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Friday, May 12, 2017

How Oceania: The Underwater City Relates to Current Events

Even though Oceania: The Underwater City is a fictitious story, several things in the novel relate to what’s going on in our world today or what may happen in the near future. In fact, some of my research came from scientific predictions on sea level rise and trends on climate change. I envisioned Oceania to be a self-sustaining city but also the above world that we live in to be one that had finally chosen an eco-friendly path. Unlike Oceania which was designed to be a green city, our world chose to be greener only after the fossil fuels ran out. Although the majority of the story takes place underwater, the changes to our world are evident throughout the entire storyline. In this blog post, I will be comparing the story to some of the events currently going on in our world and how they were addressed in the novel.

Climate change has been considered one of the biggest threats to the survival of humanity. Acceptance of climate change has become much more widespread in today’s world, evident by all the climate change marches around the world that thousands upon thousands of people have participated in. Humans have the capability to alter our planet in a way that no other species can. Just by looking at the nighttime satellite images of the man-made lights around the world can illustrate just how much we’ve changed our planet (if you’ve never seen one, click here to see an image of one or scroll to the bottom of the post). Seeing that, it’s not at all farfetched to believe that we can change our climate as well. Climate change is real and changing our planet in ways that we may never be able to reverse. In Oceania: The Underwater City, I wrote in hope for the future but also didn’t sugarcoat what some of the irreversible effects of climate change had done to our planet. The underwater city had a two-fold purpose: to safeguard the human race but also to be an experiment to see how people could live in harmony with the environment while still having the level of comfort we enjoy today. So in the story, both our world and the underwater city have found a way to live with the changes in the environment without drastically altering the changes in human behavior—only how we obtain our energy.

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster and the Deepwater Horizon explosion, clean renewable sources of energy are becoming more popular and necessary. Wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower have been used as clean alternative energy sources compared to oil, coal, and gas for a long while but the world is far from running on them alone. To create a cleaner earth without the hassle of nuclear waste, oil spills, and harmful fumes, something had to change. In the story, our world has reached a point where oil has run out and the only option left are renewable energy sources. Our world finds a way to thrive despite switching the way we obtain our sources of energy. The result of the switch helped to clean our polluted air and help the overall health of the planet while still allowing us the technological advancements we’ve dreamed of in the future.

The last relation to current events that I’ll cover is on the search for other places for humanity to live. Whether you consider it a science fiction fantasy or not, there are people that believe that the only hope for humanity is to colonize other planets. Even Stephan Hawking, one of the brightest minds in the world today, stated that humanity needs to colonize multiple planets to survive extinction (see the link below in sources if you want to read more). Barring the whole destruction of our planet, the ocean is another place that could be colonized. However, if we exploit the ocean in the same way we have land, we’ll only continue to doom ourselves. The same would be true if we moved to a different planet and exploited its riches until we killed that one as well. I envisioned the underwater city of Oceania to be a solution to both those problems. Living in harmony with the sea while at the same time allowing humans to colonize elsewhere in a sustaining manner made Oceania a unique place for humankind to thrive.

You’ve reached the end of the blog post for this week. Next post I’ll be sharing with you a brief history of the underwater city of Oceania. Stay tuned (or subscribe to the blog) to be notified of next week’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and if you have any comments, you can leave them here on my blog or email me directly at elizataye@gmail.com. As always, I love hearing from my readers.

Photo of the Earth at Night
Photo Credit: NASA

Sources and Further Reading

Image of Earth at Night:

Article on Stephen Hawking’s Statement about Earth’s Extinction:

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