at least, it's pretty obvious that a lot of fiscal activity is needed to deal with the aftereffects of the disaster)
 
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