Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Journey of PLANET by January Bain


The need for an Earth-like planet is crucial to our story: named New Earth or Earth Twin?  Depending how far away such an Earth is from Old Earth, we need to find a way to send our humans there safely. Will all humans go? Will there be a lottery?

And maybe even more importantly, how far into the future should our story be set? I’ve decided  to utilize the Kardashev scale for categorizing civilizations, the scale that uses the ability of a civilization to harness energy as it determining factor, as a guide for PLANET. I think if humans see a comet the size of Titan coming towards them, they will very quickly get to work as a team and create what’s needed to escape certain death. So, what’s the lowest level that this escape is possible so that I can still understand, as a writer at this time in history, what is possible? I think we would be reaching for second tier of the third level of the Kardashev scale (harnessing the energy of their own star) to make this journey barely possible and yet plausible. Considering that between each civilization an energy factor of about ten billion separates them, you can see the need to consider this very carefully.

Earth is, at this moment in time, at a .7 of the first level, or a type 0 as we are only able to harness energy from fossil fuels. To reach a full Civilization 1, would require getting to the point we have the capability of harnessing  thousands, if not millions more of possible energies output from self-sustaining sources. How long will this take? Expediential increments make this formula difficult to calculate as humans think linearly, but some of the best writing I’ve had the pleasure of reading thinks we can reach this point in as little as a thousand years. Perhaps sooner if we have Comet Titan coming at us! Level 2 on the other hand is thousands, if not a million years away, though level 3, through the expediential effect, may happen only a thousand years past that. Of course, it’s all conjecture, but what fun to think of it, eh!

Imagine setting the story a thousand years into the future?! How would we have changed as a species? Would we still contain the essence of our humanness or would there be too many Dr. Spocks?

Enough questions for today!!! Please comment if you have the time.

1 comment:

  1. First off, we'd have to cooperate. Natural selection would have to be unselfish and voluntary.

    I can't imagine any of our civilizations as we are now staying focused on a project this long in the future. I think a rescue or an space intervention would have to come along.

    Gee, what should I pack?