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level_head in colony_crisis

The State of Wall•E's World

In Colony Crisis, and apparently in the film, rain had been rare. The conditions, at least where Wall•E worked, suggested that the rains were a recent development; things were too well preserved otherwise. I think this is likely, too, and projected that rain had been rare for centuries, until relatively recently.

DeckardCanineDeckardCanine asked, Why is this, anyway? Did solid trash cover all the water? Did air pollution get so thick it blocked precipitation?

One of the effects I've imagined to try to explain the film's unlikely situation is a loss of CO2. That, combined with toxic gases, would kill the plants, and indirectly most life. Especially land-based life, but most in the ocean as well.

The Earth suffers, and carbon dioxide (arguably the most crucial life-sustaining part of our atmosphere; we have hundreds of times as much oxygen) drops to too low a level to support remaining plants. Almost all plants, animals, and multi-cellular life forms are lost. Most bacteria too.

The changes to land cover affect humidity; grasslands and forests become deserts and dunes. The lack of CO2 combines with the lack of humidity (a much larger climate factor) to produce dry terrain almost worldwide. Rain becomes rare; in some parts of the world, it is not seen for centuries at a time.

Deep sea vents have collections of chemotropes, organisms who do not depend upon sunlight and photosynthesis at all. They live in water that reaches multiples of sea-level boiling points, and in highly corrosive chemical baths. In fact, they need these aspects for their ecology. It's unlikely that conditions elsewhere would affect them much. They survive.

Elsewhere, other tiny pockets of life are still viable; aerobic bacteria and other sorts locked in ice and reviving upon a thaw. It takes only a few.

Most die immediately. But, when the mixture of toxic gases is no longer fatal for them, some survive. They have little competition, and first the ocean is repopulated with them. CO2, gradually, begins to rise. Little is making use of it at this point. (Currently, CO2 on the Earth drops for five months of every year as the plant usage outpaces all production.)

Finally, some pockets of cyanobacteria (photosynthetic, CO2 users) appear. Eventually, bits of chance-preserved algae make it again, and these new forms suddenly dominate a sea largely stripped of competition and consumers.

The seas have no sharks; teleost (bony) fish are represented by a very few species that survived frozen as a few of them can. Their progeny will make the oceans a different place -- but they're edible. A few crustaceans and mollusks that had adapted to the chemotropic life begin to migrate upward from the deep sea vents; the sea is suddenly rich, from their perspective, and for a while they own most of the oceans.

Finally, the world's humidity begins to rise. There is little on land to take advantage of this; in the absence of humans, algae would need to evolve into something like plants once again. Perhaps they will, eventually.

In the meantime, after hundreds of years, the rains finally come. They don't make a paradise of life -- but they create a bacteria-rich ground fertile with possibilities. And waiting. It will be fatal to many humans that have spent generations away from exposure to such organisms; they've lost their defenses. But eventually, this live soil will be the foundation for a new beginning.

===|==============/ Level Head


I totes just found this journal by accident, but it seems really interesting and I've added it to my flist to watch it (if you don't mind?). Your vision of this future world is probably more thought-out than mine, but I just want to ask about how or if you're going to reconcile the above description of the environment with what we saw in Wall-E's credits--the successful return of recognizable life: blue jays, strawberry patches, oak and willow trees, corn...etc. (I assume the eventual preraphealite cityscapes are from several hundred or at least several tens of years in the future, though.)

You've arrived at the end of a novel. Your timing is good; this is about to go private.

In the story, I work very hard to make exactly what is portrayed in the movie plausible, including those end credits. The very first chapter, way back here, begins dealing with the return of life -- and sets up questions that won't be completely answered for another 130+ chapters.

A lot of other things happen in the meantime.

===|==============/ Level Head


Where I can read the entire novel?

Re: Hello!!!

Hi, there!

Send me an email (to Level_Head@LiveJournal.com) with your email address, and I'll send you the current version. Let me know if you can read Word docs, or would prefer an RTF or PDF file. And put Colony Crisis in the subject line, so I'll be sure to spot i.

I'll give you access to the Colony_Crisis community as well, even though the text has been updated since then. This was used for extensive editing (with a lot of help from friends here) as well as pleasant discussions of the details. You may find it interesting.

What brought you here?

===|==============/ Level Head

Re: Hello!!!

Thank you very much. I really like the movie Wall-e and once I saw the Wall-e Forum where I found Colony Crisis, for the good reviews I was curious but never had the chance to read it.

The email you refer can be hotmail?

PD: Sorry for my English, I use translator

Re: Hello!!!

He visto su WALL·E coches. Muy bonito.

Hotmail es bueno.

===|==============/ Level Head

Re: Hello!!!