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Old 03-25-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
ericthered
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Default Re: [IW] Imagining Lucifer-3

Humanity will figure out what has happened fairly quickly, what with the sudden increase in sunburns and skin cancer. The southern hemisphere will get hit hardest, which may give the north a chance. However, I don't think they'll be able to effect a reasonable solution. This will be a cold and calculating fall of society though: There won't be a fair start, but things will gradually get more and more desperate. worst of all, reducing the human population DOESN'T make the survivors better able to make it.

The humans who survive the best will be the ones who can hide with a large stock of food quickly and silently. Secrecy will be as important as the food stock. There will also be a few military winners, but they may not have the resources to preserve their food. I also doubt that the surviving humans will have the resources to start growing food again: they need a huge energy source to even turn the lights on, not to mention a place to make bulbs. That kind of organization discourages secrecy, which will spell defeat and invasion. They might be able to put something together after the rest of humanity has died off though.

I'm not sure how complete the die-off will be. Yes, UV radiation is a powerful sterilizer. But life is suburb at surviving. The deep sea vent life, at least, will come out alive. The food chain at the bottom normally fed by the top will survive for a long time by cannibalizing itself, and its got a slow metabolism in the first place. The plankton locked in Antartic ice will survive. I'm also not sure if there is a depth where visible light reaches but the deadly UV varieties do not. That last category offers some hope for sustaining human life, as well as for repopulating the land once UV goes down.

I can actually see infinity biologists being incredibly interested in this world for the sake of understanding what a mass extinction looks like and at exploring how quickly life returns and which phyla come to dominate.

On second thought, there may be a way for humans to survive other than 'hunker and hide':

The best solution for growing food isn't underground with lighting: its in making a material that will filter out UV light while passing visible light through. Humanity probably has time to invent a material before it goes under, and indeed to make several factories that make great big panels of it. These will be in high demand though, and won't be in time to save more than a fraction of humanity, and civilization will still fall. you may get some groups of people who had enough power, enough foresight, and enough luck to own some of the factories. That won't save you from a possible nuclear winter, but it may leave a few enclaves of humans still alive and still above ground.
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