In defense of the world government. Part 4: Resources
The Chairman continues to initiate the Stranger into the secret affairs of the world government, while the Councilors discuss the issues of natural resource depletion on the planet. As it turns out, the main threat is not the lack of oil and minerals, but the upcoming food deficit.
The question is not whether there is or is not a secret world government, but whether or not our society and each one of us has enough willpower, common sense and awareness to survive the Supercrisis and build a new, better world.
As the next speaker prepares for his speech and sets up his tablet, the Chairman and the Stranger engage in a discussion. The Stranger leans towards the Chairman and actively gesticulates as he speaks.
Chairman: No, no, my friend. You’re getting it all wrong again. We don’t need this much power for the sake of power itself. Power is required to manage mankind effectively. It’s the only way to solve the problems that human society is facing. Or do you believe that humanity doesn’t need to be under control? Believe me, mankind is still a very young, unconscionable child who needs supervision, so that he does not do anything stupid. This child still hasn’t really learned to walk yet, you know? But he has more than children’s toys at his disposal. Trouble is just one step away. Human society is not yet ready to live on its own, just like a toddler isn’t. This comparison isn’t entirely correct, but it does corroborate my point. That’s why we aim to control all of humanity. I hope you realize how damn difficult it is.
At that moment, Councilor H, who was sitting to the right of the President, stands up and coughs theatrically, indicating that he is ready to begin his report. The Chairman looks at him and nods, letting him know that he is ready to listen.
Councilor H: Ladies and gentlemen, two weeks before today’s meeting, I sent out a detailed report on natural resources and environmental issues to all Councilors. You can also find it in your tablets, and the main figures and diagrams are on the screen. (points to the projector screen) Let’s quickly run through some numbers. As you can see, hydrocarbon reserves are being depleted, exactly as we predicted...
The Chairman leans over to the Stranger and speaks quietly in his ear.
Chairman: Councilor H was born in the UAE and educated in London, he is a biologist and a chemist. For over 20 years, he has overseen the resources in our organization. He knows exactly how many and what natural resources are left on Earth – better than anyone on the planet. In addition, he heads our environmental division and closely observes and studies the entire earth’s biosphere. And if some kind of shellfish that you’ve never heard of disappears somewhere in the ocean because of pollution, he knows all about it. I’m not afraid to say he’s the most enthusiastic about his work among us. He is also a humanist to the bone and always calls for compromise solutions.
Stranger: (listens, nods and takes his tablet and watches Councilor H’s report. Then he leans over to the chairman, shows him something on the screen and looks at him questioningly).
Chairman: That’s right, that’s right, we just need to account for an acceptable level of consumption and uh... it’ll take a while to explain, so let’s ask for a little help from Councilor H. We’ll let him finish and then ask him about it, okay? (pats the Stranger on the shoulder and resumes listening to the speaker.)
Councilor H: ... thus, food resources, ecology and the Earth’s biosphere remain our biggest problems. Let’s dwell on that in more detail.
Stranger: (with a slight tremor in his voice) Councilor ... um ... Mr. Councilor H, I beg your pardon, but could you explain something to us. I realize that this question may seem silly and naive to you, but please give me an answer. I do not understand why we are discussing resource depletion if, according to your data (points to the screen), there’s enough of most natural resources on the planet to last thousands of years?
Councilor H: (glances at the table with a slightly dissatisfied look, turns to the Chairman, then to the Stranger, and speaks up, sounding like a university professor) Yes, of course! In fact, there is an incredible amount of most mineral resources in the Earth’s crust. However, these deposits occur at great depths. For example, when we speak of proven reserves of aluminum, which will last for about 30 years at the present consumption rate, we mean only those deposits that are already being developed or are being prepared for development. Our research, which we conducted simultaneously at several institutes in the USA, England and Russia, shows that there are huge deposits of aluminum, or, rather, the ore from which it is extracted, in the Earth’s crust. However, these deposits often occur at enormous depths. So deep that their production requires incredible investments and technology development. Roughly speaking, these fields are still inaccessible for us with our modern level of technology.
Chairman: (deciding to help the Stranger) And what about hydrocarbons?
Councilor H: We do not consider hydrocarbons to be the main energy source on Earth in the long term. (he pauses, unsure whether to proceed. The Chairman nods and he continues) Today we already have the technologies that completely solve the energy production problem on our planet. And I’m not talking about solar panels and wind farms.
Stranger: (pretending that he does not know the answer to this question) Okay, but if the planet’s resources are essentially unlimited, what is so difficult about distributing all of them rationally and fairly among all people on the planet?
Councilor H: (winces, dissatisfied with this little performance, but continues) We must consider three main points when answering this question. First, we must find an acceptable level of consumption as a starting point. Secondly, and unfortunately, technology isn’t always capable of developing fast enough to keep up with the global population growth. As a result, it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain resources. All of this leads to their scarcity and dramatically intensifies the struggle for resources between states, social groups and other groups within human society. And most importantly, the key problem is not natural resources per se, it’s the preservation of the Earth’s biosphere. This is what I have detailed in my report (he looked at the Chairman) ... this problem ...
Stranger: Mr. Councilor, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but as I studied your report, I noticed that there is a significant imbalance in the distribution of resources on the planet. Developed countries consume many times more resources than developing and underdeveloped countries. For example, take a look (takes a tablet and starts moving his finger over the screen), the per capita resource consumption in India is many times less than in the USA and Europe. Perhaps developed countries should consume fewer resources?
Councilor H: (sighs) Yes, developed countries do consume significantly more resources than others. But they produce more goods and services, too. More production, more consumption – that makes sense, doesn’t it? However, as I mentioned, there is also the notion of an acceptable level of consumption.
Chairman: Tell us more about that notion.
Councilor H: it refers to the level of resource consumption and the state of the planet’s biosphere. That is, how much different natural resources we consume per capita, including minerals, oil, gas, water, oxygen, plant food. We believe that an acceptable level of resource consumption is that of an average statistical European. In other words, if you like, it refers to the European standard of living.
Chairman: And what do you mean by the European standard of living?
Councilor H: Oh, the basic things we all know about. The European standard of living means good housing, quality food, high level of medical services, quality service and education and the chance to take full advantage of modern achievements in science and technology.
Councilor G: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to add something. The European standard of living does not only refer to the material side of existence, but also to a high level of people’s awareness and spiritual development. It allows people to live comfortably enough and spend a significant amount of time on self-development and personal growth, they can travel more, learn new things and engage in art and other creative endeavors. Huan beings should not spend their entire lives and energy on survival, that is, on seeking sustenance, clothing and the basic amenities. They will then have no time to develop and express themselves. The totality of these material and spiritual benefits allows a person to exist with dignity...
Councilor H: (raising forefinger) ... without disturbing the ecological balance and balance in the biosphere of the planet. An acceptable level of consumption also takes this into account. Mankind must live in a way that minimizes its environmental impact. This will preserve our beautiful nature in its diversity. And here, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would like to get back to my report.
The Chairman turns to Councilman H and looks at the Stranger. Then nods in approval to Councilor H.
Councilor H: As I said, the situation with the planet’s biological resources is the most complicated. Rare metals can be replaced by other materials with similar properties, there are also fuel alternatives available, but the ecology and biosphere of the Earth have no alternatives. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t think that I’m panicking, but we are headed straight into a disaster. (shakes his head and looks at everyone at the table)
Councilor I: (barely smiling) You finally realized that your humane actions did not provide any tangible results, but only slightly delayed the onset of this disaster. I hope you’re ready for more drastic measures now.
Councilor H: (very calmly) No, Madam Councilor, I am still of the same opinion and consider YOUR methods extremely dangerous. And not only for humanity, but for the whole planet.
Councilor I wants to say something, but can’t.
Chairman: (frowning) Wait, wait, wait, Councilor H, let us not jump to conclusions, let us sort things out. We need more details from you. What kind of disaster are you talking about?
Councilor H: I’m talking about a food disaster, ladies and gentlemen. By 2030, we will face a major food crisis, which in turn will provoke not only an aggravation of the political and economic situation in the world, but will also lead to a major spike in environmental stress. And this, in turn, will further exacerbate the food crisis. Trouble will start to build up like a snowball.
People at the table grow agitated and an active discussion ensues. But everybody falls silent when the Stranger speaks up.
Stranger: I apologize, Councilor H, but I was at the supermarket just yesterday. You know, there’s a lot of food on the shelves. From regular potatoes to exotic fruits. Where did all of this come from, the outer space? Is it really possible for things to change so dramatically in just 12 years? I remember myself as a boy 20 years ago, and I think there’s even more food around now.
Councilor H: You must live somewhere near New York City, right? Or London? Just wait and see, this problem will soon get to your parts, too. Why don’t you go to Africa to expand your horizons? That’s where potatoes are considered a gift “from outer space.” Please understand that the problems of the Earth’s biosphere are really very difficult to notice for an uninitiated person. You only see the tip of the iceberg. Changes in the biosphere do occur very slowly, almost imperceptibly, but they tend to accumulate, and one day they will manifest themselves so powerfully that will be impossible not to notice. Do you play tennis?
Stranger: Yes, I do.
Councilor H: That’s great. Then you’ll know what I’m about to say. Remember, when you’re honing your forehand and backhand technique, it feels like you’ll never get it right. Weeks go by, and you don’t see any progress at all. Then one day you realize that you’re doing the right thing. Typically, this is the change you notice abruptly. Just like that. (he snapped his fingers in the air) It’s the same with the biosphere. Changes are invisible at first, and the next thing you know – human beings are killing each other again for food.
Stranger: It’s kind of hard to believe, we’re not in the Middle Ages. We’ve got technology, science, and, well, common sense.
Councilor H: I’m not so sure about the latter. (smiling sadly) Unfortunately, as always, humanity uses technology primarily to find efficient ways to destroy each other and exploit the environment.
Chairman: Mr. Councilor, what are the main underlying causes of the food crisis?
Councilor H: The reasons are the same as 10 and 20 years ago. We’ve discussed them on many occasions. Population grows about 1.5 times faster than food production does. The per capita food supply is decreasing every year. Because of the overly intensive and irresponsible human exploitation of nature and particularly the biological resources of soil, water and air, agricultural yields around the world will drop sharply in the near future. Millions of hectares of the once fertile land, which has been feeding us all this time, will be withdrawn from agricultural use by 2030-40. The huge amount of chemicals that is used to grow food, violations of land use rules have led to the transformation of fertile land into deserts. Look at the land data for China, Brazil and Africa. (pointing to the tablet) These problems are already evident there. The same fate awaits other regions.
Stranger: Why not just tighten the requirements and control over compliance with agricultural regulations?
Councilor H: (smiling sadly) Hmm... That will lead to several times less agricultural production, and hunger will engulf the planet at once. To the great regret of the majority of people on Earth, the planet cannot feed even 7.5 billion people without dire consequences. Now imagine, in 12 years, there will be one billion more people on the planet. Can you imagine how much extra food and water it takes to feed another billion people?
Councilor A: Colleague, do you factor in the increase in yields from GMO use? As I recall, GMOs were developed to resolve food security issues, among other things.
Councilor H: Yes, you’re right, there are GMO cultures. And we are actively using them today. But they can’t solve the problem, they can only delay the disaster and buy us some time. You see, GMOs mostly protect plants from pests and bad climate conditions. They don’t solve soil fertility problems. In addition, our latest research shows that GMO crops are very dangerous to the biosphere and contain hidden dangers. The red flag was raised in Canada, where GMO use in certain areas has resulted in the mass death of bees. And in China there are changes in the microbiological soil composition. It’s a very serious change, and I would not bet on GMO products.
Chairman: Would the widespread introduction of organic farming help?
Councilor H: Organic farming should always be implemented, in fact, it’s the only proper farming method. But it can’t help us solve our current problem. It would be far more effective to switch everyone to a vegan diet. The production of meat and milk has an extremely negative impact on the environment and on soil fertility.Meat and milk are the most unprofitable foods, you know. To produce 1 kilo of meat you need 16 kilos of grain and a huge amount of drinking water. The harvest from a plot of about 3.5 hectares is enough to feed 2 people with meat, or 10 people with corn, or 24 people with wheat, or 61 people with soybeans. If we gave up animal husbandry, we could win another 20 years. But then again, it would only delay the major problems.
Chairman: 20 years is not a bad result. New technologies may emerge during this time. Demographic indicators can also be improved in 20 years.
Councilor A: It’s not easy to make the whole planet vegan. It is difficult enough for a modern person to opt out of eating meat and drinking milk. We ourselves have spent so much effort to convince everyone that meat and milk are the cornerstones of nutrition. The idea of a protein-based diet is rooted deep in their heads. People believe that meat and milk are the source of strength and health. And now you want us to convince them of the opposite? It would take at least twenty years, even with modern information technology.
Councilor I: Besides, you are ignoring the fact that giving up meat and milk intake will increase life expectancy, which will further exacerbate demographic problems. Isn’t that right, Councilor D? (turning to the woman on her right)
Councilor D: It’s hard to draw any conclusions without accurate research, but you are basically right. Switching to a vegan diet will reduce morbidity and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases many times over. Mortality could drop by 30-40 million people a year. That means the world population will grow even faster.
Councilor I: Here comes almost another half of Germany, ladies and gentlemen!
Councilor D: But there is another option. As you know, we’ve been developing synthetic meat for over ten years. We are working with the largest corporations to implement the artificial meat cultivation technology, in vitro, so to speak. The results are positive. In the next 10 years we will be able to streamline its production.
Councilor H: And the fish? Will you be able to make fish and seafood? The situation with fish is even more sad. Intensive fishing has practically depleted the ocean. There is no longer enough food in the water for most sea creatures. Many of them are on the verge of disappearing. This year there is already a significant decrease in seafood production. And it’s going to get worse.
Councilor D: And we are working on that as well.
Councilor H: I want you to understand that these are not merely some whims of an old nerd. The disappearance of certain marine species will lead to a disturbance of the natural balance and most certainly cause a catastrophe. It’s not just about the ocean and land. You know those experiments when wolves were removed from a certain territory, and the once blooming meadows turn into lifeless wastelands 10-15 years later? Well, that goes for the planet’s entire biosphere.
Stranger: This may sound ridiculous and naive, but can’t we create fully synthetic food? You know, like in the movies about the future... like in the Matrix, remember what they ate there? A mixture of amino acids, fiber and vitamins.
Councilor D: You can produce food like this. But its production will also require a lot of organic resources - we can’t make it out of thin air. Theoretically, we can turn everything from plastic bags to pine stumps into food. But a world with this kind of food will look just like your sci-fi movies - gray, dark and joyless. Are you ready to change your lifestyle and give up most of what you have now?
Stranger: Well, if the situation requires it, why not? If I had to cut down, I would. I think every person on the planet will realize that and begin to live more modestly.
Councilor D: What are the sacrifices for? Are you ready to give up a delicious summer salad in favor of flavorless slime, to give up comfort, the chance to travel and other benefits that civilization offers? For what?
Stranger: (pauses, a little perplexed) ... for the sake of everyone’s well-being, for peace on Earth.
Councilor D: (smiles) You’re not being completely straight with us. I’m sure you can’t even survive a month without the Internet. Not to mention more serious things. But I’m not judging you for it, because it’s convenient... It’s beautiful! These problems should be solved by reducing the population, rather than by reducing consumption to the medieval level. It’s the only reasonable way.
Councilor H: There is also the problem of fresh drinking water. It will also make a tangible contribution to the future crisis. There have been wars over water in our age. In the near future, they may become pretty common.
Stranger: You know, this question has always put me in a trance. I never understood what kind of fresh water problems we are talking about every schoolkid knows about the water cycle in nature. All the water we use goes back to the soil and then evaporates, turns into clouds, falls out as precipitation and once again fills up the rivers, lakes and ponds. What’s the problem?
Councilor H: Your knowledge of the school program is commendable. But 90% of the water that we return to the soil is contaminated. Yes, there is water in rivers, lakes, underground, glaciers, and of course, the oceans are full of this water. But it can only be used after cleansing or desalination. And this is very, very expensive. It takes a lot of energy. Besides, you naively think that water consumption means the water used to wash, drink and brush your teeth. That’s not the case. Most of the water is used by humans to grow food. Not any kind of water is suitable for the plants we grow, either, just like for humans. They require water of a certain quality and with a specific mineral content. And there’s increasingly less of this water on Earth. Do you know how much water it takes to grow 1 kilo of beef? You won’t believe it!!! 15,000 liters of water. That’s why water conflicts will soon begin to arise – first and foremost in countries where very little water is available – in Africa and Asia.
Chairman: Councilor H, is this it, or is there something else we should discuss?
Councilor H: This are essentially the most important things that I wanted to say.
Chairman: Alright, then let’s...
Stranger: (addressing the Chairman) Pardon me for the interruption, but I do have another question for the Councilor. May I?
Stranger: What about our most well-known environmental problem – global warming and the greenhouse effect. It’s very strange that you overlooked it entirely. Although... I think it’s clear - there really is no global warming! It’s one of your pseudo theories that helps manipulate society. Am I right?
Councilor H: No, sir, you are absolutely wrong!!! Take a closer look at my report. (pointing his finger at the tablet) All the details are there. Global warming is not a pseudo theory, it’s a reality. As a scientist, I can tell you for sure that due to the human impact on the environment, the climate on our planet really is changing. And it’s not just the climate. Because of the enormous carbon dioxide emissions, ocean temperature increases every year, affecting the entire biosphere of our planet. In particular, the number and duration of droughts in different parts of the world increases each year, which, incidentally, leads to a decrease in plant yields and is one of the causes of the food crisis.
Councilor H: I did not touch on this topic today, as it is secondary at the moment. And it is largely so due to our work on reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. I won’t pretend, we do have a reasonably positive outlook on this issue. By 2050, we will reduce emissions several-fold, and the temperature rise will slow down significantly. But only if we continue to devote a lot of attention and energy to this issue. (addressing everyone at the table with utmost seriousness) I haven’t mentioned many other environmental problems, which, too, will surely lead humanity to disaster soon enough if they are not addressed. But that’ll happen a bit later. Today we must think about the immediate future – the impending food crisis of 2030-2040.
Chairman: Okay, Doc, (for some reason starts to address him in an informal manner), let us now take stock once again. The powerful food crisis coming in the 2030-40s, will, as far as I can tell, have very negative consequences for the entire global community. The causes of the crisis are clear - population growth, soil depletion due to human impact, excessive human pressure on the environment, increased resource consumption. By the way, Councilor, what about our level of resource consumption? Will we be able to slow it down at least by the second half of the 21st century?
Councilor H: I’m afraid that’s unrealistic. We’ve been somewhat successful in reducing consumption in developed countries through recycling, waste sorting, the use and adoption of new technologies and materials, and public education. People in these countries have responded very sensitively to our appeal to save resources. But the increase in resource consumption today is determined not by developed countries, but by developing countries and countries with so-called transition economies. These countries account for 70% of the population and almost 85% of the population growth. Today, their per capita consumption of resources is, of course, still very far from the European level, but they are striving to live better. Their economies are developing, and they are consuming more and more resources. China and India alone are pretty impressive. They want to live like Europe or America, and they are doing everything possible to that end. The poverty rate there is decreasing every year. Extremely intensive urbanization is underway in these countries, which requires new housing, which, in turn, requires a wide variety of resources. Increasing prosperity in these countries has led to increased water and food consumption, among other things. And as you can see, this is another factor that is leading us into a food crisis.
Chairman: I see. Did you create a global model of this food crisis, Doc?
Councilor H: Yes, of course. We did it together with Councilor I. Would you like to hear the results again? (starts to move his finger over the screen, and charts, tables, diagrams appear on the projector screen) So, uh... here they are. I sent them out to everyone a month ago. Pay no attention to these complex charts and figures. I’m going to explain everything to you in simple terms.
Chairman: What is the probability of an emergent food crisis?
Councilor H: Between 2030 and 2040, the probability is 84%, between 2040 and 2050 it is estimated at 92%.
Chairman: Okay, and what are the likely consequences of the crisis?
Councilor H: There is a 97% probability that this food crisis will lead to a powerful economic and political crisis, which will be exacerbated by even greater competition for other natural resources, an increase of 1-2 billion people on the planet and an increase in resource consumption by 2040-50. When all of these factors are superimposed, we’ll be hit by the supercrisis, which will fully determine the situation on the planet in the middle and second half of the 21st century and the first half of the 22nd century.
Chairman: What is the likely crisis scenario?
Councilor I starts speaking instead of Councilor H.
Councilor I: The scenario is as follows: the first major problems with food will arise by 2030, due to increasing global population and food and water consumption, on the one hand, and issues linked to the ecology and soil depletion, on the other. They will primarily affect poor and developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and certain countries in Asia and the Middle East. Between 500 and 750 million people will be affected by the crisis. By 2035, the decline in food production will reach 12% of its current level. Meanwhile, consumption will increase by about 40%. This will lead to an intensive three to four-fold increase in food prices, similar to what we saw in 2007-2008. Only at that point the price surge was caused by the poor harvest years, so in 2009 the situation stabilized and prices dropped again. After 2030, we will face an entirely different situation.
Councilor I: The decline in agricultural production will only increase, leading to long-term increases in food prices. The situation with clean fresh water will also worsen. This factor will further reduce crop yields. As the food situation deteriorates in the above-mentioned regions, localized armed conflicts will intensify. This will launch a humanitarian catastrophe, which, in turn will trigger a new wave of migrants to European and North American countries. By 2040, the food crisis will have affected the more developed countries of Southeast Asia, Central Asia and South America, most notably China and India. By then, more than half of the world’s population – about 4 billion people – will be living in these countries. Rising food prices will lead to a dramatic deterioration of the quality of life there. Hunger riots will start in many regions and cities. By 2040, the food crisis will transform into a powerful economic and political crisis. The destabilization of the situation in oil-producing countries of the Middle East and South America will cause a sharp rise in energy prices, accelerating the crisis processes in the global economy.
Councilor I: Closer to 2040, the impact of the crisis will also resound through developed countries. The sharp rise in food and energy prices will primarily affect their least protected populations, i.e. migrants, triggering numerous riots and ethnic crime in European and North American cities. Emergency regimes will be introduced in these cities and regions. It’s all going to turn into a massive economic recession. In the 2040-50s, regional leaders of the multipolar world, such as the U.S., the European Union, China, Russia, India, and Iran, will start a series of local armed conflicts in the struggle for the remaining resources. These will very likely turn into large-scale wars where nuclear weapons may very well be used. In 2040, human civilization will enter a long period of extreme instability that will pervade all corners of our planet, making it difficult for us to make forecasts for the post-2060 period. This time of instability will last at least until the second half of the 22nd century and will be accompanied by a sharp decline in quality of life across the planet, huge human casualties, man-made and natural disasters. The high probability of the extensive use of nuclear weapons threatens the existence of all humankind and natural diversity. The consequences of the total use of nuclear weapons could bring the remains of humanity back into the Middle Ages or completely destroy it, not to mention the damage to the planet’s biosystem.
Everyone is silent, but the Chairman breaks up the pause.
Chairman: Does this scenario account for the effect of our supervision?
Councilor I: It does factor in the Golden Billion program, but, as I was saying today, it’s not really working. If we want to stay in control of the situation, we need to implement another program with more radical and effective measures.
Stranger: Madam Councilor, I think you’re exaggerating the threats a bit. Humanity has often lived through times of crisis and war. Take the 20th century, when everything you could imagine had already happened. What about the Cold War? How many times has the world made a narrow escape from nuclear war? And then – nothing, life just goes on.
Councilor I: Pardon me, sir, unfortunately, I don’t know your name... do you know what it took us to avoid that war? Or do you think it was all simply God’s will?
Stranger: Unfortunately, I don’t know that. Not really. But it seems to me that there have always been enough reasonable people in the world who would not allow the entire civilization to be destroyed.
Councilor I: Yes, such people do exist. Only there are many more people who crave power and would do anything for it.
Stranger: Do you mean yourself?
Councilor I: (ignoring the taunting) And I will explain, just because you have no idea... Do you think they care about the future of the planet, humanity and nature? No, all they want is the power to kill millions of people. Remember the Middle Ages, various kings who started bloody wars and repressions just to remain on the throne. Nothing has changed in the minds of these people, it’s as if these 500 years haven’t even happened at all. And you are hoping that these people will save humanity from disaster? (smirking sarcastically) That’s why reasonable people are rarely endowed with authority – they are not ready to walk all over others and kill to achieve their goal.
Councilor H: (turning to the Stranger) Dear guest, you are right in saying that mankind has experienced many different crises, and, allow me to point out, it was not without outside help. But this crisis is special. This crisis is the apogee of mankind’s struggle for natural resources, the epilogue, so to speak.
Councilor H: Don’t forget that people today have thermonuclear weapons at their disposal, not swords or arrows. And there are really very few resources left on the planet, while there are more people going hungry every day. I don’t think there are any exaggerations in our findings.
Chairman: Ladies and gentlemen, I must agree with Councilor I. The Golden Billion program has outlived itself. It did, however, slow down the development of critical processes and gave us time to develop new solutions. If it wasn’t for that, the supercrisis would have hit 20 years ago. Now we are entering a period of severe instability, so we need to develop a new program to meet the new conditions. We must develop this new program over the next year. And now, as you speak, please make suggestions and propose ideas that can form the basis of this new program. What’s next? Politics? Let’s take a 10-minute break and then continue. We’re adjourned!
Everyone at the table starts moving. Some head towards the small table near the wall with snacks and soft drinks. Others leave the room altogether. The Chairman and the Stranger stay at the table.
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