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I was thinking of a world where environmentalists are voted into power, and have decided that humans should no longer pollute the natural resources or cause any sort of disturbance to other living creatures. Following this, all the land on Earth is completely evacuated and left for the forests to grow back. All zoos have their animals released to their specific habitats. Humans decide to spend the rest of their lives in deepsea underwater cities which are covered by glass domes:

drawing - underwater cities under glass domes

Industrial factories have been shifted to the dark side of the moon, so that the earth isn't polluted, and so that the moon doesn't look too bad from earth (they don't want to scare the howling wolves). Air is transferred into the underwater cities from the outside, which is largely purified due to the increased growth of vegetation outside.

Because of the efforts to maintain the air purity, the environmentalists have banned all sorts of intentional human-caused combustion and burning that takes place on earth, whether on the land or in the underwater cities. Although the environmentalists would love it, natural calamities like forest fires and volcanic eruptions are unavoidable, although they would immediately send a crew to lessen the impact of such natural calamities. My question is, would there be any major consequence due to this ban? I thought about a few effects this ban would have:

  • All kitchen stoves would have to be electrically heated, or induction based.
  • All vehicles and machines would have to be made to run on electricity, and not fuel.
  • No more barbecue chicken (the saddest part)
  • No campfires and cooking marshmallow on a stick (although you can electrically heat marshmallows, but not as fun)
  • Smoke signals and flares won't be allowed, so if you're lost, you're lost forever with no way to signal for help. (I'm not sure about if glow-sticks would be good for signaling purposes)
  • "No smoking"-sign (Smokers better head for therapy and rehabilitation)

I have been able to think of these effects of the ban. But I am unsure of any long term or crucial consequence of such a ban. I would appreciate some help. Thanks.

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closed as too broad by Mormacil, L.Dutch, Frostfyre, Bellerophon, Azuaron Jun 20 '17 at 12:49

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Jun 20 '17 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ Wow. Most realistic dystopian government as an expansion of modern movements I've read about. Which is sad. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Jun 21 '17 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ As others said, this is currently too broad -- but I hope you'll edit to narrow it down. This sounds like an interesting world; I hope you're writing something in it. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jun 22 '17 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio I really want to get this reopened. Can you suggest like what I should ask about? When I made the question, I thought asking about "consequences" would just be a list of stuff that would happen. If that's too broad, how can I narrow it down? $\endgroup$ – Pritt Balagopal Jun 22 '17 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ I suggest trying to narrow it by categories of consequences -- maintaining the cities/housing, transportation, commerce, food production, and government could each be meaty questions on their own. Because this question got some answers before being put on hold and it'd be hard to edit without invalidating them, you might want to ask new questions -- maybe pick one area to focus on and see how the answers you get help you refine your idea. Then you can ask the next one, incorporating what you've learned. (If you edit you can select all of your markdown to use as a starting point.) $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jun 22 '17 at 1:35
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You must also consider that fire is the most typically used method to get the electricity in the first place. Because most renewable sources of energy are somewhat unreliable (wind turbines need wind, solar panels need sun, hydroelectric dams need construction, which needs highly-powered tools and vehicles, which needs fire) and also rather expensive, we are probably going to store whatever energy we get in capacitors to prevent running out. And if our wind turbines get damaged, we can't repair them because we'd need to weld parts. We can't build them, either.

If our glass domes get damaged, we can't repair them. Why? Because we'd need to melt glass, which may only melt at a higher temperature than iron, and at a much higher temperature than copper. So if a dome leaks, the entire dome has to be evacuated. And if we do want to evacuate the dome, it may be best to weld it shut.

Oops, we can't do that. We aren't allowed to cause the combustion of anything.

And if we are using batteries to store the energy we collect, do remember that many batteries contain toxic materials - the environmentalists wouldn't like that.

To the environmentalists: I think it is best you scrap your plans for banning intentional combustion. Do understand that if we burn plants, we are only releasing the carbon that the plants had took from the air in the first place - the same amount of carbon remains in the air.

If we were to use the undersea refuges as storage for organic material instead, we can actually reduce the amount of carbon above the water. And the rest of the wood can be used for combustion, while still not increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

And another thing - if you manage to get this idea passed as law, we may be forced to use batteries, which contain dangerous toxins. Perhaps you can try for something less disruptive and more effective, like banning the burning of materials that were mined or drilled, like coal or oil. That would work better in preventing carbon from getting in the atmosphere.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you can do arc-welding. But thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$ – Pritt Balagopal Jun 20 '17 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ @PrittBalagopal I think that the temperature caused by arc-welding would be sufficient to cause heat-induced oxidation (aka. combustion). But if the environmentalists don't worry about such small stuff, it should be fine. But how are you going to manufacture the electrodes? You'll need a lot of heat for that. $\endgroup$ – rytan451 Jun 20 '17 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ Why do we need to use metal and glass? We have plastics - toughened abs plastic in place of metal and plexiglass instead of real glass..... oh hold on, plastic comes from oil so no plastic either :P $\endgroup$ – 5Diraptor Jun 20 '17 at 11:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Tomy-rex To be honest, the limitations of the question do not prohibit the usage of oil, only the combustion of, well, everything. We could probably use plexiglass. $\endgroup$ – rytan451 Jun 21 '17 at 4:40
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Electricity:

In this world, electricity can be obtained from solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, geothermal projects where suitable, and nuclear reactors. None of these involve burning, and can produce all the electricity required.

(But, of course, these take up land area. Underwater nuclear reactors are fine. As are offshore renewable energy installations)

Domestic:

Ground source heat pumps work for heating; electric cooking is already widespread. We have no problems removing fire from the home. (But no barbecues!)

Transport:

Tricky here. Electric cars are OK, but may have range issues. Rail can be made electric with investment. Planes, trucks and ships have real problems; you may be limited to short range submarines, or nuclear subs for long distance journeys. The key problem here is energy storage.

Industry:

Every industrial process that needs heat can be 'electrified' with varying degrees of difficulty. Metal refining is an interesting problem - does refining iron ore with coke count as 'fire'?

Generally, there are not too many problems - although it does depend on how willing you are to use nuclear power.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're description of electric cars and planes, sparked a thought. Would it be possible to make them all nuclear powered? Would it be possible to create a mini-reactor for automobile purposes (such mini reactors would have very low fission rates compared to actual power stations). $\endgroup$ – Pritt Balagopal Jun 20 '17 at 11:21
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    $\begingroup$ @PrittBalagopal See worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/76274 $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Jun 20 '17 at 11:25
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Why only ban fire to solve environmental problems? You can simply ban all unauthorized humans from setting a foot on Earth.

Since your humans can already make a permanent Moon base, they most likely have the tech for a space habitat. Which means they can decide to live in space, if life on Earth is too troublesome. Banning all fire on Earth is exactly the kind of trouble humans will escape to space to avoid. The deepsea habitat will be similar to our artic base, with only a small population of researchers. Environment problems will be solved once and for all.

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