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Created Monday 22 January 2024

Christchurch Flying Club, S1 E3, Intermission 2: Exploring future plans. Around the southern fringes in food.

*This episode is out of character.*

Hello listeners.

In the CCFC version of the LT universe, we accept many boreal as well as austral locations as habitable, climatically, pedologically as well as radiologically: north England, all of Éire and Ellan Vannin, most of Scotland, most of Canada, Iceland, the US intermountain West (as a high altitude place, but to be avoided due to radical Christians), southeast Australia, as well as canonical Usuaia, Greenland, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa and north coastal Fennoscandia. Nuclear Holocaust was relatively limited in scope in our version. France, while desertified, is only partly a wasteland. Brittany is intact entirely, apart from drowned coastal valleys and one town blown by conventional munitions. Jersey and Guernsey are making the best of a merde lot, and a subtropical climate gives the entirety of surviving north and west France, as well as lush (although relatively less so, see Figure 1b at simulating 2100 conditions) Cantabria down in Spain a wealth of luxury goods only dreamed of by madmen in our time. Norman or possibly Cantabrian coffee quenches the thirst of both Ålesunds. In Britain, Cornish clotted cream evokes images of cows grazing under ~~date~~ coconut? palms near the northern limit of cultivation, and the great-great-grandchildren of tin miners and refugees enjoy leisure or leisured work after short workdays in myriad tasks like fishing, agriculture, inspection, building, and assorted government functions. Greenhouse pineapples from Anglesey amuse people at least as far away as warm temperate Glasgow, itself destroyed and irradiated in 2078 but a town just 50km away has taken its name and most of its heritage as a harbour city, and with some luck as far north as Tromso. Kentish(!!) chickpeas and Parisien sesame (desert Europe, remember?) shipped in by Belfast sailors on the winds and Swedish dealwood combine with Dublin lemons to make the mean hummus bi tahina eaten across the new south, from Cork to Karlskrona. All this despite the collapse of AMOC, which would otherwise have made western Europe a frigid place, but we burned so much oil & coal that they got to be in warmth anyway. The westerlies also wet the wests, so it's no desert. The surviving parts of Kent experience an essentially Mediterranean climate. Is that a square of Cantabrian-Flemish chocolate, grown in Cantabria and processed in the less radioactive parts of Flanders?

I find it extremely unlikely that the belt from Galicia (of Breoghan) in Spain to Na h-Eileanan Siar (pronounced: na 'hélanan shear) has any climatically uninhabitable places. In Europe, the westerlies wet the wests, even after the collapse of AMOC, which would be expected to have a drying effect (though not to the point of creating a Peruvian coastal desert landscape with lomas in the hilly Hebrides), and if it's warm enough for little snow to collect in Spitsbergen, the land today of Nia Andersen and some man named Pawel and the capital of a major district of the Novamediterra, in a few years also the land of Mr. Lyosha of the train drivers and Seth of the European Space Agency, an AI born to a Dr Caroline Redwing in her final feat as an astronaut and programmer on Station 6, then I believe the correct model would be the Eocene climate optimum, when warm-loving species survived in polar locations as well as down to the equator.

Le Conseil down in Geneva contend with a desert climate, as the Mediterranean winter rains have failed completely due to the Gibraltar Dam project, and the Atlantic summer rains have failed due to unspecified land use change in France. They still do not know how to best harness their 4" of natural rain. They use cloud seeding instead to push it up to 15". The sand-dwelling O'odham in Mexico practiced rain-fed agriculture on 3". With proper technique, le Conseil could once more thrive in Hell long enough to get to the riches and kind hospitality of sunny, humid Kemper, in Breton country. For now, the Alps are wasted. Swiss descendants still pray "Next year in Zueri" (or their home canton) over Easter in the fjords of Norway, in imitation of their Jewish friends' Passover seders for Jerusalem/al-Quds and with much of the same meaning acquired since collapse (I admit, today it'd be blasphemy. In LT's time, both Helvetia and Jerusalem are dry and uninhabitable (obviously making the Third Temple unbuildable or inaccessible) for the same reason - Atlantropa). Some of both dream of bombing the Gibraltar Dam. An explosion to end exile, and wet Helvetia, Italy, east Spain, and Syria-Palaestina (including today's Israel) once more. Not a popular idea in the core Novamediterra (north Russia, most all of Norway, Greenland, Arctic Canada, and obviously Svalbard).

Christchurch's steppe climate is not as implausible as I thought. It is in a rain shadow after all.

I want E1 to visit Canada. Try to see what became of it. Did the natives survive in their own home country? Settlers ok? Enough trees to fly a plane? What's cooking in Prince Rupert? Fort Nelson wine? Oregon dates and avocados? Vancouver Island olives, and tea, as well as wasabi? I believe most of Mexico is still inhabited.

First, though, they will have to try Santiago de Chile. You see, it is not prudent, and it is also illegal in Christchurch, to cruise straight across the Pacific, from Waitaha to BC. One must travel straight east under both sail and motor, making more than 50 km/h and burning an ungainly amount of wood (possibly 1000 or 1500 cord - mind that the ship also must carry enough wood for the plane), then hug the coast, where octopodes are less likely to occupy. This dramatically lengthens the travel time, and requires E1's motor-sailer vessel to take aboard far more wood as motive fuel to power through unfavourable or calm winds.

Today, E1 is just a glider pilot, and an odd jobber (as all in Christchurch and surrounds are). In a year, they will be so much more. In two years, their plane, their Flyer, will be detected, probably not for the first time, on primary radar at Wellington, during routine flight testing. In five years, Christchurch won't have heard from them in eighteen months. In seven years, they will have been called by tens of names: Kim, Jennifer, Andreas, José, Piotr, The Flying Kiwi, Wilbur (for Wright), Kal Locustbean (for black locust seeds taken from the weedy infestations in Canterbury country, helping reforest the subhumid savannahs in places deficient in nitrogen and needing a source of fuel wood), Karla, Lewis, and many more. We don't know what their name is in Christchurch. Whatever name they have there, they will leave there for the duration of their journey. In ten years, they will have visited Svalbard, mainland Norway, Novaya Zemlya, Magadan, Utqiagvik, and Iqaluit, as well as the wests of Europe (Galicia of Breoghan, Na h-Eileanan Siar, western Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, Breton country, and Bordeaux) and come back, exhausted, visibly aged, and with a new haircut, to Christchurch, bearing a souvenir of their time in the Arctic - the batteries-and-bars banner of the Novamediterra - their national flag as well as their war flag. They, of course, will have brought symbols of Christchurch and Canterbury - instructions on building hang gliders, a flag or two representing the biota of south Aotearoa, as well as the coat of arms as a salute flag, and an open visa, issued by the mayor of the region, permitting anyone who survives the journey to enter a once-closed country, provided they lower the Novamediterran flag in salute to not get shot at. They will be met by a pilot with a flag bearing the coat of arms of the port city they are near (Christchurch has not heard from the Republic of New Zealand government in Otago in E1's entire lifetime, so while they fly it ashore, they do not issue the flag) and asked to raise it as a courtesy flag, unless they are on a vessel where the flag is fixed and cannot be moved, in which case they will take and return a hand salute by the captain and first mate.