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2084

As the sun crept up over the horizon, Will Dimman stirred from his restless slumber, knowing all too well what the day would bring. The world had changed since his youth, now a barren wasteland of stacked landfills and fields of rusted outdated solar equipment and turbine blades that couldn’t be recycled, costing too much to repair or to replace they have been left in the fields to "biodegrade", as capital ran out to fund recycling projects across the globe, "natural biodegrading" was the term that was used these days. Every morning, Will's routine was a delicate dance with the unreliable electricity that plagued the city, the rolling blackouts like a cruel joke played by a merciless god.


He stumbled out of bed, shivering in the chill of the morning air, and stumbled to the kitchen. His electronic stove, a marvel of technology in a bygone age, was now a fickle beast that demanded constant attention. He swiped his credit card attached to the stove for 15 minutes of heat, hoping that this time it would work, and waited as the device whirred to life, the heating elements glowing red as they warmed his breakfast.


It was a simple meal, a meager slice of bread, and a weak cup of coffee, as his monthly supply of eggs, milk, and bacon was already consumed. Besides cooking the eggs and bacon would require an additional 20 minutes of charge to his stove. Ever since the fossil fuels companies made the decision not to continue to operate if they couldn’t hold onto their gouging profits after the windfall taxes of 2026 even after the government nationalization of the industry in 2032, at first, it was believed they "wouldn't" but soon turned into they couldn’t contribute their source of energy to the grid. Even if they could, would Will even want that environmental impact resting on his conscious? They even tried to say the food shortage and starvation seen on the news was because they couldn’t dump the poisons from their fossil fuels into the fertilizer, Will wondered how anyone could believe them, and if it wasn’t for the greedy companies there would be more food to share. Will snapped out of his thoughts as the electricity flickered, and for a moment he feared that the power would go out again, plunging him into darkness and cold. But it held, and he finished his meal in peace.


As he dressed himself in layers of clothing grabbed from one of the many community thrift stores, Will couldn't help but reflect on how far his community has come to commit to the energy transition that was still continuing to this day. Now energy transition was used to pass most laws and city decrees. Although was a bit invasive, it still served the nation's goals, which moved every year. Heading down to unplug his car he realized that while he was sleeping a controlled brownout cut the supply to his car as power at night was only reserved for CUO's (critical use only). Realizing he had no power to head to work he would walk to the community station where he would once again join the thousands of other people whose cars and scooters couldn’t charge, who now face the same goal of getting to work that day.


Once a man of means, he now struggled to eke out a living in this harsh world. The electricity was just one of many inconveniences that made his life a misery, but it was one of the most frustrating. He longed for the days when power was abundant when he could simply flip a switch and bask in its warmth, and drive his car in peace to work. But that day would come soon enough once the “transition” was complete. He couldn’t wait for Net-Zero 2130 to finally come so his life, as well as so many, could be easier.

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