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No one was touching the sandwiches at the UN Security Council meeting. Putrid air was coming in uninvited through the windows, which needed to be kept open due to the sweltering heat radiating out of New York City’s concrete nuclear furnace. Last year’s International Treaty on Carbon Footprints had meant that air conditioning manufacturers from now on needed to build systems that were only allowed to operate at a temperature of 30C or above. This meant that the UN delegates had to endure the overbearing smell of the world’s entire marine ecosystem going extinct right outside their window, while they placidly tackled the impacts of the phytoplankton crisis on the other plague overtaking the planet’s terrestrial systems: humans. This was becoming a war between two plagues.
“Supermarkets are running out of fish” – said the delegate from Spain. No shit Sherlock. It’s going extinct.
“Our economy will need a stimulus package. Everything we do is either fishing or tourism” – said the group of delegates representing 62 of the world’s island nations – from Malta to the Maldives, Cuba to the Comoros. They had a point, I guess: those turquoise blue waters would now need to be marketed as an appealing, golden-hued shit brown instead, preferably with floating scum cleverly photoshopped out of the picture.
Just like with Covid 19 and 26, the world could only watch as another plague overtook the planet: this time, infecting Earth’s overheated oceans. John knew that it wouldn’t stop until it reached everywhere, and everyone. From the Mediterranean to the South Pacific, the phytoplankton was getting thicker and denser every week. It would soon become the largest organism on Earth by measure of biomass, by far surpassing all other living things. The Anthropocene was fast becoming the Phytoplanktoncene: an age where Earth would retreat back into its primordial soup, for inspiration: nurturing its single-celled organisms again, trying its luck to create from scratch again. Hoping to raise new children that will hopefully be more loving, more faithful, and kinder to all of her other children, just like the old days.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books