Pinatubo ii, p.1
Pinatubo II, p.1Les W Kuzyk
By Les W Kuzyk
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places 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 2015 Les W Kuzyk
NASA, Storms of My Grandchildren
President of IFWA
Harvard, A Case for Climate Engineering
How about replacing science fiction, the imagining of fantasy by a single mind, with new worlds of far greater diversity based on real science from many minds?
E. O. Wilson
The Meaning of Human Existence
I could perhaps like others have astonished you with strange improbable tales; but I rather chose to relate plain matter of fact in the simplest manner and styles’ because my principle design was to inform you, and not to amuse you.
Table of Contents
Chapter 2 - THE HEAT
Chapter 8 - THE PLAYERS
Chapter 13 - HORSE TRACKS
Chapter 17 - AÏR MOUNTAINS
Chapter 24 - BALLOONS
Chapter 30 - GREEN SAHARA
Chapter 35 - COP FLORENCE
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Blazing orange patches melded with the purple laced yellows of an exotic sunset. “So…a painting, from 1883.” Vince read on the visiscreen.
“Six months after Krakatoa,” Tami nodded. “This atmospheric spectacle will be noticed as one side effect…the sky will change colour. Not just sunsets for the gawkers, but the daytime sky too—an overall faded blue from the extra haze.”
“But this artist painted an English sunset, not Indonesian. Anyway, we’re calculating global for reference only, right?”
“Vince,” she looked to him, “I wish I could tell you everything, I do. But Her Excellency only releases so much. To each of us. So I can’t.”
“Right. It’s just, well, disturbing.” He frowned, but then brightened. “So we speak only to project Phase II, the Niger national scenario.”
“Any other side effects?”
“Oh yes. The most frightening is, we don’t know all the side effects. We do know the ozone layer will take some beating. But politically, we use this project and any predicted side effects to negotiate.”
“Someone’s military has us on their radar, we know that.” Vince leaned forward. “Say they start zapping tonight’s balloons with their drones…that could affect our release.”
She glanced up from her jPad visiscreen.
“You’re one of the engineers. You tell me,” she said.
“Well, Brad’s the aeronautical, but we’ve designed a nocturnal release. He insisted on that for calmer winds—facilitates balloon recovery. Reduced night-time visibility also keeps us hidden. No doubt they have night detection capabilities, but for those he says we count on our distribution—we have release points spread out all over the Ayăr Mountains. So for any military, we speculate a statistical nightmare.”
How had he ever come to think like this? Had he become an eco-blackmail strategist? Contractors like him were listed as personnel drone targets; his mind flashed to that day at the storage yard.
This contract had taught him a lot—a totally unique design project, nothing like back in the Alberta oilfield. Even talking of drones felt so other world. His base line contingency plan assumed drones—the word made him queasy—took out ten percent of their release. He would replace those losses. Even fifty percent. With their sulphur supply line they’d have that replaced in a week. Brad said same with any balloon damage. If either of them took a personal Hellblazer missile, well not easy to say, but in the abstract engineers were replaceable. That they had a thought out plan, though, diluted his unease with excitement.
“Good.” She smiled. “They wouldn’t respond immediately anyway. Politics.”
“What about who’s financing? Can we talk about that?”
“Short answer, no.”
“So Tami, who really is financing? I mean, so many payments are Asian. The Chinese have a high climate change risk index, and other countries bordering China too. India’s high, Bangladesh the highest. So it fits.”
“Open trust fund. Any country, or individual for that matter, can make anonymous contribution. I can tell you the total truth on this, Vince. Any country can leverage any financing towards its own political agenda. Nobody knows who contributes, but everyone knows our target outcome. One exception to that short answer; we can emphasize the small budget size.” She beamed. “This project has no wealthy-nation-only restriction—a country like Bangladesh has equal say.”
He nodded. He knew the cost was low, very low, from his sulphur tonnage calculations. He had priced out liquid sulphur dioxide with only one border crossing, trucked in from the oilfields of next door Nigeria to local storage tanks here in Niger. Brad invoiced slightly more for shipping in balloons and helium from Asia.
“And why did we pick my country again? Why Canada to deliver this message?” He knew, but he needed to confirm, to hear it again. Out loud. Many arguments ran laps in his head lately.
“Take it from a global business outlook. Say Her Excellency chose from the five northern countries claiming Arctic rights, as the polar ice recedes. Take military into account, consider nuclear armament, and say environmental record as well. Who dropped out of Kyoto?”
“Yeah, Okay.” He scratched his cheek. “You know Canadians are pretty attached to their lifestyle, carbon based or not. Our economy grows northward. Our Prime Minister even has this quip—he says less ice gives us more Canada.”
“Well, you know what you tell a child in a sweets shop. You can’t have it all. Pick vacation lifestyle or healthy planet, one or the other.”
“I feel like a rat.” He had grown up in an Alberta oil town, played hockey as a kid and listened to his grandfather’s stories of pioneering. Everyone found the better life in Canada, the story always ran that way. Trees to hew, water to draw and land to break and farm. Then came drilling rigs and pump jacks, and now the latest Arctic drilling and fracking technology. Everyone flew south for a winter vacation.
“Think of future generations.”
“Eco-blackmail, that’s what they’ll call this.”
“Yeah...” His little daughter had caused none of this! Yet she would be paying the piper.
He didn’t answer, shuffling over to the window.
Vince stared along the bridge at the dim twinkles spread along
This contract had started out simple, yes, just an atmospheric test. Now these politicians would arrive any minute. He had never before engaged a federal cabinet minister, especially in high end global politics. Who else would talk on topics like drones?
His eyes scanned the edge of the horizon, but in the dark he could only imagine their designed balloon eruption. He knew their release ascended that evening, fleets of balloons rising loaded with their sulphur release systems. Enough payload to theoretically cool the regional Sahel climate. But nothing real world could be that straightforward.
He turned back to the room.
Tamanna sat in one posh chair, focused on her jPad. Her beauty made his heart flutter, but that was only ever his to know. He wandered over to sit next to her. She looked up to smile, giving a reassuring nod. During their patient wait, they practiced pitch rehearsal mixed with ongoing strategic discussion. One thing was sure, they were about to bring on a bad day for the diplomats from his home and native land. The door clicked opened, and they both looked up. Vince watched the three men file in, evaluating each face as they took their seats.
Explosive "science fiction" becoming reality within decades. Such is becoming increasingly likely, unless we come to our senses soon.
NASA, Storms of My Grandchildren
Pinatubo II by Les W Kuzyk / Science Fiction have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on36 votes