In a previous post I talked about a piece I am working on set in Antarctica post two degrees of warming. Since then I have been reading more and more about the icy continent and the people who study and live there. As I read about this frozen desert, I spend time wondering what it will look like as the glaciers melt.
The glaciers and ice are the driving force of the currents of the Southern Ocean, and therefore the engine of the ocean entire. What will the weather be like if the continent becomes temperate? Will it continue to be a desert? What plants will start to grow there? It's wild to think every single plant would be new (at least in our species time) to that place. We usually call this an invasive species. Would we still consider it so if we brought them there to cultivate or forest that place?
We are colonizing this space.
Could nations maintain the truce they currently have there? Or would the last wilderness on Earth become its greatest battleground? Even if it is a peaceful and collaborative colonization, it's difficult to imagine the culture for this continent'. Currently it appears the inhabitants provide an austere, academic, and (mostly) misogynistic environment. Would that continue? How would women create a better society if they are included in the important decisions from the start. I've always been fascinated with places being created. Antarctica would be the first place, possibly since humans began, where we would be creating a place without colonizing another human population. What would we develop if we start from scratch without displacing or overtaking another culture/civilization?
As you can see from all of my questions, there are lots of places for the worst parts of our humanity to create horror on the last continent. But I'm choosing to hope that when faced with the consequences of our greed we will rise to the occasion and finally create a utopia worthy of my tenth grade literature class unit.