Forest Fire

The Burning Years

My book The Burning Years will be published in April 2017. I wrote this book and other’s in the quartet called Until This Last, to make a small contribution to educating and informing people on what is happening to our earth as a result of our own actions. Below is a short synopsis of the book:

“In the year, 2060, Sophie, a top female scientist, dismantles the government weather modification program and steals the male and female trans-humans who hold the promise of extended life.

While the remaining inhabitants of Earth are forced to design new underground habitats in order to survive a harsh, overheated world, Captain Rachel Chen, takes the worldship Persephone to the Proxima Centauri star system, hoping that they will find a new planet there, which will provide a refuge for the survivors of the human race.

As the story unfolds, the trans-human female, Inanna, begins to discover who she is and how to engineer her own body so that she is able to reproduce without a male partner.

The three lead female characters, Sophie, Rachel and Inanna, experience emotions and relationships that are complex and post-modern. They share equal status with their male counterparts, and, since they are all elite scientists and researchers working on advanced, new technologies, reveal exciting futuristic, scientific concepts. As a result, we learn about the devastating effects of climate change on our environment; we also learn about the tensions created by a capitalist system, which has spun completely out of control. We learn about three survivalist communities: Weather City, designed by the elites, based on a rigid hierarchy, and Ash Hollow and Deep Creek, both of which are based on advanced technology and the long-forgotten values of Native populations. Finally, we explore Mars and Europa with Rachel, and eventually a planet located near Proxima Centauri, where Rachel’s daughter discovers the possibility of multi-verses and her doppelganger.

This is an excerpt from one of the first chapters of the book where Sophie, a main female character, is speaking.

“By the early Twenty-First Century, even before I was born, we’d become aware that climate change was a major issue and we needed to do something about it if we were to survive as a species. However, history tells us that there were strong groups of economically privileged individuals whose self-interest flourished as a result of denying its existence. These individuals, many of whom, had a significant stake in the fossil fuel industry and had caused the majority of Earth’s inhabitants to sacrifice their health and future. The religion of these economically privileged people was one of perpetual growth, of unleashing the market, even though many of us knew in our hearts that this was wrong, and that we lived on a finite planet, one that was slowly being destroyed by their greed, and our own over consumption.

Perhaps the worst thing about this period was that we couldn’t figure out a way to separate corporate entities from our governments. They and their money overran our political systems the world over. Some even deliberately caused governments to de-invest in all possible alternatives to fossil fuels, so that consumers would have to keep buying their products.

On the positive side, however, by the time I entered government service in 2050, quite a few decentralized, independent, green communities were developing around the world; post-industrial ones that had rejected the fossil fuel economy and had heavily utilized advanced science and technology. In these communities, members owned the sources of energy, the majority of which were geo-thermal, solar and wind- based.

Additionally, critical to their success, food production was decentralized, intercropping was practiced and livestock was raised in a humane manner. The use of light and water was also maximized. Chemical fertilizers were banned and quick growing plants were developed, which were able to replace nutrients into the soil. But, sadly, there were not enough of these communities to make a major difference and slow down what was rapidly happening to our planet.

When I took on my government position, after I graduated from University, the “Weather Wars” were in full force. The United States had been investing in HAARP (The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) since 1960, and had moved it from Alaska to an underground facility, Area 52, in the Nevada desert, where its scientists worked on research that would enable us to continue to geo-engineer the weather.

By 2030 they had developed a way to push and relocate weather in that facility, and as climate change happened, they believed that they could ensure our national survival by redirecting extreme weather events meant for us into various parts of the world. Then other developed countries began to tinker with the weather as well, which set off massive droughts everywhere.

While we had international environmental agreements, as the impending cataclysm approached, countries panicked. That’s how the “Weather Wars” started. In 2045, because we were all trying to save ourselves from the effects of climate change, treaties and agreements between countries became obsolete as conventional weapons became useless. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases had risen to such an extent into the atmosphere around the globe, that they had formed a thick blanket holding in heat. As these heat-trapping gas concentrations had increased, the blanket’s thickness had also increased and had trapped even more heat in our lower atmosphere. Heat that had been designed by nature to escape through the stratosphere was now no longer able to do so, and had resulted in the stratosphere being much cooler than it should have been. This abnormal coolness had contributed to ozone loss, which had effectively cancelled out any progress we had made in the past, towards reducing CFC’s, and ensuring the ozone layer returned to its natural levels.

Most developed countries around the globe, like us, didn’t care what happened in other parts of the world. and were using any number of untested methods to reduce the effects of regional climate change. These methods included blocking a portion of the sun’s rays; fertilizing nearby oceans with iron to pull carbon out of the atmosphere; covering their land with vast sheets of white plastic, making them look like snowfields, in order to reflect sunlight back into space; and building machines that could suck carbon out of the air.

We, in the United States, led the pack and after I joined DARPA, my job was to control the giant space mirrors we had in place in the ionosphere. We were brightening clouds above the Earth, and spraying seawater into the sky with cannons to make more clouds. We’d also stolen Tesla’s resonance theories and were sending sonic pulsars up into the atmosphere. The pulsars were causing volcanoes to spew out sulphur dioxide, which would supposedly increase our cloud cover, but which ended up on top of everything else causing earthquakes and tidal waves, and inadvertently wiping out large parts of our land, including the West Coast and its populations.

In my heart, I knew that what we were really doing, all of us together, was causing our ‘mother,’ Gaia, to go crazy, as we played out the final scenario of the Post- Industrial Revolution, during which we had somehow believed that we could tame nature and make it our own.

‘Solar Radiation Management,’ as we called it euphemistically in our department, would fail in the long term to cool our continental landmass. And, as we engineered what we called ‘global dimming,’ we drove away our blue skies and all we saw now was white above us, like an unremitting autumnal fog so that at night we could no longer see the moon or the stars.

The ‘ones in the know’ the elite in all the countries, understood that the tiny particles of sulphur that we had been putting into the atmosphere for years, would eventually deplete the radiation shield from our planet. Because they knew what others didn’t, these elite were preparing their underground cities where they, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren would live until two or three hundred years from now, when their descendants could re-emerge, like mole-people, onto an Earth that was perhaps beginning to heal.

Many of these ‘elites’ including our politicians, were the same ones who had been responsible in the first place for causing the methane leaks, using the extra-dirty coal, creating the tar sand deposits, and turning a blind eye to the massive spillage of natural gas from their gargantuan projects.

To add fuel to this destructive fire we had started, in 2050 we also caused the arctic to finally all but melt away, and in doing so inadvertently released several pre-historic viruses that had been trapped for millions of years under the perma-frost. The release of these viruses had caused the deaths of millions of the poor and disenfranchised, who were not allowed access to the limited, expensive and hastily developed vaccines controlled by private pharmaceutical companies.

Now, ten years after I joined DARPA, in the year 2060, it was the right time for me to be exactly where I was. My husband, Peter, and I had the ability to use any information we obtained at our jobs for the construction of a survivalist community that we were building on the great underground Ogallala Aquifer. This Aquifer stretches from Nebraska into Texas. Most of its southern parts had gone dry by 2025, but the water in the deepest regions of it, starting in Nebraska, has miraculously remained the same.

Our friends, who were fellow scientists and architects, together with us, had spent the last fifteen years building a series of modern, technologically advanced living structures, which floated on the Aquifer in giant caverns below the Earth. It was a place where we knew we could be safe for a hundred or so years, by hiding under the surface of our planet.

In only a few years from now when the artificial clouds go away, and with a weakened ozone layer, we all know the sun, like a violent, unforgiving ex-lover, will begin in earnest to bombard the Earth’s surface, and Peter and I want to be deep underground when that happens.”

In early 2014 no water had reached the Rye Path Dam (pictured in National Geographic Magazine) that lies on the Humboldt River in Nevada. 81 per cent of the state is experiencing severe drought conditions

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