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Old 08-31-2018, 08:50 PM   #11
DocRailgun
 
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

It's possible your only hope for saving billions of people is the lucky chance that someone has developed a useful mind-upload technology.

Then there are possibly some interesting politics - how many rights do these uploaded people have? Can they communicate with one another? Are they just records and most of them are dormant? If they're all able to interact with one another and whoever is still in meatspace - are there telepresence robots? Have the meat-authorities declared these beings as no longer people and/or property of whoever owns the recording media? Are some of these beings being used as serfs?
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

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The problem with your scenarios is that, absent cheap FTL drives and a convenient habitable planet, your scenarios are insufficiently dire for evacuation to make sense.
Exactly. Even if everything dies you still have gravity and air on Earth itself, you have the building materials on Earth... you have the people already on Earth.

Why build habitats in space when you can build habitats more cheaply and easily on Earth itself?

You need a disaster so big that it makes lifting all that stuff out of a gravity well and building in a vacuum with no gravity BETTER than building a similar habitat on Earth.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:24 PM   #13
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

An intelligent civilization could decide to evacuate the Earth because it decides that it needs to repair the biosphere of the Earth so that it could have the Earth as a biological reserve (a civilization that does not have a biological reserve likely does not survive for long as a biological species). It would leave a caretaker population, a couple hundred million people or so, to manage things while the rest of the human population spreads out to the stars. Of course, a sensible civilization would terraform multiple worlds outside its home star system so that it could have multiple biological reserves, though the caretaker populations on the terraformed worlds would be there to maintain stability rather than to repair damage.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

If anyone can survive on Earth, then you're not really evacuating the rest. You're going to have to kidnap most of them. Few people want to leave their homes forever.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

Perhaps a swarm of asteroid impacts, in increasing waves ? The first wave 15 years ago was small, a big impactor had to be deflected, causing a lot of money to be injected in the space programs . The second wave was bigger than expected and an "almost as big as a dino killer" slipped through the defence. The third wave will hit in 15 years, with hundreds of city-killer impacts scheduled, and a couple big ones. evacuation is decided. Earth is pelted again. And again 15 and 30 years later, by smaller 4th and 5th waves. Observation said there are no more coming, time to resettle.
Of course, what (or who) fired a cosmic shotgun at earth is an interesting question.

Last edited by Celjabba; 09-01-2018 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

Hmm, hmm, bummer. I'm starting to develop an appreciation for the way EP did it (rampant AI kill almost everyone, then mysteriously disappear; the surviving 10% are stuck in space, with an Earth infested by orphaned killer-bots).

So, basically, lifting anything close to 10 billion people is a no-no if the setting is to remain anywhere near hard SF. And I postulated that the event cannot be a massive die-off. And, as has been pointed out, any degree of livability remaining on Earth will trump a mass migration into space. And, the argument that a significant percentage, perhaps even a majority, would refuse to leave on purely sentimental grounds, short of the planet literally exploding, is quite convincing

I'll have to adjust the scale a bit - the problems seem to crop up when there is a sudden and imminent (within 10-20 years) threat, and any orbital lifting or space habitation/colonization effort has to meet hundreds of times the demand it was built to support.

Perhaps if I set up a much more gradual crisis, like environmental collapse due to climate change unfolding over 100 years, it would give the setting more time to contemplate and develop the technologies needed. Pressure to relocate somewhere without hurricanes that erase cities from maps could build up over time. It could culminate in one of those nightmare-scenarios, like a massive methane release, that would briefly make conditions on Earth undesirable enough that aerostats, O'Neill cylinders, and domes on the Moon start looking downright peachy. What started as scientific outposts or luxurious refuges for the elite end up housing much of humanity for a while, many of them as bodiless infugees, with billions still hunkering down on the surface.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

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Originally Posted by Celjabba View Post
Of course, what (or who) fired a cosmic shotgun at earth is an interesting question.
Indeed, as you'd expect such swarms to be equally problematic for the rest of the solar system.

You could try Seveneves' for a catastrophe that renders Earth uninhabitable with the destruction of the Moon. It's something that's definite and predictable, but happens over a decades long time-scale as in-falling moon matter slowly heats the atmosphere.

ETA: Oops, it says it only takes two years to heat the Earth catastrophically- I remember it being longer.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:41 AM   #18
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

If you make it over a hundred year time frame the fact that number of children per family drops as you get wealthier can mean that as the third world got richer they also like parts of the current first world had less the replacement birth rates. So population has dropped. This is not when current projections show that happening but not a major bit of handwaving to move it earlier. You also end up with large numbers over 60 who if they stay will die off over the next 40 years.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

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Indeed, as you'd expect such swarms to be equally problematic for the rest of the solar system.

You could try Seveneves' for a catastrophe that renders Earth uninhabitable with the destruction of the Moon. It's something that's definite and predictable, but happens over a decades long time-scale as in-falling moon matter slowly heats the atmosphere.

ETA: Oops, it says it only takes two years to heat the Earth catastrophically- I remember it being longer.
Well that is terrifying. We put our 1500 best and brightest into space and they kill each other until only seven people survive? Damn, Neal Stephenson, u scary.
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Old 09-01-2018, 04:28 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Sci-fi] Plausible scenarios for the evacuation of Earth at TL10-11

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Well that is terrifying. We put our 1500 best and brightest into space and they kill each other until only seven people survive? Damn, Neal Stephenson, u scary.
“It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.” -- Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian

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