Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Last Generation

In the year 2017, bioengineers and virologists employed genome editing to develop a new, permanent contraceptive. They successfully devised a recombinant strain of the adeno-associated virus. When administered to men, it sterilized the male sexual partner. This soon became a very popular contraceptive measure, overtaking the Pill.

However, the virus mutated, and jumped to the general male population. By 2021, the entire male population was sterile. The supply of frozen embryos was quickly exhausted.

At first, the impending extinction of the human race reaped fringe benefits. As the older generation died off, this freed up some prime real estate in New Port, Malibu, Hilton Head, Honolulu, La Jolla, Laguna Beach, the Hamptons, the Bahamas, the Maldives, Corona del Mar, the Côte d’Azur, &c.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative, as well as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, hailed this development as a wonderful contribution to sustainability. Ron Sider, Jim Wallis, Richard Mouw, and Paul Watson issued a joint statement entitled Together for Antinatalism. Yet their enthusiasm was, by definition, short-lived.

As time went on, cities became unlivable. The critical infrastructure was contingent on an intricate and interlocking relationship between farmers, truckers, bankers, manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, gas production, the Internet, solid waste management, hospitals, big pharma, &c. As humans began to die off, with no one to take their place, the critical infrastructure broke down. There were not enough people to go around. Not enough men and woman with the required skill set to fill key positions. The loss of the electrical grid alone was a fatal blow to the infrastructure.

Survivors vacated the dying cities and suburbs, fanning out to the countryside, to eke out a subsistence existence by living off the land. But most city slickers–or suburbanites–had no survival skills. No experience at hunting, trapping, ranching, farming, fishing, mechanics, or carpentry.

Country folk fiercely defended their farms and ranches against the cold, hungry, marauding masses, but they were overwhelmed.

Some refugees banded together to form rural communes, but food and clean water shortages led to theft, murder, and cannibalism.

Abandoned pets formed feral dog packs, attacking any living thing, humans included, to feed themselves. 

Fewer and fewer people lived further and further apart. Among those who didn’t freeze to death or starve to death, some committed suicide, unable to cope with the unbearable loneliness.

The last surviving human died of malnutrition at the age of 43. On her deathbed was a Bible opened to Matthew 24:

“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

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