Challenges offers you a leap into an imaginary future this summer. As part of our Contingency Scenarios series, we are publishing revised summary projections prepared by the Red Team, a team of science fiction writers put together by the Defense Innovation Agency. Its mission: to publish two scenarios per year to confront armies with extreme scenarios. But also scenarios created by us. Like this one. good reading
As he has done every day for the last two years, Thomas Pesquet watches the sunrise from his huge office in Paris City Hall. Those who have often been able to admire the earth from the sky – they got a taste for it on the International Space Station – also enjoy simple earth views. At the beginning of July 2028, the mayor is enjoying an outrageous popularity rating: 75 percent of Parisians say they are very happy with their city council, which was quick to flesh out its campaign slogan of “room for all” by pushing the boundaries of the Ile-de-France ring road. The leader of the Tous Parisiens movement doesn’t have time to digest his breakfast of grilled locusts. “Thomas, we’ve lost control of the water.” The SMS from his first deputy, Jean-Marc Jancovici, made his blood run cold. The Paris sewage treatment plant, which is located in the former Orly airport, stopped around 2.30 a.m. Shortly thereafter, the standstill of the emergency units followed. First indications point to a huge computer failure.
The Mayor of Paris immediately assesses the extent of the disaster. Contaminated water and lack of sanitary facilities lead to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid… A great risk. At the first symptoms, hundreds of lawyers are triggered class lawsuits on the new International Criminal Court for Health. The situation is all the more critical as the sale of plastic water bottles is banned to reduce ocean litter. Apart from a few pallets from Chateldon and a meager emergency supply of Cristaline in recycled waterproof cardboard, no substitutions are planned in the short term. Even though the Seine was cleaned for the 2024 Olympic Games, nobody dared to drink it. It’s urgent. If the situation is not restored quickly, the entire city will have to be evacuated.