2239 Africa's Big 5 Move to South America

The African megafauna is being resettled in the Amazonian savanna.

In the last 200 years, Africa's nature reserves have undergone a significant reduction, with most giving way to human activities as early as the 21st century. Sadly, many of Africa's magnificent large animals are endangered or already extinct in the wild, with the leopard being on the brink of extinction, and only small genetically-reduced groups existing in zoos. Buffalos and rhinos have vanished from their natural habitats, though they are kept as livestock for their meat, milk, and horns. Currently, only African elephants and lions still reside in natural reserves. But both species are heavily "managed": their movements are controlled, and their reproduction is artificially supported. In case of the leopard only cloning and gene-editing might prevent the complete extinction of the species. Other large species such as wildebeest, zebra, antelopes, and cheetahs are facing a similarly dire fate.

South America has a relatively low population density that is comparable to Africa in the 20th century, whereas the African continent is now nearly four times as densely populated. The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has transformed the region into a savanna with a climate similar to that of central Africa. Regrettably, due to the scarcity of water, only a portion of the Amazon can be utilized for agricultural purposes, leaving the remainder as a dry savanna that is primarily used for harnessing solar energy.

In the 2220s, Animais Selvagens del Mundo, an animal protection organization, successfully persuades regional governments to designate large nature reserves in the Amazon that are suitable for African megafauna species. After two decades of meticulous analysis and preparation, numerous African species are relocated to these new reserves. The adjustment of the food chain is significantly aided by modern genetic engineering, known as gengineering. Over the next few years, in addition to the Big 5, wildebeest, zebra, antelopes and gazelles are also successfully resettled. The South American jaguar replaces the then extinct African leopard.

Africa loses its last megafauna in the early 24th century. But thanks to the resettlement, many large species survive in the nature reserves of South America.

2265 Eco-Militarism

A group of paramilitary units associated with the ecological mega-NGO Pachamama take control of methane hydrate mining areas north of Scandinavia destroying extraction facilities and using violent means to defend their positions against police forces. Pachamama is considered the military arm of ecological and preservationist organizations around the world. This marks the beginning of a series of eco-wars.

Over the last two centuries, as the environment has been increasingly damaged, ecological movements have gained more and more importance. There are now strong ecological parties in many parliaments, and some governments are dominated by preservationist or restorationist ideologies. There are also global corporations pursuing ecological agendas.

As the environmental situation becomes more and more dire, some within the ecological movement have become radicalized. Eco-terrorism has been on the rise since the 21st century, but eco-militarism in the 23rd century has taken on a new dimension. Pachamama, Inuigi, Xingqiu Luse, and other organizations see no other option but to use violence to achieve their goals. No longer content with individual measures that merely raise awareness, they seek to prevent further negative developments, even if that means resorting to military force.

The guiding principles of the militant eco-groups like Pachamama sound radical, advocating that actions to prevent further ecological damage are worthwhile even if they cost human lives because derailed ecosystems kill millions of people every year. They also argue that the victims of "counter-ecological" ideologies are innocent people, whereas victims of eco-activism are only those who cause the damage.

Pachamama has powerful connections in politics and business, with many people supporting their actions despite the controversial use of force. Ecological movements around the world fund Pachamama and other militant groups through donations, which have grown considerably since the 21st century. They also receive significant financial contributions from both private businesses and public budgets.

The goals and actions of eco-militarists resemble more state-organized wars than selective acts of terrorism. In Scandinavia for instance, Pachamama’s paramilitary units permanently occupy the methane hydrate fields inflicting heavy losses on the Norwegian troops trying to regain control.

A year later, Inuigi militants occupy a massive 30,000 square kilometer elephant sanctuary in the Amazon grasslands where coal deposits are set to be exploited. They block access routes with sensor grids and ballistic mine layers, while mobile railguns with hypervelocity darts patrol the region and micro missile launchers aided by a nanosat network are securing the airspace.

The situation is becoming increasingly tense, as eco-militarists seek to prevent further ecological damage at any cost, even if it means resorting to extreme measures. While some of their tactics are deemed terrorist attacks, most of their actions resemble full-scale military operations.

Here is a list of spectacular warfare activities during the Eco-Militarism phase of the mid-22nd century:

- The destruction of cattle ranches in Argentina and the permanent occupation of territories by Inuigi, including active conversion back to wasteland in cooperation with local civilian organizations.

- Pachamama's occupation of Siberian pharms, which produce animals and plants for pharmacological precursors.

- The occupation and destruction of lithium mines in Chile by Inuigi.

- The destruction of irrigation facilities in the Canadian Rocky Mountains by Inuigi. In Saskatchewan and Alberta / Canada, intensive agriculture is practiced despite water shortages, sometimes in particularly resource-intensive vertical greenhouse plantations. Ever since the ice-age aquifers have been depleted, water comes only from the former national parks in the Rocky Mountains. Inuigi destroys pipelines and pumps supplying these vertical farms the water over hundreds of kilometers.

- At times, Xingqiu Luse dominates parts of Southeast Asia and the Australian continent establishing a quasi-state. Coal mining is shut down and lime depletion on the Great Barrier Reef is stopped, despite fierce opposition from resource companies and the Australian military.

- Xingqiu Luse also kills 30 million cattle in India (because of their methane emissions), releases an artificial swine plague in Sichuan (taking a stance against meat farming from living animals) and deliberately radioactively contaminates open-pit mines in Australia (to permanently stop landscape destroying resource extraction).

- Perhaps the most devastating of all the eco-militarists' actions is their destruction of oceanic resource extraction infrastructure worldwide. They carry out kinetic attacks from cloaked orbital platforms resulting in collateral damage in Low Earth orbit. In a massive battle, Pachamama loses all their platforms and defenses, marking the first major defeat of an eco-military organization.

Most actions follow a similar pattern: eco-militaries attack undefended civilian facilities with the goal of destroying infrastructure opposed to ecological principles. Once these so-called "contra-ecological facilities" are destroyed, the area is permanently occupied and secured to prevent them from being rebuilt. The eco-militaries then establish well-fortified positions that are difficult to recapture and can last for years when defended by mobile camouflaged dart launchers, nanosats, and sensor network swarms.

However, not everyone agrees with these methods. The selection of targets is highly controversial, as some argue that military measures may endanger food supplies, harm the economy worldwide, and may even infringe on the funds for sustainable ecological projects. Yet, eco-militarists claim that "protecting the economy" is – and has always been – the all-purpose argument of environmental exploitation. An argument that has been disqualified by four centuries of environmental degradation without any change for the better. Eco-military actions in fact have a significant impact on the economy, causing disruptions that some argue are necessary to correct past mistakes.

Incidentally, the attack on Chilean lithium mining was supported by the Sea Horizon conglomerate, a global corporation that engages in large-scale resource extraction from seawater, including lithium. At close inspection it seems that several eco-military actions are conducted with economic rivalry as a secondary motive.