of which deaths


“The Pressure Scenario”


DATE: 2050

LOCATION: pan-Island

PREDOMINANT CAUSE: Deliberate demise (human intervention)


OF WHICH DEATHS: 38,760,000. Representative of a 60% total population loss.

INCURRED GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT LOSS: 2.6 trillion. Representative of a 100% total loss.



A significant supply of firearms and ammunition, to be made ‘accidentally’ available to the public in approx. 26 years time


800+ rabid dogs


HYPOTHESIS: When all current forms of environmental salvage are withdrawn through active effort, global temperatures shall soar, ecosystems shall denature and structured society shall descend into chaos. Darwinian theories of survival of the fittest shall lead to diminished population and the consequential emergence of an environmentally adapted human capable of withstanding extreme conditions. There shall be no requirement for fossil fuels and technology shall effectively reset itself, allowing the entire process to begin over again.


SCENARIO FOCUS: Total divestment from fossil fuels and environmentally damaging industries through eco-fascist rule.


ADDRESSED TO: Leaders within the Islands



For as long as affluent society retains its obsession with the high-speed and the glamorous, a slow-moving crisis such as climate change will remain largely ignored. It is easier to speed up the crisis than to change the habits of a generation.


‘Civilisation is revving itself into a pathologically short attention-span’[1], and an impatience with anything slow is transforming consumer populations into a cult of thrill-suckers. If we continue to discount the mundane parts of life such as the walk to work, the lazy morning, or the vegetable chopping, we effectively denounce half our life[2] as wasted. This results in a generalised selective-ignorance of everything slow moving. ‘In pursuit of the good life today, we are systematically eroding the basis for well-being tomorrow’[3], as sustainability is sacrificed in favour of present-tense fulfilment. The ever-trendy, ever-unsatisfied public churn through new possessions and new lifestyles each month, throwing out unwanted or ‘outdated’ (which is in itself becoming a redefined category as modernity soars exponentially) items without a second thought. As a result of such disposability, current projections state that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050[4]. Many consumers are reluctant to change habits such as meat eating or holidaying, as we ‘suffer from myopic choice and find it hard to make a sacrifice now even for the sake of something better later’[5], and environmental discourse is not taken seriously.


Symptomatic of an apathetic community and widespread disinterest with slowness, the most popular forms of entertainment are a) sedentary and b) adrenaline-fuelled. 1.2 billion people are remaining indoors to play video games, a huge proportion of which feature extreme violence and disaster, and public film preference continues to swing in favour of the all-action epic. More recently, we seem to have developed a taste for fictionalised eco-terror, resulting in producers relentlessly releasing increasingly hyperbolic films, all based upon a genuine set of urgent problems. The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, The Book of Eli, Descent, On Hostile Ground, Megafault, San Andreas, Flood, The Core etc are fictionalising – and thereby trivialising – real climate threats into blockbuster concepts, digestible for an audience so driven by the search for stimulation. Quick bursts of 2 hour tragedy; arrive, watch, leave. These are the disasters everyone talks about – tremendous scale, tremendous death toll, tremendous ticket sales. “All without even having to leave your seat.”[6]


The more these tragedies explode on the screens, the less it becomes necessary for the viewers to confront the real threat of climate change. The noisy, booming, nuclear cloud of natural disaster on TV is very far from the silent, slow and incremental reality. Teenage boys want an all-action apocalypse, yet no one is dreaming of 4°c temperature rises and consequential widespread famine.


The Pressure Scenario revolves around the idea that nothing will be done about the climate crisis unless aggressively forced, so that conditions match the blockbuster depictions and give humanity no choice.





Initial Phase: <1 year.

The Pressure Scenario can only arise through deliberate human ‘negligence’. The general principle is to aggravate the current situation as much as possible in order to bring about premature decline, so that more pressure can be placed upon humanity to alter their behaviours. Once the environment is sufficiently hostile, humans will be forced to adapt if they wish to survive, effectively restarting the process of evolution. In order to justify actions to opponents, it must primarily be acknowledged by governing bodies that any attempt at reversing the human impact upon the planet is fundamentally futile, and that the most viable option for the continued existence of the human race is to push fate over the brow of the hill, then let it roll its course. Once this has been recognised, the process of policy implementation may begin. Britain shall be used as the textbook example, as an island nation is the perfect breeding ground for violence and malcontent[7].








Second Phase: 5-10 years.

Policy implementation involves, on a basic level, the shutting down of all current green schemes. Renewable and nuclear energy, recycling plants, biofuel development, landfill management, conservation projects, ocean detritus clear ups, poaching and fishing sanctions and restrictions on large-scale agriculture shall all be discontinued and divested from. Independent businesses and organisations that offer products and services designed to reduce carbon emissions (such as double glazing, permaculture groups, or The Green Party) shall be forcibly shut down. Untimely and unexplained deaths of reputable eco-leaders (journalists, researchers, politicians) may also be necessary at this stage. Eventually the public shall come to understand the futility of resistance, as no attempts at salvage shall be evident anywhere else and the possibility of hope shall be abandoned[8]. This should all be carried out in maximum secrecy, as to not incite fear or panic too early among the public. Concealment should not be too difficult, just deploy existing strategies of information retention and ensure limited freedom of press. Be aware that although fear and panic are useful tools to encourage social breakdown, they should be used towards the final stages of the plan in order to minimise the risk of revolution.



ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: <10 (necessary assassinations to calm opposition)





Third Phase: 5-10 years.

It is therefore acceptable under these circumstances to continue the veneer of ecological awareness, yet deliberately fail to follow through with promised courses of action. For example, each family may keep their green recycling bin outside in the belief that the contents are taken to a separate treatment plant, whereas in truth it will go the same way as standard trash. With an example such as this one, it shall also be necessary to dupe binmen and workers at the plants – there must be no indication of conspiracy. This can be done through payoffs, threats or ‘removals’.


Engage in active investment in WoMD, but do not actually detonate. Nuclear fallout is detrimental to the cause of environmental reset. Details of developments can be disclosed and disseminated to the public over a fixed time period, as by the Third Phase there should ideally be considerable domestic tension. Furthermore, an apocalypse is an apocalypse, and it is necessary to be prepared for all forms of violence negotiation, particularly if other nations attempt to intervene in the progression of chaos. If possible, develop the weapons within Britain in order to increase threatening appearance to other nations. If subtly but openly exposed in the media, paranoia should soon spread to other countries and provoke an atmosphere of multinational Cold War[10].


Withdraw significant investment from healthcare, as the infirm are not evolutionarily viable. Do not evacuate hospital beds to make room for expected casualties. Do not introduce compulsory basic surgery instruction into all medical training schemes. Professionals and emergency response units such as paramedics and firefighters should not be given any warning of the impending crisis, as carefully orchestrated chaos is key to assuring an environmental reset. The essence is in preparing to be unprepared.








Fourth Phase: 5-10 years.

Once these elementary policies have been implemented, it is a question of time passing. Providing all enforced shut-down has been effective and energy consumption has remained high during the 20 year decline period, the average ground temperature should have increased by 2 degrees[13]. Domestically, this is enough to melt polar ice caps, cause sea levels to rise 1m[14] and submerge (at least) Peterborough[15]. This will reduce Britain’s population by 0.0002%[16] and remove several significant railway connections, causing sufficient chaos for a pre-apocalyptic warm-up. If handled correctly, the submersion of Peterborough should also lead to outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A[17]. Due to medical advancement, increasingly sanitary living conditions, and the consequential near-eradication of these traditional diseases, most inhabitants of Britain shall not be inoculated against these and shall be taken ill immediately. Without prepared hospitals, this should serve to reduce the population by a further estimated 1.2%[18]. If things are slowing down by this point or humanitarian aid groups are effectively interfering with progress, introduce the 800+ rabid dogs[19].


Mass exodus from Peterborough and the surrounding towns shall most likely occur, with most people heading to the South. Road blockages and enforced traffic control can help anger the public and lead to irrational behaviour (key to most apocalyptic situations[20]). The public shall begin to resent the system and shall blame most of the problems on the neglect and corruption of the government, and there shall be significant risk of military assisted civilian coup.


At this stage, it is important to encourage citizens to leave the country. The more frantic families travelling to Europe the better, as immigration is a tried and tested method of causing unrest. It is also likely that the fleeing families shall bring with them an air of disquiet and doom, which shall spread to the surrounding communities. Easily accessible, rural towns in Southern France and Northern Spain are likely to be the first affected, as space is limited and attitudes towards ex-patriots are already tense. If necessary, the government could consider planting several trusted agents in such areas, willing to start fires and micro-revolutions as a means of inciting international tension in hope of trigger events.


Towards the end of the fourth phase, it is the responsibility of the ruling party to abdicate and flee, for there can be no semblance of coherence if the scenario is to truly be effective.







Final Phase: Ongoing.

With swathes of the North-East in Britain largely underwater, the diseased and injured dying on the streets, hospitals severely overcrowded, food-shortages, consequential looting, 800+ rabid dogs and a cult of procured panic, Britain should now be ready for the final stages. After the population level has decreased by at least 73%, the government has fled and left no ruling party (it is assumed the Royal Family will be either in exile or ‘lost’ by now, and circumstances will be so bleak that people will abandon religion, confronted by the futility of worship), people shall become more ruthless in fending for themselves.


Preserved food and hygiene supplies will be very low and therefore hoarded as a commodity, leaving humans to rely instead on instinct to survive[22]. Without laws of infrastructure, wild animals shall be hunted for food, large public buildings shall be transformed into garrisons, farms shall be raided, and eventually a group mentality shall arise. With this comes a form of gang warfare, where teams of humans support each other and dominate over the rest. Items such as sunglasses and boots will become indispensable as the temperatures continue to rise[23], whereas money will have no further value. Credit cards and paper cash will serve no purpose and shall be used instead for purely practical applications[24].


Theoretically, the strongest, most well-equipped team shall survive the longest and breed amongst themselves, while other less able teams become extinct. The number of experts and professionals will have largely decreased, and access to raw materials will have become very difficult. With this, humanity shall be forced to reset, and basic survival methods shall be prioritised above technological advancement. Rural communities shall establish themselves as the countryside is an easier place to find food, and small-scale agriculture shall be used. Animals shall be captured, domesticated and bred on manageable scales and individuals shall rely on trading or bartering as a means of exchange, given that money has no further value. New humanity shall have higher natural immunity to simple bacterial diseases due to increased consumption of unwashed food, but will be more likely to die previously curable maladies as there will be a severe shortage of medicine. Population shall therefore be managed by the general lack of life preservation methods.



OF WHICH DEATHS: 4,793,000




[1] ‘The trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multitasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to short-sightedness is needed – some mechanism or myth that encourages the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility, where the ‘long-term’ is measured at least in centuries’. Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility (2009) page 2.

[2] Based on own estimations of 3hrs travelling and 3hrs preparing (getting ready, making food, cleaning up) per day, 5 days per week, plus 4hrs total per weekend lying in.

[3] Tim Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth; Economics for a Finite Planet. Earthscan, London (2009) page 2.

[4] The Ellen MacArthur Foundation of the World Economic Forum, cited online at http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/the-new-plastics-economy-rethinking-the-future-of-plastics

[5] Tim Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth; Economics for a Finite Planet. Earthscan, London (2009) page 43

[6] A few examples of the ubiquitous phrase: Take An African Safari Without Leaving Your Seat http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/safari-video-africa

Chase Women Without Leaving Your Seat https://books.google.co.uk/bo oks?id=kFLo3A40qvgC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=without+leaving+your+seat&source=bl&ots=Eu8CZG9mV6&sig=3iTGYWwucnR57p1FEeKOdckulYs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNsNSMj__JAhWJXR4KHYbIALwQ6AEIJTAB#v=onepage&q=without%20leaving%20your%20seat&f=false

Travel The World Without Leaving Your Seat


Stay Active Without Leaving Your Seat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqkDwdXPWlI

[7] As well as the rather obvious political implications of the potential for severe border control and isolation, there exists a long literary history of (fictional) doomed island nations to demonstrate this. Island nation Azania in Evelyn Waugh’s Black Mischief eventually falls to the League of Nations, having lost all possible heirs to the throne in a violent coup d’état. San Lorenzo in Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is a desolate place with no internal infrastructure and a harsh dictatorship that ends in frozen apocalypse, but Michel Crichton’s deathly island Vanutu in the atrocious State of Fear tops them all, as well as being only one vowel away from a real place.

[8] As in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, citizens eventually become accustomed to and dependent on the current running order. Genetically modified animals are not objected to and lab-grown food becomes the norm. People have abandoned their green principles, as they are swept away by the tide of technology. Significantly, Atwood refuses to label her novel Science Fiction, as she argues it does not deal with ‘things that are not already possible.’ (Moving Targets, 2004). To put it bluntly, real-life humanity, as Dr Richard Oppenlander says, is ‘comfortably unaware’. (Comfortably Unaware, 2010)

[9] ‘In their 2011 Marine Green Growth paper The Carbon Trust estimate that UK companies could capture around 22% of the global market for marine energy which could be worth around £76 billion between now and 2050’. Renewable UK, accessible online at http://www.renewableuk.com/en/renewable-energy/wave-and-tidal/

[10] The grim implications of this are illustrated in BBC 1984 documentary Threads, possibly the most unremittingly bleak representation of a nuclear holocaust following a WoMD stand off between the Soviet Union and the US. Essentially, an electromagnetic pulse causes everything to explode and Sheffield entirely ceases to function, presumably along with the rest of England. Those who survive the initial blast invariably die from the effects of fall-out, and the few remaining survivors are left in a country without rule or order.

[11] NHS Bed Availability and Occupancy – Overnight report, England Quarter 3, 2015-2016, Excel document downloadable here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/bed-availability-and-occupancy/bed-data-overnight/

[12] Based upon estimated cost for one nuclear bomb, offset against savings from current health sector expenditure.

[13] Based on IPPC’s temperature projections: https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

[14] Ibid

[15] Interactive map display of rising sea levels http://geology.com/sea-level-rise/

[16] Own calculations (pop. of Peterborough/pop of UK x 100)

[17] World Health Organisation, Flooding and communicable diseases fact sheet, accessibly online at


[18] Own calculation based on feasible speculation. (If the entirety of Peterborough were to become infected and transfer the diseases to neighbouring counties, this would result in around 806,700 casualties, representative of 1.2% of the UK’s population)

[19] The significance of rabid dogs is recognised in literature as far back as beginning written history, documented in Mesopotamian proverbial law: ‘The appearance of rabid dogs in a city is considered a disaster…an epidemic of rabies among the dogs of a city predicates the dispersal of its people.’ (pages 32-33) Wu Yuhong, Rabies and Rabid Dogs in Sumerian and Akkadian Literature, Journal of the American Oriental Study 121.1 (2001). In contemporary popular culture, Serbian-language novel Besnilo by Boris Pekic describes an outbreak of rabies culminating in chaos at London Heathrow Airport, and the film 28 Days Later uses a fictional disease called ‘Rage’ with symptoms very similar to rabies.

[20] War of the Worlds film. Child experiences panic attack in back of family car speeding away from mechanised doom. Car gets halted by kilometres of traffic. Doom catches up and panic increases. It’s a winning formula.

[21] Representative of 75% of current GDP within the UK

[22] After London by Richard Jeffries (1885) illustrates this. An early version of apocalyptic narrative, the first part – entitled ‘The Relapse Into Barbarism’ – describes the abandonment of a city to nature. London becomes covered in greenery and toxic swampland, and the remaining population choose instead to live rurally. In his fictional speculation, ‘wars and hatreds’ also spring up between men (Chapter 3, Men Of The Woods)

[23] Mad Max, The Book of Eli, Oryx and Crake – protagonists are all hypersensitive to the post-crisis sunshine. They also all subscribe to the same aesthetic appearance and wear straps, leather and canvas.

[24] Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2009) includes an eerie passage where the reassignment of value is made explicit: ‘by the door were two softdrink machines that had been tilted over into the floor and opened with a prybar. Coins everywhere in the ash’. (page 22).

[25] The remaining capital after total losses from previous stages have been deducted from the current GDP of the UK at 2.6 trillion. GDP is therefore now at 0, as the pound sterling is no longer legal tender.