Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I am reminded of two books.

Stark (novel) by Ben Elton

The protagonist, Colin "CD" Dobson, lives a humdrum life, at a critical point in history. The environment is being rapidly destroyed by a series of 'avalanches' - sudden upsets in the Earth's ecosystem that cause widespread destruction. The Stark conspiracy is a cabal of the world's richest and most influential men, who have long been aware that the planet's entire ecosystem is approaching total collapse. For decades they have been launching unmanned spacecraft loaded with supplies into orbit around the Earth and the Moon. Seeking to save their own lives and leave everyone else to suffer from 'total toxic overload', they secretly create a fleet of spacecraft with the intention of founding a colony on the Moon.

Using crude intimidatory tactics, they purchase land from Aboriginals in Western Australia, to use as a launch site. They sell stocks and commodities to raise cash, selling the assets at the same time and in high volumes, to engineer a worldwide crash of the stockmarkets and lower the price of the resources they need. They buy the Moon from the United States government, along with the hardware to reach it.

The rich guys (and a few gals) coalition has a research team forcasting the future and when it gets to bad they emigrate to star arks to live there while the planet restores itself. Tha obvious conspiracy angle.

But it also reminds me of the prelude to this book:

Orbit Unlimited - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Orbit Unlimited is a science fiction novel by Poul Anderson, first published in 1961 [1]. Essentially a linked group of short stories, it recounts the colonisation of the planet Rustum, a fictional terrestrial world orbiting Epsilon Eridani, by a group of refugees from an authoritarian planet Earth. Although habitable, Rustum's atmospheric pressure is so great that only its mountains and high plateaus are suitable for human settlement. The novel, like much of Anderson's work, has a libertarian subtext as the colonists flee the oppression on their home planet.

In the prelude we are introduced to a Earth in decline, with growing population and inevitably declining standards. An old cynical power player has realised where things are heading, and when a livable planet is discovered he engineers for a gradual squeeze of the remaining middle class, in order to get an ideologically conscious (and troublesome) subgroup of the technical middle class to opt for emigration, including his only child with family. At the same time he plays the other side, acting as a hardliner against the deviant and claims it is better if the worst go and take their accursed views with them.

The main point here is that telling the other powermongers that the world is going to hell would show weakness and spell his own immediate downfall, so he plays his cards thight. He intentionally (and without divulging why) drives his only child into a movement against him in order to get his grandchildren of the planet. Apart from the fools who have inherited their position and is allowed to keep it to prevent competitors, we are never told how his competitors really view things, as their communication is held within the accepted narrative.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 05:38:41 AM EST
Read that.
Poul Anderson. Good storyteller, with good stories, often.
Of late, I've taken to reading more in the biography and memoir column- I find I've dug the science fiction hole down so deep that what's left are mostly genre money machines- formula books aimed at a known audience, or at a market that can be sold to a known publishing house. The stuff has an odor about it that I can't ignore.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 11:55:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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