Blasts from the Past

I uncovered the disk that has the archives from the old FM Community (on Network 54) on it. I rolled through some of the old posts I had there, and found that I’d written some neat things between June 2000 and June 2002 when we moved over to the DCForums community on our own site. I found writing information, general discussion, a few rants ….

I’m too swamped to write up a lot of new material for the weblog right now, but the material I wrote for the old community currently isn’t available anywhere else. So I’ll start fishing out some of the good bits, adding explanatory text as necessary, and re-introduce the best of my old material to the site. In spite of some truly brilliant material from other folks, I won’t be using anything but my work. I would like at some point to post the archives of the old community, but I have to be able to eliminate the private material (from closed and members-only boards first) before I can put the whole thing back up again, and will only use the public posts if I can present them whole and in context to each other.

Anyway, I’ll post the good stuff. It will be new to a lot of you and at least fresh again to most of the rest of you. And you might find something useful. Here’s today’s pick.

The answer below is in response to a question about what sort of scenario could poison an entire planet excluding a small portion that was fortuitously saved.

Trees, pollution, and the Whole-Planet question

Holly Lisle (Login: hollylisle) 2000/06/25 01:07
Holly Lisle’s Forward Motion Writers’ Forum
In response to: Delurking (and a question) – Miaka at 02:57 PM on Wednesday 21 June 2000

Hi, Miaka. First, thank you for your enthusiasm about Diplomacy of Wolves. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it.

Next, and to the point of your question, first you’re going to need to consider the mechanism of a pollution spill that could poison an entire planet save for one tiny corner, which is somehow spared.

Planet are big. In spite of current politically-correct “It’s A Small World” rhetoric and “Don’t Use Aerosol Sprays — You’ll Destroy The World’s Ozone” propaganda, it isn’t a small world, and the amount of crap thrown into the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions far exceeds the annual production of all airborne pollutants by all industrialized nations — and volcanoes haven’t managed to wipe out life on Earth yet.

So if you’re talking about a chemical spill that poisons the entire planet, you’re talking about vast quantities. Not a supertanker, not a fleet of supertankers. You’re talking about entire armadas of supertankers emptying their poison into the world’s oceans.

Not something likely to have been done by accident. And (as mentioned upstream) polluted water anywhere becomes polluted water everywhere – – wind and evaporation and tides and Brownian motion will bring the poisons eventually to even the most secluded of landmasses and the most pristine of vistas.

Consider rethinking your scenario — George Lucas used the Jungle World and the Desert World and the Ice World (complete with big top-of-the- food-chain predators but no bottom-of-the-food-chain prey) and he succeeded, but his lax worldbuilding has always sort of ruined for me what were otherwise pretty good movies. I don’t think I’m completely alone in this.

Consider a localized effect — that can be bad enough for the people dealing with sudden desertification and complete devastation of the local ecology and climate. And it, unlike the “whole planet” scenario, can be realistically achieved. And has been. Lebanon, now a desert terrain, was once the home of great forests of tall cedars, and rich, fertile soils.

Holly Lisle
—————————-
never give up on your dreams
writing, reading & magic

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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