“When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
Sitting Bull – Sioux Lakota.
A WORLD IN RUINS
New Atlantis is set in Italy in the present day. In the first months of 2017 an unknown bacterium infects all main drinking water sources across the world. Contamination spreads uncontrollably and within a few weeks everything starts to change dramatically.
At first the water shortage emergency is contained thanks to the distribution of controlled bottled water from certified sources. But as the stocks start to run low, it becomes clear that the last drinkable sources will dry out soon if they continue to be exploited intensively. Those who drink contaminated water die in a few days. Panic spreads out.
As governments and supranational organisations struggle to face the disaster, society begins to disintegrate. Street demonstrations, riots, looting, and violence explode in every corner of the globe. A downward spiral towards inevitable collapse.
A world in ruins: no water means no agriculture, no breeding farms, no industrial production. Basically, no life. Those who have been lucky and careful enough to stock up can hold on for a bit while cities fall to pieces and farmlands are abandoned.
Then the shutdown. The fragile chain of world production breaks. No workers, no oil, no electricity, no transports. Nothing.
Men survive in the most complete uncertainty of the nearest future. Their horizon shrinks to a single day. How will I feed myself? How will I keep warm enough?
And then there are those who didn’t make it. Friends, relatives, fathers and sons. Everyone is immensely alone. Each survivor carries their own tragedy, their human burden of pain.