We have 3D printers in our schools and some might even already own one in their home. We print plastics and more recently metals, but the next step, which has already been breached, is printing food.
Imagine a world years from now that already replaced the manufacturing industry with printers. Global greenhouse gas emissions from livestock had huge consequences, the world population was continuously growing, and malnutrition continued to tear apart third world countries. So they took the next step in the 3D-printing revolution: 3D-printed food.
Every family who can afford a 3D printer owns one, maybe even two or three. They can be found in place of food shelters, and in factories where diverse machinery was once present. And everything is automated; resources are distributed and used more carefully under supervision and regulation, reducing waste but also reducing choice and creativity. Malnutrition can be treated easily with artificial proteins created by the 3D-printers, which is one of the reasons the switch was made, but the machines don’t exist in all the places they need to, and don’t work in all the places where they do. In regions where poverty still rages, the public printers break down from overuse or misuse, and sometimes are left empty of resources to print with.
In addition to the unsolved hunger and malnutrition in poorer areas, the agriculture industry is dead, along with many other manufacturing jobs that people once held. Farmers are something that only exist in history books, along with chefs and factory workers. Farms are deserted; livestock was banned years ago because of the mounting implications on the earth’s climate, and it’s pointless to put labor into a crop that can now be artificially created by a printer for less money and more convenience. Unrest is increasing in and about poverty-ridden areas; if they can’t print their food and farms are non-existent then they literally have nothing to eat. But these are problems of people that remain mostly unheard. While it was argued in the beginning that the switch would help them, it was in part for them, the printing revolution has moved away and beyond that now.
With a focus on the good things: the fewer wasted materials and resources, longer life spans due to easily replaced product parts, less transport, and fewer unsold products, it seems reasonable, even a good idea then to advance printing once again. It was a quick transition from printing plastics to metals and from metals to food and artificial proteins, so why not take it one step further? Imagine the possibilities if we began to print living tissue. Imagine all the people it could help, how many lives it could make better. If only it would help the people that need it most.
Reading Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi has made me more aware of the environmental issues that are facing our society today. Ship Breaker is set in a post-apocalyptic future where human civilization is in decline due to ecological reasons. Sea levels have risen by huge amounts due to the melting of the polar ice caps leaving New Orleans under water. Huge storms, known as city killers, became worse every year destroying everything that the ship breaker’s had.
After reading about the consequences that could potentially occur and what a possible society could look like, I decided to do some more research on the topic. What I found was very alarming and made me more aware of the environmental consequences of global warming. The arctic ice is already melting at alarming rates, declining by 13.3 percent per decade. The global temperature is also on the rise, with the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1998, with last year (2016) being the warmest on record. Both the melting ice and the increase in temperature expanding the sea water, have led to the constant rising of the sea level with a rate of change of 3.4mm per year. These numbers will not be on the decline anytime soon, due to the executed and anticipated changes of the Trump administration.
On March 13, 2017 the first preliminary budget was released which confirmed speculation and outlines deep cuts to U.S. science and environmental agencies. These include EPA, NOAA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The money will then go to increase defense spending by $54 billion. Without an adequate amount of money, there is little that these agencies can do to help the environment. Only two days later, the EPA administrator and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation announced that they will reconsider era emission requirements for vehicles with model years between 2022 and 2025. This will only keep increasing the amount of air pollution and not helping decrease the effects of global warming. These are only some examples of what the Trump administration has already done and who knows what he will do in the future.
Ship Breaker made me think of the consequences of global warming and made me realize that it is imperative that we take actions to keep this from happening. From now on, I will be more conscious of the way I am polluting the world and always try to be and to encourage others to be more environmentally friendly.
Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship Breaker. London, Atom, 2011.
In this video, I discuss what Ship Breaker and Paolo Bacigalupi can teach us about global warming and climate change. This topic hits home for me since I was a part of the Ecology Club in high school.
Hello, my name is Alexis Robinson and this is my last blog post for English 1102.
Taking this class, with dystopian societies has definitely changed or clarified my thoughts on certain events going on in today’s world.
In hunger games we saw the manipulation of the media by the capitol. They intentionally misdirected the attention of the people through propaganda and a little bit of acting. The media being completely under government control enabled them to control the flow of information to their citizens and keep them trapped in ignorance. The media was also employed as an object of distraction, as shown by Peeta and Katniss’s highly publicized romance. Clearly, the idea is that media should only have power, as a tool of the administration that controls it.
Today, we see this reflected in the attitude of the Trump Administration towards the media. WE as Americans take it for granted that the media is meant to serve us, the people. The purpose of the media in government is to act as a watchdog, keeping track of the government’s moves and holding them accountable to the people. The president is perhaps the most well-watched and well-documented target of the media. The current administration, however has taken to viewing any news that is not concurrent with it’s beliefs or paints them in a negative light as “Fake News.” This is not unlike how the Capitol viewed the propaganda from the rebel forces. Which begs the question of why any democratic government would declare war on journalists.
The purpose of a dystopia is to act as warning to it’s readers. They may involve unreal technology or impossible storylines but the underlining message is clear. We are not exempt from the stupidity of the characters from our favorite dystopian novels. We read them and wonder how these events occurred but we are living them now.
A government that views the media as it’s ally, only when it positively covers the things they want covered is on it’s way to becoming a dystopia, if it’s not already there.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic Inc., 2012.
A Society of Morals