A Few Things Ill Considered

The Bottleneck Years

by H.E. Taylor

Chapter 92 Table of Contents Chapter 94

Chapter 93

A New Disaster, September 18, 2060

I was feeling overwhelmed. It seemed like everything was happening at once. Edie was overdue. I was scrambling to revise my letter about EF1 and the UV effect. Group 12 was starting their Greenland project. They were going to try to stabilize what remained of the Greenland icesheet before expanding their scope and I wanted to monitor their progress. A major fire in the boreal forest north of Great Slave was burning uncontrollably and the smoke was noticeable all over the prairies. The garden was ready to be harvested. Anna was afraid about starting kindergarten. I needed 30 hour days in a 10 day week.

To top it off, I received a note from Rhamaposa informing me of an extraordinary UNGETF meeting. I threw up my hands. I had to set priorities.

Edie was my immediate concern. She was getting big and was occasionally sore, but otherwise in good spirits. It was a Saturday morning…early. When I entered the bedroom, she read my face right away. “What is it? What’s the matter?”

“Rhamaposa has called a meeting.”

“When?”

“At nine.”

“In the morning? Isn’t that unusual?”

“Yeah. I was planning on harvesting the beans and carrots this morning, while talking to Anna about school, then revising that letter, but…”

“You go.”

“But…” I put my hand on her tummy.

“I’ll be fine. You go see what Peter wants and don’t worry about me.”

“Give me a hug.”

I had 45 minutes before I had to leave to be at the MacDonald building, so I started looking up references for my revised letter to the journal. As usual, I got involved and didn’t notice the time slip away. Then I had to run.

Peter was just starting his presentation when I joined the table.

“We have never done this simultaneous transmission to all twelve Groups before, so don’t be surprised if there are glitches.”

He took out a note to read a prepared statement, which I had never before seen him do. “We have been worried about greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide and methane, driving the climate machine, but things are no longer that simple. The acidification of the oceans has passed a critical point and the growth of plankton is being severely disrupted in some regions. Low oxygen zones are forming which will have global impact. The ecosystems of the ocean are unravelling in front of us and it is up to us to repair them. We have to raise the pH again and repopulate the species.”

Peter raised his eyes and waved the note in the air.

“This note is being released by the UNEM media office in the interests of transparency.

“So that’s it. By the authority vested in me, I am forming a new Group, 13, to explore the question — How do we restore the oceans?”


Excerpted from _The Bottleneck Years_ by H.E. Taylor

For further information, see
A Gentle Introduction.

If you want a copy, see
The Deal.

Last modified May 20, 2014

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