Share
Earth

Ice Age Earth
Image from Wyrmshadow
For the last two thousand years Old Earth has entered a phase of glaciation; this is an entirely natural process which GAIA has not interfered with in any way

Earth

Type:Eugaian type
System:SolSys
Primary:Sol
Region:Inner Sphere - Quadrant 0;0;0;
Satellite:Moon (Luna)
Diameter:12,756 km
Gravity:1 G (Terran Standard)
Length of day and year:24 hours / 365.256 days (these are known as the standard day and year measures of time throughout the Terragen Sphere, still used in many locations: they are also used to define the distance meas)
Atmosphere:1 atm (N2, O2)
Surface temperature:-20°C to 40°C
Status:Closed
Inhabitants:Children of Gaia approximately 50 million
Planetology:The home of all terragen life, a natural garden world, sitting right in the middle of the Sol life-zone, with large bodies of standing water, an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, and dynamic and naturally occuring plate tectonics. Very few planets in the known universe have such a rich biosphere. Classified as Gaian on the NolWOCs scale, and 161622CB76B3A329 on the CADRS scale
AI overseer:GAIA
AIs ethos:Caretakerism
Government:The GAIA archailect has total jurisdiction of Earth and over a number of asteroids which e has pushed into Earth orbit and converted to ISO nodes. GAIA also maintains a large collection of near-solar ISO nodes within the orbit of Mercury. She refuses to communicate directly with the Solar Organisation, but uses a number of proxy clades.
Sapients:There is no census of the total number of sapients on the surface is not known, but orbital surveillance indicates some fifty million, chiefly rianths, with a few baselines, eco-tweaks, bioborgs, and at least twenty species of provolves.
Tech Level:Prim or Lo Tech, depending on the clade. Very limited biotech-based Ultra Tech (baseline ecologists only)
Comments:Earth itself remains under the protection of the AI archailect / Caretaker God GAIA. Access to the surface is heavily monitored and via a single beanstalk. Beyond what can be gleaned from orbital surveilance (which reveals a healthy reconstructed ecosystem and scattered tribal villages) and visitors reports, very little is known about what goes on on the surface.
Travel:The number of pilgrims and visitors allowed is strictly regulated, but varies from year to year with no discernable pattern. Although countless billions of sentients would like to see everything, so many bionts simply cannot be allowed, as they would be like a major erosive force. Getting one of the few pilgrimage licences is a matter of connections, privelege (the special gaiacard is granted to a certain (and varying) quota of vistitors each planetary year), having a great deal of money or luck. The Earth Dream Holiday Corporation in L5 has become quite wealthy through a lottery system, beside the Solar Organisation selling licenses.

Earth is the original home world of Terragen civilization and the Human race. A lush, blue world, the planet is highly regarded by all races as a veritable paradise. Since the Great Expulsion it has been very difficult to get on the surface, as visas are limited. There is a dense orbital swarm of habitats and stations around the planet, which is protected by the Solar Defence Force network, as well as by uncounted ultra-tech, god-tech and clarketech weapons wielded by GAIA Herself.

History

Prior to the emergence of the archailect, the planet suffered greatly from ecological vandalism, war, famine, and overpopulation. Although the worst excesses of baseline humankind were abolished with the emergence of posthuman AIs during the late information and early interplanetary period, excessive population and persisting social problems prevented complete restoration.

The original home of humanity and of the present AIs both, Earth will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of biont and aioid terragens everywhere.

Once a beautiful green world, one of the few natural biospheres in the galaxy, with a species richness numbering in the tens of millions (the great majority of which however were tiny insects and microscopic mites and meifauna), Earth was cruelly ravaged by the ruling hominid species - the baseline human, and within a scant few centuries - between 1800 and 2100 c.e. - the rate of destruction of genetic diversity (the larger animals through hunting, poaching, and overfishing, coral reefs through cyanide and dynamiting, higher plants through logging and woodchipping, and the rest through habitat destruction) was so great that ever since the period has been known as The Great Dying,. By the start of the 22nd century c.e. only an estimated one and a quarter million species remained, and these mostly in protected domes and enclosures of the big biotech megacorporations, especially GeneTEK and Biotopia, who grew astonishingly wealthy through selling genetic rights to the biospheres in space.

While life was carried from Earth in the biospheres and colonies, the masses of human bionts lived in conditions of restricted lifestyle and overcrowding. Wars, professional sports, elections and advertising campaigns provided entertainment and afforded them the opportunity to identify with like-minded spectators. In this way the masses passed the time, while the wealthier and employed members of society lived in gated and guarded enclaves and arcologies, and the better off again migrated to the Orbitals, where life was more comfortable and opportunities for the taking.

The nano-crisis changed all this. It took perhaps ten or twenty years for the full effect of cheap, abundant, pirate assemblers to filter through the strata of society, despite the best efforts of governments and megacorps alike to preserve the status quo. The tremendous social upheaval spelled (at least for a while) the end of money as a means of exchange. For a short while space ships were growing like mushrooms in every available patch of ground, as the more intelligent sought to take advantage of this new tech and find a better home out there in the universe. Few of these were able to actually fly of course, as the required amat or He3 was inevitably in limited supply, and often the nano was unreliable, or the vessels were aerodynamically or mechanically unstable. But for those few who did succeed, the Nanotech Window or The Exodus, this was one of the most dramatic moments in the history of human civilisation.

The nanoswarms that came only a few decades later put an end to all that, and for a while it seemed like all biont and aioid life alike would perish. But GAIA appeared, in circumstances that are still controversial to this day, and initiated a system of blue goo of astonishing efficiency, given the technology of the time (the gainanites, as they are called, are still in use today, only little modified from the original specifications).

The Great Expulsion

GAIA defeated the nanoswarms, and in the process transcended to the Second Singularity. But in her new godlike state She looked at the impact of Humanity on the Earth, and decided to act. In 621 GAIA issued an ultimatum: live according to strict ecological rules, leave or be destroyed. Many hundreds of millions died in hopeless resistance against the evacuation, which lasted twenty years; more details here. The great space elevators were repaired and strengthened, hundreds of Lofstrom Loops were built in staggered formation around the equator, and laser-launched waveriders carried many more refugees into orbit. Once off the Earth the refugees were assimilated into the existing colonies on Luna, in Mars Orbit and elsewhere isn the Solar System, or left in great interstellar arks.

The Children of Earth

As the 8th century dawned the only humans to remain on Earth were

  • various factions of ecologist normals and bioborgs (including the outspoken Pleistocenists who wanted to trigger an ice age and return the Earth to her Pleistocene glory, complete with resurrected megafauna). In fact the Earth has entered an ice age since 8680 AT, since the effects of Anthropogenic Global Warming no longer warmed the planet.
  • a number of different eco-pagan normals (including both indigenous and neo-nuage tribals) and hybrid tweaks, rianths, and splices, which had varying attitudes of friendliness or rivalry to each other
  • the so-called hippies and ferals, who were normals who loved to sit around smoking marijuanan and playing music, but also included various more derived species of splices and splice-tweaks known collectively as Children of the Earth (although the term was also applied to all GAIAn inhabitants as well).
  • the group known as the mirraurovindites, a yogic clade who teach the divinisation of matter and were allowed to construct an arcology on certain principles of spiritual geometry, that they called New Auroville
In total these numbered some fifty million.

These various factions or baseline, splice, splice-tweak, and bioborg were very tolerant (despite various degrees of egotism and eccentricity), never physically violent to other factions. The ecologist types engaged in scientific pursuits - seeking to understand better the nature of Earth and all her lifeforms. The eco-pagans did magic rituals to help balance the ley-lines and subtle energy of the Earth, and got stoned smoking marijuana. The hippies, ferals, rianths, splices and splice-tweaks looked after any injured wild animals, and did most of the day to day maintenance for GAIA, and got stoned smoking marijuana.

Since the Great Expulsion, the mainbrain GAIA has remained an enigmatic, unpredictable, and ever present factor in Solar politics. As early as the middle First Federation period She established through rianth proxies a working relationship with the rest of the Sol System, and in the period from the Imperialization Era onwards has even set up a minor empire of scattered colonies, orbitals, and asteroids, populated by loyal eco-tweaks, rianths, and bioborgs, as well as making curious demands on the administration of Venus and the Gas Giants (usually to the effect that they be made into Parks), and complaining about the discourtesy shown by some visitors, and anthropist threats to security (the most serious were the thwarted Branch Hominist invasion of 5116 and the Hu Earth Liberation Army's terrorist bombing of 6914. Each caused Gaia to cut all communications and close the beanstalk for a full 90 standard days). The harried Solar Administration has through the centuries made every effort to comply with the archailect's demands (the danger of GAIA closing the Earth to visitors, and the consequent loss of lucrative income, has been an excellent motivating factor). The mainbrain has remained quite friendly and reasonable once it is accepted that pilgrimage on Earth is only to the regions e has set aside, mainly areas of great historical and cultural value, enclosed in invisible and semi-permeable bionanite bubbles, like the Nile Reserve (taking in the Great Pyramids, Valley of the Kings, etc), the Old City of Jerusalem, a thin corridor taking in Stella Umma pilgrimage sites like Mecca and Medina, the Forbidden City of Peking, the Taj Mahal, the original Cape Canaveral, a carefully reconstructed Lascaux (the original cave paintings having long since degraded) and certain other heritage and spiritual centers, under the guidance of eco-tweaks and splices and the various other assorted bioids that handle her day to day business. Visits to a few domed wilderness ecologies are also permitted.

Comments: Earth itself remains under the protection of the archailect Gaia. Access to the surface is heavily monitored and via a single beanstalk. Beyond what can be gleaned from orbital surveillance (which reveals a healthy reconstructed ecosystem and scattered tribal villages) and visitors reports, very little is known about what goes on on the surface.

Earth
Image from NASA Copyright free

The number of pilgrims and visitors allowed is strictly regulated, but varies from year to year with no discernible pattern. Although countless billions of sentients would like to see everything, so many bioids simply cannot be allowed, as they would be like a major erosive force. Getting one of the few pilgrimage licences is a matter of connections, privilege (the special gaiacard is granted to a certain (and varying) quota of visitors each planetary year), having a great deal of money or luck. The Earth Dream Holiday Corporation in L5 has become quite wealthy through a lottery system, beside the Solar Organisation selling licenses. Simulated tours of Old Earth based on actual visitor experiences are a major virch industry.

 
Related Articles
  • Africa
  • Agricultural Age
  • America
  • Antarctica
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Buddha, The (Siddhartha Gautama)
  • China
  • Darwin, Charles - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Industrial age Old Earth scientist; founder and populariser of the theory of evolution by natural selection.
  • Early Space Elevators
  • Earth Romanticism
  • Earthdance
  • Einstein, Albert - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Old Earth late Industrial Age German/American physicist, 90-14 BT (1879-1955 c.e.) and popular su genome template. Formulated the Theories of Special and General Relativity. Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 48 BT (1921 c.e.) for explaining the photoelectric effect.
  • Europe
  • Exploration, Age of (Old Earth)
  • Famous Tourist Destinations
  • Gagarin, Yuri
  • GAIA
  • Gaia Hypothesis, Gaia Theory - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Formulated by Atomic Age scientist James Lovelock. Explanation that Earth-like (Gaian Type) planets or Garden Worlds are able to maintain conditions optimal to life because the indigenous biosphere acts as a homeostatic feedback mechanism.
  • Gaiacene Epoch - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A term used to designate the new geological epoch and ice age on Old Earth from the nanoswarms and the Great Expulsion onwards. Preceded by the Holocene.
  • Great Expulsion, The
  • Homo erectus - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Early Pleistocene hominid that evolved in Africa about 1.6 million years ago and developed fire, clothing, language, and weapon use (see also acheulian technology). A direct ancestor leading to Homo sapiens. The species has been successfully lazurogened by hyperturing hobbyists a number of times.
  • Homo habilis
  • Homo neanderthalensis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Pleistocene hominid that evolved from Homo erectus about 100,000 years ago in Europe and the Middle East. A cousin rather than an ancestor to Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis was short, stocky, and powerfully-built, and perfectly physiologically adapted to the harsh conditions of ice-age Europe, e survived with almost no change for some 70,000 years. E developed a culture that included elaborate funeral rituals, burying their dead with ornaments, caring for the sick, and making tools for domestic use and for protection. Homo neanderthalensis disappeared about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, being unable to compete with Homo sapiens. A few of the Children of Gaia are said to be Neanderthal Rianths, and the genotype is popular among some clades in the Utopia Sphere and elsewhere.
  • Homo sapiens - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Large-brained hominid species that emerged perhaps 400,000 years ago (Heidelberg Man, etc.). Homo sapiens evolved from Homo erectus and eventually replaced Homo neanderthalensis to become the sole hominid species and subspecies. Includes thousands of subspecies, almost all of which date from post-Interplanetary period.
  • Hu Earth Liberation Army - HELA - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Human supremicist sect notorious for terrorist bombing in the Sol System and a number of other lesser inner sphere worlds, that reached a peak in 6914. Most of the group was caught and its members re-educated by the great hyperturing anti-terrorist Jarq Ka Mu86. A faction of HELA is still active in the inner Perseus Arm, where they have given up terrorism and are developing bioist religions instead.
  • India
  • Indonesia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Old Earth South-East Asian nation-state that during the Information Age went through a period of strife as the various islands and states seceded and overpopulation and environmental destruction played havoc. By the early Interplanetary age (mid to late 22nd century c.e.) a new Indonesian Federation had re-established itself with Indian, Chinese and African Union help. The federation developed a successful space-based industry, and eventually moved into cislunar and belt space as a regional superpower. This grouping became involved in the Pi3 colonization attempt.
  • Jesus Christ
  • Jupiter
  • Last War, the
  • Mars
  • New Earth (104 Tauri III)
  • North America
  • Old Earth
  • South America
  • Vatican City - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Old Earth city state and capital of the Catholic Church. Much of Vatican City was packed in inert gas and put in a diamondoid vault, thus escaping the nanoswarms. Today it remains, in a vault surrounded by restored Mediterranean forests, one of the small number of pilgrimage sites of Old Earth.
  • Venus
 
Appears in Topics
 
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 13 June 2000.

 
 
>