Apr 12, 2014

One if by Fire, Two if by Sea

art by Boris Vallejo
In Isaac Asimov's Foundation Saga, he imagined that in the future planet Earth becomes uninhabitable due to high levels of radiation. This is a good thing because it forces Earthlings out of their caves of steal... Humanity moves out to the stars and populates millions of other Earth-like worlds in the galaxy.

When Trysta arrives as a time traveler in the Primitive era of Earth's history, she has already seen the future of the Foundation Reality. She fully expects the surface of Earth to become a radioactive disaster zone.

When Grean steps in and causes a Reality Change, Earth also becomes dangerously radioactive in the new Reality. However, things change for the worse since there is a devastating nuclear war. Isaac Asimov is a key tool for Grean, so I call this new Reality the Asimov Reality.

by sea - source
Grean then makes an important discovery. It is not too difficult to go back in time and trigger a new Reality in which the surface of Earth never becomes dangerously radioactive (in particular, Grean brings into existence the Ekcolir Reality). However, due to the constraints of temporal inertia and a strange attractor, all such worlds do result in a catastrophic outcome for the people of Earth. In most cases where a nuclear catastrophe is avoided there is global warming and catastrophic sea level rise.

Happy Endings
I generally like happy endings for stories, so for the Exode Trilogy it has been my natural inclination to imagine how in the final Reality, the world as we know it (the Buld Reality) Earthlings might avoid any and all catastrophic outcomes.

Hierion antenna array for receiving power transmitted from Mercury (Space Energy Missions proposal).

Luri selling Project Mercury
The team at Space Energy Missions devises what they call the Mercury Project. Using advanced hierion technology that is available to the Buld, it would be possible to construct a solar energy collector on Mercury and use hierion-based power transmission to send vast amounts of energy to receivers on Earth, meeting the entire world's energy needs and quickly putting an end to the need to use fossil fuels and ending human production of the green house gas carbon dioxide.

Grean is rather amused by the earnestness with which the folks at Space Energy Missions try to collaborate with the Buld in their effort to put an end to fossil fuel use. However, the Buld have no intention of moving to Mercury and constructing a solar energy collector for the bumbling Earthlings.

Grean is well aware of pek technology that could be used to moderate the nuclear reactions that take place inside the Sun. This technological solution to global warming could prevent sea level rise on Earth, but from the perspective of the Buld this approach has two problems. First, if Earthlings are allowed to keep increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere then the pH of the oceans will change. Second, if the pek are allowed to reduce the energy output of the Sun then that will work against the Buld who plan to warm Mars and make it their new home.

At the end of Exode the reader can be left wondering what the ultimate fate of Earth will be. Grean and Trysta have seen into the future of the Buld Reality and selected it as their target, but they can never be certain of anything, particularly the extent to which the Buld Reality they tried to achieve was ever actually initiated. Since in our Reality the Huaoshy altered the dimensional structure of the universe and made further time travel impossible, no more information can be received from our future.

chaotic attractor
What if Asimov was fundamentally correct and the only hope for Humanity is that we Earthlings struggle through a major disaster at the start of the space age? What if Trysta realized this, but she was able to see that melting the ice caps and raising the level of the oceans was somehow better for Humanity than a nuclear disaster? What if Earth is locked in the grip of a chaotic attractor and the best Trysta can do is force the Final Reality into a domain of probability where sea level rise is much more likely than nuclear disaster?

Maybe it would "be good for" we Earthlings if, rather than rely on the Buld to solve our green house gas problem for us, instead we were forced to watch while the Buld colonized Mars and set about warming that world and turning it into a habitable planet. Would we be motivated to take responsibility for ourselves and solve our own problems?
September 1950

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