Nc fusion plants

The world as we see it in 2050 is shaped by its infrastructure – its power generation, transportation, industrial and agricultural networks – and that infrastructure was shaped by the Collapse. Gone are heady dreams of “walkable ubanism”; of green revolutions delivering plentiful, clean air and water; of universal healthcare and of smart grids undercutting power monopolies. In the post-Collapse age the emphasis is on controlling threats to elite rule by controlling the population’s access to all the necessities of life.

The growing bane of climate change and its attendant problems of famine and plague have demanded action to wards a greener, carbon-neutral industrial base – if only to save matters from becoming even more horrific. However, many corporations will skip on their obligations at any opportunity, to enhance their profits, and with slack enforcement opportunities come frequently. Still, although hangover pollution made worse by warmer air temperatures is a perennial curse the emissions of industry, transport and urbanisation are lower than they’ve ever been.

Thus most cities use fusion power as their mainstay, supplemented by renewable sources where possible. Their transmission networks are local, restricted to the megacity at most – there are no national power grids anymore. Outwith the cities, renewable power-generation is preferred. Coal and oil are no longer burned except in very rare and law-breaking instances but instead saved for the plastics and chemical industries, which themselves must be cleaner and more environmentally friendly in their processes than ever before. When the kind of fuel that oil used to provide is needed, clean burning hydrogen cells or ethanol and other biofuels made from gene-tailored algae are used instead, the latter with sophisticated calatlytic converters to sink pollutants and carbon.

With these new technologies, vehicles are no longer the polluters they once were. In any case, a personal vehicle is usually something only the Glitterati and the richest of Proles can lay claim to any more. The vast poor make do with public transport – maglevs, buses, slidewalks – or muscle-power. New materials and flywheel storage technologies have made bicycles, skateboards and the like more popular than ever. Air transport is now confined to airship for freight and most passengers, the jet plane is a Glitterati convenience. By sea, every vessel uses some form of alternative to oil, be it sails, solar, fusion or a hydrogen bottle.

Luckliy, new technologies have also made local production of goods and foodstuffs far easier than before. Plentiful fusion power means desalination on scales undreamed of by pre-Collapse cities is possible. 3-D printing and automated fabrication means goods can be produced “on-demand” in the mini-factories behind shopping walls and gene-tailored bacteria or algae produce acceptable and cheap foodstuffs for the city masses.

The infrastructure of 2050, like that of all ages, is a compromise between the desireable, the profitable and the affordable. At least it workd, after a fashion, in the megacities. Once you get out of those cities, though, things change for the worse. They’re far more likely to suffer shortages and outages, to be vulnerable to the vagaries of weather gone wild, and to be cut off physically from the world even while modern communications makes it easy to talk to that world.


Edgerunners Langy Langy