Maybe it’s about time that I gave you a little background on my new ‘imagined’ world. I have spent a lot of time creating this world, and I started with a single question…
What would happen if we entered a new ice age?
To begin with, I considered that, if and when this did happen, it would probably come very gradually. I’m not convinced it would take an incredible amount of time; I mean, look at how our climate has changed over just the last few decades. But maybe nature would give us a chance. Maybe, we would have time to relocate to warmer areas. Maybe, the human species would adapt to this new threat, using the technology and skills we have developed over centuries. Who knows, I’m not a scientist, but I did do a lot of research around what we know of ice ages, and different theories over the cycles our planet goes through. Yet, this led me toward a more far reaching notion…
What if this ice age did come quickly?
What would happen then? I can only assume, that over a number of years, the catastrophic consequences of our climate ‘crashing’ so to speak, would push us to the brink. If temperatures plummeted, it would have far reaching affects, the likes of which, we surely couldn’t survive. Well, not in the ways in which we have become accustomed. At this point, I started thinking about the movie The Day After Tomorrow. BUT, I didn’t want to explore this natural disaster as it was playing out like that movie did, I wanted my story to be very different. I wondered what would happen to us after such an event. More than anything, I pondered in what ways we could possibly endure this phenomenon, and how our species would move forward if some of us did live through it. So, this all became the basis of my next question…
If some of us lived on, how would things pan out in the years after?
By the time I started thinking this through, I had built the foundation of my story idea. I would start with the concept, that a sudden and severe climate shift, throws our world into this new ice age. From this event, I decided that it could be plausible, some people may survive. However, having lost everything, those that did carry on would surely struggle in many ways. Food would be scarce, temperatures unbearable and individuals would resort to extreme methods in order to protect their existence. Conflict may follow, and in an absence of lawmakers this could be deadly, driven from pure desperation. On top of this, the remaining population might start to dwindle. Worst case scenario perhaps, but in all likelihood, our world could become a cruel place to live.
However, in my head, I also think that a need to co-exist would eventually emerge. I contemplated, that the knowledge and skills we have gleaned up to the point of such ruin, would not be forgotten. As a species, we humans have continually built on learning; further developing ideas passed down from previous generations. Whether this has been a good or bad thing is much a matter for debate, and I will leave you to your own opinions on that one. The point remains, that engrained in us, would be everything that we have become. On that basis, I believe it is feasible, that following our new status as an endangered species, and after many years clutching to life, the few humans left would finally come together. Being a little more positive, hopefully, these people would rebuild, re-organise, and begin to once again work together for the future of our kind. This may be achieved through our fundamental need to live, combined with the intelligence and technological ideas still contained within our subconscious. I would like to think, that somewhere along the way, we found ways to access that which we have learned through the history of our civilisation. Starting small, these few people that continued, would eventually construct a colony and a place in which to live together. But then, even this would face huge challenges, when accounting for cultural and ideological differences. Well, that’s how my thought process pans out anyway.
But there is more…
Scientists debate and hypothesise constantly about nature, and specifically about causes of mass extinction. The evolution of plants and animals is also often studied to great length. Yet there rarely seems to be complete consensus in many areas. Take the ‘aquatic ape’ theory for example; or differences in opinion over mass extinctions, like the large mammals that inhabited our planet in the last Great Ice Age. Owing to this, I have made assumptions that during events (like my new ice age), many species would be wiped out for one reason or another. Together with this, some animal groups could survive, whilst others might evolve to cope better with the world as it has become. This evolution could also give birth to new life, of both animals and plants that are maybe similar, but not the same as their predecessors.
To conclude, for now…
These musings and questions were the foundation of my story. Therefore, following the coming of a new ice age (for which we were ill-prepared), humans would somehow find a way to avoid extinction. However, my story would start a few centuries later, allowing for evolution, and the development of people. To add, I also considered what may happen if we ourselves evolved. What if a new strain of human-like animals emerged? What would be the similarity in our species? Perhaps, more importantly, what would be our differences, and how would we react to them?
In short, following the commencement of this ice age, I had a world constructed from various ideas…
- People survived this ice age in very limited numbers, and learned to adapt to their new ‘colder’ world.
- Our single ‘human’ species also evolved, creating an additional ‘unique’ species.
- Other animals and plants survived, and like humans, are very much the same as they are now.
- New animals and plants developed alongside existing species.
- Humans came together centuries later, perhaps alone (or perhaps with help), to form their first colony in which to co-exist.
- This colony endures new problems, which then gives way to further change.
I will leave things there for now, and give further insights into the development of my story at a later date. So far, there are many could(s), would(s), maybe(s) and might(s), but many more building blocks added to these foundations. Those are the subject of posts for another time.
Before I do end though, please bear in mind, my intention is to build a world of fiction. Its scientific plausibility may have been a consideration…but a scientist I most definitely am not!