Official:Food, water, fuel
Food, water, fuel
Resources and supplies were not a problem until after the Solar Event. Especially during the second half of the 21st century, abundant sources of life-sustaining elements were on the rise. New biotechnologies increased the food production capacities of the Earth and although famine and hunger was still present, (thanks to international politics and social injustices), there was, at least based on hard figures, more than enough for everyone. The mineral resources mined on asteroids were also a great advantage for mankind as the space mining facilities rose greatly after major efforts in the ’30s. Human rights activists and environmentalists soon achieved their common goal: a worldwide ban of mining and drilling operations on Earth, in order to preserve the natural conditions therein.
This presented a new challenge of finding new sources of clean and abundant energy. The traditional sources were not good enough, presented environmental risks and we needed more than our old methods could keep up with our continued lust for the spoils of industry - even more strongly then, as the space industry and mining operations grew in size and scale. Foundries, laboratories, new integrated IT systems and “cyberlabs” needed immeasurable amounts of energy that we didn't have and seemingly couldn't manage to obtain using traditional methods. That hunger for more energy was the first impulse and perhaps the most important economic and political justification for beginning research on Project Genesis.
Ultimately the same greed that fed the desire for an unlimited energy source turned on us once again and consumed us. Somehow we survived, but were reduced to conditions several levels below the state of 2070. There was almost nothing left - at least in terms of even the most basic luxuries we had grown so used to. The social gap widened, the food and water supplies from the Earth were at once lost and we had no choice but to prey on others. The resources were there, but were collected and controlled by political powers with their own agenda. The first few years after the Solar Event brought us unthinkable radicalization in politics, and with it laws limiting consumption for individuals, families, and similar laws controlling many aspects of human life. Most surrendered to this new world order, some refused and formed their own movements or lived their lonely lives as miners, freelancers and mercenaries. The only sources of water became efficient recycling or mining for ice crystals on the asteroids and comets. The air was simply extracted therein, being probably the easiest vital resource to acquire - assuming one had access to the water. The greatest problem, and soon a trade article as well, became food.
Back in the ‘50s and ’60s, many methods for synthesizing artificial food production using nanites were introduced, and though they were now our only source of food, they were expensive and inefficient. As the economy during the 70's re-stabilized, additional organic bio-domes were built, and at least the higher classes of our society could afford real food. Still, there was simply not enough and many struggles, political as well as domestic, ensued.
Artificial production technologies became one of the most important fields of research. It was still a rather uncomfortable path, but the goal was clear: to establish sufficient natural food production. That, however, would require cooperation and undisturbed growth of the society and industry. This kind of peace was never possible in post-Event society. We had little and were still destroying and stealing from each other.