I was watching the science channel the other night and a special was on about the next comet impact and the aftermath. It was eye opening, it is what supposedly caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, either that or a large asteroid, but either way it was some giant impact. The thing that got me was there would be no sunlight, literally, for months to a year.
All plant life would die, only those plants who had seeds in the ground in a dormant state, would grow again after the sun started to come back. That is if they survived the acid rain and harsh conditions. In any event, Solar power would be out, and the EMP pulse would disable all electronic equipment on the planet. Energy would be extremely difficult to come by, as would food and clean water.
I started thinking about how mankind could possibly survive this event, without our technology, MOST people are woefully un-prepared to survive out in the pristene wild, let alone a harsh new environment with virtually no plant or animal life.
I thought about a deep underground village. Powered by Geothermal electrical converters. They get thier energy from the earths own heat, not the sun, so they could run without interruption. They would power all the needs of the village, including the massive banks of growing lights and UV bulbs that would simulate the suns energy. Crops could be planted and even small fruit trees. Some livestock would also be able to be kept though this would be mainly to re-populate the earth when it was livable again. The village would be tapped into a large underground aquafier, which would provide a good supply of clean water. The lights would be controlled by a computer system, much like in a hydropinics setup, with precise timing for each crop to maximise the growth cycles and harvest. The plant mass would provide the oxygen for the inhabitants. Seeds from all around the earth could be stored in freezers to help re-introduce them once the world is ready to accept life again.
A sweage remediation system would be used to clean water and fertilize soil for crops. Nothing would be wasted, everything would be recycled. They have very small scale systems like this designed for placement on another planets surface, though they run on solar/nuclear energy, and only support a few people. With the Geothermal energy source, you could support a much larger population of plants and animals and humans. Computer networks would be used to store as much important information about our history and our technology as possible, so we could quickly return to a modern state, with perhaps a little better balance with nature. Indeed, this underground village, would likley be replicated on the surface in the future, only using other energy sources as well like solar and wind.
With large seed banks and of course a very large supply of UV and Grow lights, you could keep this village running smoothly for lifetimes. I am not sure how long it would be needed, but other than planting and harvesting there would be very little manual labor to do. With a population (mixed racial makeups) of a couple hundred, it would be a pretty easy life. The tempature would be ideally regulated, there is no threats from outside the system, you are after all 1-2 thousand feet under the ground. People could then focus on arts and sciences and recreation. Bycicles would be the preferred mode of transport around the village. And maybe a horse drawn cart or two for the harvests.
The setup costs of this system would indeed be astronomical, but once it is in place, I really think humans could survive almost indefinately. Selection into the village would be important. Obviously you would need a wide variety of genetic heratiges to maximize your genetic diversity of offspring. Inbreeding would be this new populations biggest problem. You would need specialists also, Doctors, Tradesman, Scientist, Teachers, Farmers. People who make the world go round, and the best of these. Also there would be some pretty hefty weighting on temperment, People who are prone to anger or violence could do a lot of harm to a small balanced system. Damage just one part of the system and it could easily fail. I have to say that since I am the mastermind, I get a spot with my family, and i’d probably take a leadership position with regard to making decisions about the village. I’d be similar to the mayor. Certain systems would be completely off limits to everyone except Myself and maybe one or two other administrators of the system.
One of the nice things about this village is allthough it would be agrarian in nature, we could still have electronics. I could system link a few Xbox 360’s around the village and play games with eachother. People will be able to bring DVD collections and music collections. Our own mainframe will have as much information as we could possibly get, having downloaded the servers from many online resources.
Initially the system would be very connected to the outside world. There would be cables running up the elevator shaft, that keep the group connected to the outside world, and also visits to the surface would be easy to achieve. Basically, post impact, the communications would shut themselves offfrom the surface when the EMP pulse destroys the surface electronics.
Ok so who has 100M $ and who wants in.