The World’s population approached the twelve billion mark. Millions migrated. The problems of every land locked nation changed almost overnight. The destruction of low lying cities along the coasts of every continent pushed civilization inland, taking up valuable farmland. Global flooding destroyed another third of the planet’s fertile soil. Farming moved north, but all too slowly. Famine plagued all nations.
A planetary power grid, and bio-reactors built to produce synthetic meat were the only solutions. They were astronomically expensive and took a big chunk out of every country’s budget. When the true effects of our carbon foot print became blatantly obvious to the taxpayers, the people who warned of the future problems of climate change were the first to be denied grant monies; funding for science seemed less important than money spent feeding the masses.
Concerns shifted to solving immediate problems and away from studying possible problems of the future. Telescopes lay idle all over the globe and in outer space, fuel supplies and coolants ran out in existing space observatories; they were never replaced. Mars was unattainable. NASA no longer existed. Exploration was put on hold. Anything above the outer atmosphere was deemed unessential spending. Commercial spacecraft made regular flights to several In-Orbit Hotels where the “Well off” go to vacation in a zero gravity, Vegas like atmosphere with planet Earth looming out every viewing portal; space had gone commercial. We wanted to play in it before we learned more about it.
No funding was given for asteroid or comet observations, most of the objects considered a threat wouldn’t hit till long into the future, ‘Plenty of time to develop ways to deflect a threat.’ Ninety nine percent of all objects have been mapped and were being tracked.
“Some things come in hot” was the explanation given to the most powerful man on the planet. Nothing could be done. He and all the leaders of Earth unanimously agreed to keep the fate of their species a secret. It would be the last act of Humanity.