A satire of dysfunctional government and economic inequality.
Chapter III: Day/Page 28 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . “Each step is a specific phase that must be taken before moving on to the next. Failure to move forward likely means extinction. For example, fossil fuel is finite. There is only a certain amount of it, because there were only a certain amount of plants and animals that lived and died before. There is never enough fossil fuel on any planet for a sustainable future, because more can never be created anew at the speed needed for long-term development. Those species that use this limited resource wisely, as a stepping-stone to reach the next stage of development, are more likely to succeed. Or, perhaps a better analogy than a stepping-stone, which does not disappear, is that of an iceberg.
“Imagine, Sofia, that your species is floating on an iceberg in a vast and dangerous sea. Everyone knows the iceberg won’t last forever, that it will eventually melt, and so we as a species need to find something permanent on which to build a sustainable future—we need to find solid land.
“But that takes time and sustained effort. Just as the step from Fire to Fission takes time, millennia usually, so does the step from Fission to Fusion, centuries usually, but now the clock is ticking because the planet is developing rapidly, yet only has so much fossil fuel to burn before it runs out. Eventually, with one-hundred percent certainty, the day will come when they’ll wring out the last drop of oil, suck out the last puff of gas, and scratch out the last seam of coal. Those species that foresee this eventual certainty, and manage their resources effectively, while focusing their collective efforts on the critical search for a permanent energy source that will sustain the species forever, have the best chance of success. Contrarily, those species that manage their resources poorly and squander the limited time they have by merely looking for more icebergs, because that is easiest to do, and who only begin the difficult search for solid land—for sustainable, unlimited energy—when no more icebergs can be found, have a poor chance of success.
“But the fact is,” he goes on, “such shortsighted species rarely reach the point of using up every iceberg, of exhausting all their fossil fuel. Typically, they annihilate themselves before that, because as the last of the icebergs melt, as the finite supply of fossil fuel disappears, these less-evolved species invariably start fighting over the few icebergs that remain, and begin pushing others into the sea. But this only buys the species a bit more time—perhaps a few decades, at best. It’s certainly not enough time to prevent extinction. Unless the species can exert its collective-consciousness over its individual selfishness and greed, they are doomed.
“As desperation mounts, these people . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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