Friday, May 13, 2011

Prepare: Barren

What would happen if people could not get pregnant and have children any longer? This idea crossed my mind after recalling the movie, "Children of Men" during the recent Blogger outage. Only now could I put this completely hypothetical scenario up here.


The government and medical community reveal that no women anywhere in the civilized world are reporting conception in the past month. Only women who were pregnant before the past month and who are currently still pregnant will deliver children. Authorities are asking people not to panic and that the problem is probably temporary and must be related to some unknown condition.

Scientists will carefully examine women and their partners who created the last generation for some genetic anomaly, but will come up shorthanded. The end of procreation was sudden and without reason.

Within a few days of this event, the talking heads and parade of experts blame the problem on diet, pollution, chemicals, global warming, drugs, the wrath of God, genetic experimentation and planetary evolution. Eventually, the various national governments admit they don't know what caused the problem and do not have a cure.

Several step forward and claim the inability for humans to conceive is part of an evolutionary event as the human population has exceeded the carrying capacity of the earth. Basically, nature has pulled an emergency stop on human reproduction. Simultaneously, a number of experts offer alarming opinions as to what will happen long term as the population ages and older people are not replaced with a new generation. Social systems, industries, and welfare will start to break down as contributors drop and recipients increase.

What happens right away? Those who are carrying the foreseeable last generation, will be under strict scrutiny and soon, protection. Their progeny may be the last hope for humanity and thus will be considered the property of all mankind. Further, many who cannot reproduce will be consumed by envy and rage for those who can and that puts their lives, and the lives of their children, at risk.

Governments will pass new laws protecting existing children up to the point of taking custody if parents are not providing a healthy environment according to a formula designed by the government. Some laws will be more libertarian while others, far more authoritarian. Protests and civil disturbances will occur in response to governments alleged intrusiveness in parental rights.

An international effort will come about which will propose that all unborn children and their birth mothers be relocated to central facilities to provide the best possible care as to prevent the loss of a single unborn child. The initial programs call for these birth protection facilities to be located in developed nations which leads to a virulent reaction from most of the world. Shortly afterwards, an international "Baby Race" begins with various nations rushing to protect their unborn children from relocation to other nations. Worried government leaders raise the alarm as to what would happen to their national identity if all of "their" babies were taken from their shores.

International ad campaigns which offer cash rewards, citizenship, housing and lifetime compensation for pregnant mothers to migrate to different nations. The first reports of "mother kidnapping" occurs when pregnant women are snatched for their unborn children and taken forcibly. Some actions are taken by criminals who hope to broker the baby once born, but most are the actions of governments seeking to bolster their nation's future population. Ironically, a number of people are killed trying to obtain a birth mother or recently born baby.

Another related, but smaller symptom will occur as rich, powerful and connected individuals are able to use the government to obtain, through dubious legal means, newborns from their birth mothers.

But for those who want and have no children and who further realize they never will, a dramatic societal change will take place. Divorce and infidelity will skyrocket. Suicide, extreme and destructive behavior will rise across nations. Traditional institutions such as marriage and religion will be disregarded and tossed aside by many. The change will be slight in some developed aging nations and dramatic in developing nations with previously high birth rates tied to cultural norms.

At the same time, a number of individuals and groups will consider the end of reproduction as a sign of the end times long prophesied in many cultures. Again, many will take their lives while others will encourage their followers to prepare for the end and withdraw from society. Some will be compelled to widespread violence.

Shortly after the event takes place, many countries start to report the results. They being to release calculations and predictions of their "End of Life"date: the point where a nation will not have enough young people to support the elderly, maintain production and keep society functioning. Plans are made to consolidate several countries to delay the inevitable.

One evening, various leaders from around the world gather and make an announcement declaring an approximate day in the future mankind can expect the last human to perish from purportedly old age and at which point we, as a race, will go extinct......

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