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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 05:26 AM

11. I've been doing an RPG on this

I've actually been running a homebrew RPG set in this timeframe. Since it's a homebrew, I haven't fully fleshed out the background as yet but here's the Cliff Notes version of what I've got so far (minus the psychic powers and alien incursion).

Since there seems to be a determination among both politicians and a section of the public to not do anything about global warming, the oceans will rise and become too acidic to support life (at least, not anything we could eat). Homes will become much smaller and several cities will be completely lost as coasts creep inland. Much of teh public will chalk this up to the wrath of god. With the rising temprature, more revealing fashions will become teh norm. Due to increasing pressure on grazing land, most people eat a mostly vegetarian diet with only the rich being able to afford meat more than once a week or so. For a more complete overview of this kind of society, see the first half of Ben Elton's Blind Faith.

The US will split into two distinct nations. The South will be a theocracy ruled by the dictates of fundementalist (Southern Baptist) Christianity, combined with a view that capitalism is sacred. Contrary to expectations, they won't reinstate slavery but only because wage slavery is cheaper. No social support or unemployment insurance of any kind. If you lose your job or get sick and are poor, you die. Labour unions will be outlawed; wages will be low, capitalising on a population too desperate to turn down work even if it's for pennies. Most of the population lives in company-owned shacks. Public education is limited to basic literacy and numeracy. The North bans handguns and smoking outright, has a form of universal (albeit basic) health insurance and maintains friendly trading ties with Canada. Economy is based around service industries and IT. Public education, now federally controlled, is comparable to other first-world nations. Public housing is expanding but not fast enough to keep up with a rising population. Porn is banned in both North and South but for different reasons. The North experiments with building artificial islands to contain the growing prison population.

The Commonwealth becomes a formidable trading empire but the UK becomes very much the junior partner in that empire. The UK's health system has now become a combination of tax monies being paid to private healthcare providers. Welfare benefits continue to be cut, eventually leading a situation where only three months of benefits are provided. The Church of England is disestablished when King Charles chooses to take the title "Defender Of The FaithS" i.e. of religion and spirituality generally, rather than any specific denomination. With the loss of land due to global warming, most of the population are herded into high-population blocks akin to those from Judge Dredd, purpose-built to combine housing, work and recreational areas with as little wasted space as possible. Life expectancy is now around 88 and retirement age is 75. Retirement income is savings and work pension, state pension having been abolished (leading to a rising incidence of poverty in the elderly). Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have almost fully devolved powers with Whitehall only setting a UK-wide agenda on the broadest matters.

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