Book 3 CHAPTER 17 Scott and Simon India and vertical farms

Scott and Simon are eating in the weightless restaurant in Space City and discussing their visit to the vertical farm while they eat some of the fruit they have just picked. They are over thirty five thousand kilometres above the equator at 90 degrees East and are viewing India and the Indian Ocean.

Map 90E
Scott and Simon over 90E.

SCOTT

Make sure you seal the bag up, Simon. I don’t want to have to chase a flock of apples and peaches around the restaurant.

SIMON

Don’t panic, Scott. I know the repercussions of not sealing the bag.

SCOTT

Well, just make sure you do not take out a mango. I think we will have drops of juice all around us if you do.

SIMON

Yes, they certainly are big and juicy. Peeling them is definitely a job for where there is gravity.

SCOTT

Quick, Simon! Give me the sucker.

 

Simon passes the vacuum cleaner sucker for Scott to gather some small pieces of apple that flew off with his last bite.

 

SIMON

Well, Scott. Definitely crunchy apples.

SCOTT

Delicious. Picking fruit off the tree when it is ripe makes for tastier fruit.

SIMON

Remember one of your ancestors had a tour business and wanted the orchard to let his customers pick an apple and they were not allowed.

SCOTT

Yes, and then he discovered an orchard on the other side of Australia that promoted fruit picking and as a result made a fortune from tourists.

SIMON

Walking around Australia they would not have been needing a sucker, Scott.

SCOTT

No Simon, and over there in India they can peel their mangoes with no worries about where the juice goes.

SIMON

Speaking of India, look at the size of that cyclone, Scott.

SCOTT

Goodness. I guess the Arabian Sea is a bit upset at our forefathers having warmed the planet up so much.

SIMON

From the map that would be heading towards Goa, but a whole lot of the coast around it is going to be blown around as well.

SCOTT

And this is June. They have already had several cyclones this year. May seemed to be just one after the other.

SIMON

With this being the end of their cyclone season they will be hoping for a bit of a rest before things get really active in September.

SCOTT

I’m glad that we are up here out of it all.

SIMON

We need a video of India to remind us why we do not want to visit there in the cyclone season.

SCOTT

I’ve taken one but I don’t think you will be forgetting what we are seeing down there.

SIMON

No, Scott. I cannot imagine I will. But it is not every day you see a cyclone that big.

SCOTT

That statement may have been true many years ago but today I think big is the norm.

SIMON

Scott, look at north west India. A whole lot of it is under water like we saw in the east when we looked at Bangladesh.

SCOTT

It was the Bengal tiger that was affected in the east. I wonder if any wildlife is affected in the west.

SIMON

The humans that had been there would be wild. I assume a lot of people lost their homes.

SCOTT

And their livelihood. Farms, businesses, and whatever.

SIMON

This sea level rise is certainly a nuisance.

SCOTT

Well, come on Simon. Eat up. We still have a pile of fruit left.

SIMON

I will wait until we get back to the gravity area, I think. Eating is more comfortable.

SCOTT

We could have picked some pot. That might make you comfortable.

SIMON

That might be true. I have never tried drugs. Apart from Boags and company.

SCOTT

Me neither. Beer is best.

SIMON

It makes sense to grow it up here for those on Earth who think they have to use them.

SCOTT

Yes, it means druggies have to identify themselves to get their free stuff.

SIMON

Which is important if you know who does not get medical help.

SCOTT

The war on drugs was obviously unwinnable for any country if a huge proportion of the population was intent on getting them into their body by mouth, nose or needle.

SIMON

The solution was to just let them have them.

SCOTT

Yes, Simon, they either had the price the same as for headache powders or free.

SIMON

So that reduced crime because it eliminated the need for junkies to run around being burglars, thieves, robbers or however else they were making money to buy their drug of choice.

SCOTT

But in countries with a medical safety net, such as Australia with Medicare, junkies were no longer covered by the system. They were classed as Medical Aid Exempt.

SIMON

You can see, Scott that the non-druggie population did not want to have to pay ever increasing taxes to keep them alive.

SCOTT

So the drug taking option was accompanied by a shorter life.

SIMON

People are a contrary lot so drug use declined because it was free.

SCOTT

So because druggies were getting high for nothing a lot of crime was reduced as it was no longer necessary to pay for the habit.

SIMON

And if their drugs did cause them to do something bad they were fish fooded.

SCOTT

Which helped reduce the population. These days few people take drugs.

SIMON

Well, beer is popular but it is good for your health.

SCOTT

Yes, the research that showed a couple of stubbies a day was good for your heart was welcomed by a lot of people.

SIMON

Especially by the beer makers.

SCOTT

Well, one of my ancestors believed the research and drank two Boags a day.

SIMON

So, did it keep him alive?

SCOTT

Probably longer than he would have survived otherwise.

SIMON

So do you drink two stubbies a day.

SCOTT

For sure. It is the most enjoyable medicine I can imagine.

SIMON

What about all the other members of the Allen family.

SCOTT

Yes. We have helped all breweries for hundreds of years. Particularly Boags.

SIMON

Anyway, I just need a sleep after our walk around the farm. I will dream of a cold beer.

SCOTT

Then we need to pack our gear for the trip to the next stop, over the wilds of Africa.

SIMON

One thing about keeping the Earth population at around two billion, there are more wild animals in Africa.

SCOTT

Yes, and it was just as well they had kept the DNA of species that went extinct from humans being everywhere. They brought them all back.

SIMON

Well, all the ones that did have their DNA stored. Some missed out.

SCOTT

Anyway, we can’t do anything about missing species, but we can do something about your sleep. I will wake you when we need to pack.

SIMON

Thanks, night.