GEAS has identified five superthreats and given them memorable names as a way of encouraging discussion and awareness.
In 2019, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ReDS, is here, and it’s not going anywhere. Outbreaks are just something we live with. Hardest Hit: Tropical and Subtropical Cities
GEAS Volunteers report from the front lines of the quarantine superthreat.
GEAS Volunteer BergMantra reports on the recent arrival of the ReDS ReLIEF Team in Stockholm where the number of citizens living with REDS has topped 15,000. In addition to setting up testing centres, ReDS ReLIEF will organize local support groups to help patients and loved ones cope with the chronic symptoms of the pandemic such as violent coughing fits, wasting, and severe pain in the extremities. Stockholm is the first city outside of the tropical and subtropical hot zones to receive official REDS ReLIEF which also targets the long term social and business impacts of ReDS in regions where the workforce has been devastated. As the incurable illness spreads to new cities and the symptoms linger, there is growing concern that ReDS ReLIEF alone will be unable to meet the global demand for critical assistance. BergMantra writes, “We’re grateful to the ReDS ReLIEF team, but they are already stretched too thin. We desperately need other kinds of help.”
Superstruct Challenge: What can we do in our own communities to provide ReDS relief and support?
GEAS volunteer greenblade is podcasting news from Atlanta, “The giant Pacific Atlantic insurance company announced today that it would no longer offer health care packages to employers with offices in the ReDS zone. Pacific Atlantic cites the costly long term debilitation suffered by ReDS victims which has already led to the collapse of local health insurers in Floria, Texas and Louisiana. Greenblade says, “This is a blow for workers everywhere, not just in the ReDS zone. Anyone who works for a global company is likely to lose coverage now.”
Superstruct Challenge: Without traditional insurance, how can we pool our resources to protect our health?
GEAS volunteer okalu_samu is blogging from the Kenyan coast city of Mombasa where private armed forces have flooded the city. These mercenaries are allegedly funded by the Saudis and are trying to quarantine the Nubian ethnic community. Politicians are chalking it up to same old tribal conflicts but GEAS volunteers have reported similar events unfolding in New Orleans and Marseilles. Samu writes, “It’s the combination of poverty, slums, and freelance armies that’s producing all these powder keg responses to contagion.”
Superstruct Challenge: How can we protect ourselves in this outbreak without taking up arms?
GEAS volunteer elfreida reports that the Russian [map reads: Novosibirsk, Russia] anti-ReDS bacteriophage MyBO4 has unexpectedly turned up in Pakistan [map reads: Karachi, Pakistan]. MyBO4, one of the only known viruses capable of infecting and killing the bacteria that cause Respiratory Distress Syndrome, was developed last year by two Russian teams using a cheap, do it yourself biotechnology toolkit. The Russian government arrested them when they started distributing it through open source channels. Russian officials cited the dangers of unlicensed reproduction of antivirus. But open source scientists claim that the Russians really want to own the virus. Elfreida says, “Pakistan needs this virus. I don’t care how it got here. It just goes to show that governments can’t decide who lives and who dies.”
Superstruct Challenge: How can we quickly invent and share new cures worldwide without introducing new dangers?
In 2019, the food supply chain is broken, so we’re inventing new ways to feed ourselves. Hardest hit: Mexico, China, The Middle East, The Processed Food Industry GEAS volunteers report from the front lines of the ravenous superthreat.
GEAS volunteer mamaquila reports from Monterey City in Mexico where more than 30,000 have been rioting in the streets after the price of tortilla flour quadrupled for the third time in as many months. Economists say the price hikes are the result of two years of drought and the world’s insatiable demand for biofuels. Consumer anger was already stoked by rumours that as much as 95% of the corn crop this year would be tainted by toxins from polluted rivers and aquifers. Officials say that such rumours are ridiculous and anticipate only a 5% contamination rate.
mamaquilas says, “If five percent of the population eats tainted corn, more than five million people will get sick or die.”
Superstruct challenge: How can we balance the need for safe, affordable food with the need for new sources of energy? GEAS volunteer MysterZ is liveblogging from the Austrian Federated Railways OBB where more than 100 university students have mounted trains with hatchets and biohazard bags. The students are calling for the slaughter of the region’s chickens after several birds were found infected with the Avian Flu virus last week. MysterZ reports, “All trains are currently stalled. Meanwhile, crowds are gathering along the tracks to support the students. I’d say the birds are doomed.” Superstruct challenge: What can we do to improve our day-to-day food safety? GEAS volunteer Tomwell is texting updates from Central Court, New Zealand where a citizen blockade has formed to prevent food cargos from being transported into the country under the banner of “Zero Tolerance No Food Imports”. They are attempting to enforce a bottom-up local food movement. Other nations have threatened trade sanctions but New Zealanders are most aggressively raising the flag of food self-sufficiency. Tomwell reports, “I support the movement, but not sure this helps the rest of NZ industries, especially our film and video game industry. We don’t want to stop all trade, just food trade.” Superstruct challenge: When should we go food-local and when should we stay globally connected? GEAS volunteer shantigirl writes with breaking news from Geneva. The World Trade Organization has formally rejected the International Panel on Global Food Modeling recommendation to establish strict agro-ecological standards. The panel has argued that all WTO countries must embrace agro-ecological science in order to avoid a collapse of the natural-human food web by the end of this century but WTO officials say that the proposed standards will place undue pressure on the world’s global food industry which is already under siege from a rash of processed food lawsuits, localist food movements, and the high cost of staple food and energy. Shantigirl says, “The WTO is trying to look out for our critical food industries. That’s good, but we can’t ignore basic ecology. We need joint solutions, not more food fighting.” Superstruct challenge: How can we feed the world without destroying it? Together we can survive the ravenous superthreat.
Tracks the results of energy resource peaks and the shifts in international power as nations fight for energy supremacy and the world searches for alternative energy solutions.
In 2019, we’re all caught up in the alternative fuel wars as the world fights over what will take the place of oil.
Hardest hit: oil exporting nations, coal plants, auto workers, consumers everywhere
GEAS volunteers report from the front lines of the power struggle superthreat.
GEAS volunteer CooperB is commemorating the third anniversary of the defeat of The Madrid Renewable Energy Accord [video: The Madrid Accord on the United Nations Global Renewable Convention. September 2016] which would have set alternative energy standards for energy technologies. It was three years ago today that the leading BiOPEC nations of China, Russia and Brazil faced off against the wind and solar powers, and The United States and The EU to throw the world into an energy stalemate.
CooperB writes, “We could have chosen to work together. Instead, we’ve got competing industries building technologies, products, and infrastructures that just aren’t compatible. And today we’re paying the price.”
Superstruct challenge: How can our competing industries and nations work together to break the grip of energy chaos?
GEAS volunteer CarlaAcosta updates us on the looting in Caracas. Several thousand youth have been reeking havok in the streets of the Venezuelan capital all week after they were turned out of the government’s oil revenue funded safe harbour schools. The school closings represent the abrupt discontinuation of a major social experiment in poverty alleviation. Meanwhile child poverty continues to climb in the disrupted economies of Equator, Nigeria and Iran.
CarlaAcosta says, “We know we can’t count on oil wealth to feed our poor and fund our schools anymore. So what’s next for the children in countries like ours?”
Superstruct challenge: How can we create safe harbour for children around the world without depending on oil revenues?
GEAS volunteer jschiffer reports from Lusaka (map reads Lusaka, Zambia). This month the millionth ethanol automobile will roll off the Zambian assembly line. Meanwhile China, which invested in the Zambian plants, has just rejected Daimler Tesla’s bid to build manufacturing plants for electrical vehicles across China. The joint plan could have reduced automobile fuel emissions worldwide by 10% over the next ten years but would have weakened the ethanol industry and China’s interests in Africa. Jshiffer says, “The Zambians chose short-term gain at the expense of more global waste. Shouldn’t they, and the Chinese, have to do something to offset those emissions?”
Superstruct challenge: How can we act together to hold nations accountable for their waste?
GEAS volunteer britneychu reports from the outskirts of Bozeman, Montana where three people died in this morning’s violence at a makeshift camp for migrant wind farm workers. These migrants, many from the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas sought their fortunes in the region known as the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind power’. But angry locals say that the green wind jobs belong to them.
Britneychu blogs, “From where we stand, the energy economy isn’t keeping its promise. We need more green jobs, and we need them now.”
Superstruct challenge: How can we create a stronger green energy economy and reduce unemoloyment from our fading carbon energy industries?
GEAS volunteer linjr reports from Singapore that the docks at Pasir Panjang are eerily quiet today. Shipping giant Hans Circle Logistics unexpectedly shut down its engines just hours ago, another victim of Wallmart’s price war with local handling (?) services. As a result, billions of dollars worth of oil, as well as electronic energy monitors, hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels, and other high tech energy products stand effectively embargoed on Singapore’s docks.
Linjr writes, “This is a country where the entire economy depends on shipping. Workers of every stripe will now struggle to put food on their tables.
Superstruct challenge: How can workers worldwide protect themselves against the cascading collapse of industry giants?
Embodies the volatile mix of new forms of surveillance, transparency, civil rights, and access to information as people work out new rules for human security.
In 2019, the mobile internet and sensor networks we rely on to hold our societies together are being hacked, griefed, and gamed.
Hardest hit: the democratic process, social networks, every institution connected to the internet.
GEAS volunteers report from the front lines of the outlaw planet superthreat.
GEAS volunteer somethinglawful839 reports from Kuala Lumpur where the Republican Bank of Malaysia was hit this morning by the third major online banking attack this week. Financial leaders believe the attacks are related to last month’s breach of the Korean National Bank by hardcore players of the World of Starcraft game. Both hacked banks are major players in the virtual currency market.
[screen reads: Swiss Franc ?.28, Chinese yuan 8.07, Dark Age of Camelot platinum: 0.29, EverQuest 2 gold 5.88, European Union euro 0.83, Pound Sterling 0.57, Indian rupee 44.73, South Korean won 998.10, Second Life Linden Dollar 267.97, United States dollar 1.00, World of Warcraft EU gold 7.69, World of Starcraft US gold ?.??, ]
somethinglawful839 writes, “Internet security specialists are downplaying the attacks. But we know that these are just another example of the ongoing virtual assaults on the planet’s basic operating infrastructure.”
Superstruct challenge: How can we come together to secure our assets, both real and virtual?
GEAS volunteer dailyjolt is liveblogging from Washington DC where representatives from The Electronic Frontier Foundation are about to testify in the ongoing hearing on last November’s midterm elections. The group’s testimony is expected to call for a do-over election after hacking of voting systems left a third of the Senate and most House seats in question.
Dailyjolt reports, “It’s hard to believe that almost a year later, the courts are still battling over who will be seated. No wonder legal historians are calling the situation the biggest Constitutional crisis in U.S. history.”
Superstruct challenge: How can we uphold civic rights in network-enabled democracies?
GEAS volunteer okmanny reports from a hotel in Mendocino, California that media drones have successfully penetrated the secrete conclave of State and Federal officials who have been negotiating the terms of succession for four Western states, including California. [screen reads: Secret conclave plots secession?] This is the first known use of drones in political coverage. Previously, they were limited to documenting celebrity life in an age of robotic paparazzi. The governor’s office was swift to respond to this most recent intrusion, demanding that drone attacks be treated as felony crimes.
But okmanny says, “This is fantastic! Forget celebrity gossip! We can finally know what our governments are really up to. More drones please!”
Superstruct challenge: Who gets to set the rules for transparency in society?
GEAS volunteer javed_puri tells us that sensornet warnings from the Indian ocean have sent thousands of South Asians rushing from the coastal areas into the hills. But the warnings are most likely spoofs of the tsunami warning systems by pirate seeking cover for yet another heist of off-shore oil.
Javed_puri reports, “We are getting closer and closer to a “boy who cried wolf scenario” It would be disaster when a true tsunami hits and we ignore it as more sensor spam.”
Superstruct challenge: How can we prevent spam from crippling our most important sensory networks?
Follows the massive "diaspora of diasporas" underway globally, as the number of refugees and migrants skyrockets in the face of climate change, economic disruption, and war.