The Ice Age Challenge 
a social political romantic fiction novel by Rolf A. F. Witzsche
Volume 2A of the 12-volume series, The Lodging for the Rose

Page 175
Chapter 22 - Starting an Ice Age Renaissance



      During the days of the conference the imperial depopulation project had been focused on several times more, and each time in a different and gentler manner. However, on one of these occasions the established patterns were shattered. An event unfolded that can only be described as profound and unique. Nothing like it had happened during the entire conference, before or after that day. A Professor of Theoretical Physics and Atmospheric Science of the University of Novosibirsk, stood before us and spoke on the subject of depopulation in the middle of the second week. He presented the opposite standpoint of the common perception of climatic trends. He stole people's global warming dreams and gave them the Ice Age. He developed the theme slowly at first, but with an explosive challenge that was as big as the Ice Age itself. "The world needs ten billion people!" he opened his 'lecture.' Then he paused.

      This statement came like a shock to people who had accepted the imperials' preaching of the last fifty years, about an overpopulated world. He told the audience streight to their face that they had all been brainwashed with lies for the purpose of securing their agreement with the imperial depopulation drive that was still being pursued. After that, the man spoke about the real dimension of the world and its need for more people. He said that ten billion people are needed to create and operate the technologies and infrastructures that an advancing civilization requires.

      "We need ten billion people in order to create and support the infrastructures that will enable humanity to live through the next Ice Age," he said, and so on.



      "Now he is speaking my language," I said to myself. Olive's promise came to mind. Was he here as the result of it?



      "We are already in the boundary phase of the transition to the next Ice Age," he said. "Ice Age cycles typically last for a hundred thousand years, ninety thousand years of that consists of a deep-freeze with forty percent lower temperatures. This does not spell doom for mankind and civilization if we utilize the resources that we have as human beings to restructure the world in which we live, to make it livable under the changing conditions. The infrastructures that we need to survive the long cold-spell of ninety thousand years, can all be created. No natural barriers stand in our way to assure that food production continues unimpeded when the cold weather begins. However, the infrastructures that we need for that assurance, are large and complex. In order for them to be created, we must embark on advanced developments in education, in science, in research, and in energy technologies, and so forth. In real terms, mankind has infinite resources literally lying at its feet, but they need to be developed. The problem is, that the advanced processes that are required to develop the infinitely available material resources, require the dedicated effort of many people, because the richer the available resources are, the more extensive are the development efforts that are required to gain access to them. For this, we may need ten billion people. We may not require them right away, but we will require them over the course of the next hundred years, definitely before the Ice Age resumes."

      The speaker surprised many of the audience. He spoke about nuclear fission energy systems, based on the most advanced technologies available, and said that we have the resources available on the Earth to operate these systems in an Ice Age with the power to supply ten billion people for about five-thousand years. He said that this time span appears truly gigantic in comparison to presently available wood, oil, and gas resources that may run out in a couple hundred years or sooner. He suggested therefore, that while the nuclear-fission energy resource is vastly larger than oil, it is, like oil, still too minuscule to last through an Ice Age that extends for ninety-thousand years. He also suggested that the world's presently available material resources are likewise far too minuscule for the vast task of building the needed infrastructures, such as those that will enable us to shift much of the world's agriculture into indoor facilities to protect it from the cold climate of an Ice Age. "Thus, to get to where we need to be, from where we are now, hopefully before the Ice Age starts, we need to step up higher platforms for energy production," he said. "If we do this, we give ourselves the potential to discover energy resources that can supply ten billion people indefinitely, and with a greater energy-abundance than we have now. So it appears, that for all practical purposes, we have an inexhaustible energy resource within our power to reach that have the capacity to power the economic structures that we must create to survive beyond the next hundred years or so. This type of resource exists. It is within our grasp, but needs to be made accessible."

      He said, that this could be achieved with advances in scientific and technological progress. "That's what the term development means," he said. "It means that we apply our human power to upgrade the Universe, to make it a richer place than it has ever been, whereby we meet our needs and create a New World in the flow of it, in which even the natural processes are benefited. Of course, for this to happen, we need the dedicated effort of a large population."



      He spoke about progressive energy development, and the progressive expansion of the population of the world, as two interlocked phenomena. "The early wood-powered economy didn't require a large population," he said. "Everybody could go into the forest and gather a few sticks. However, wood is a poor energy resource. It took huge piles of wood to power anything. Later, as civilization advanced, coal became the chosen fuel. Coal is a much more efficient and powerful fuel with a greater energy flux density, but it takes a much larger population to operate the coal-powered economy. Such an economy has to be supported by numerous types of mining and transportation related industries. Consequently, a much larger population is needed to build and operate the required infrastructures and industries.

      "Eventually coal-energy was superceded by oil-energy," he said. "Here, the same thing happened again. A still-larger population base became required to create and maintain the needed technologies and infrastructures. Of course, at each step along the way, greater freedoms and capabilities became possible that the more primitive energy-systems could not provide. For instance, can anyone imagine powering an airliner with a wood-fueled steam engine? Such a thing would never get off the ground, much less be travelling for 9000 KM, carrying its own fuel, together with passengers and luggage. Such a thing is unthinkable. By the same token it is unthinkable today to shift large parts of the world's agriculture into indoor facilities. It's unthinkable for this to be created and supported by an oil-powered economy. The facilities could never be built, much less be run. But all of this is certainly possible in a vastly more energy-rich economy. Of course, in order to design, create, and operate the much larger and much more complex technological infrastructures for a high-energy economy on a scale far beyond the present stage of nuclear power, a still larger population base is required.

      "Does this sound like fairy tale stuff?" he asked. "Well, it isn't!" he said. He told us that this new high-level world is precisely what we must aim for, starting at the present. He pointed out that without indoor agriculture, or similar protective measures, the world's food production potential would collapse in an Ice Age setting, possibly to the point that only a few hundred million people might be supported in the traditional manner. He suggested that it should be considered a crime therefore, to even contemplate that we allow such conditions to arise that would assure the death of ninety to ninety-eight percent of humanity. "This means that in order to avoid this crime, we have to build ourselves up to meet the Ice Age requirements. This means that we must dedicate ourselves to create the needed energy dense economy that the task of meeting the Ice Age challenge requires of us, no matter what it takes. This might mean, developing nuclear-fusion power, the energy source of the future that everybody is talking about.. And this we can do, as human beings."

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