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And while humans like Olivia and Michael debated through the night whether Earth was intelligent or not, for Earth itself, a different kind of debate had long ago been concluded: whether humans are a threat to all life, or not.
The evidence had been overwhelming: The EoT, the planet’s nervous system, had collected enough information already to make its case, and close it: humans were a threat, and climate change was the single human action that would trigger an avalanche of reactions. Climate change was the real Adam’s Apple: not the fairy tale apple of temptation humans had fabricated. And humans wouldn’t be kicked out of the Garden of Eden exactly. Rather, the Garden of Eden would become toxic to them: it would become too hot. It would grow thorns, dangerous creatures and treacherous rivers, as the planet would attempt to reboot, restart the seven days of creation. Creating a New Earth, where humans didn’t belong.
The Climate System had always been the control panel of the planet: the beating heart of Mother. It had taken billions of years to perfect. By attacking it, humans had set in motion a series of defence mechanisms by the planet. First, Earth looked through its arsenal of bioweapons carefully to find something that would be human-specific, that would attack the very source of CO2 emissions: what humans affectionately called “the economy”. COVID-19 was born, the virus that dared to stand up to capitalism. It closed down travel and global trade, and set a curfew for humans who still wanted to “party”. Other clever viruses followed, each time in the hope that humans would begin to join the dots: that the viruses were a payback: a result of climate change, a result of humans.
Humanity entered a phase of permanent pandemic, as Earth and humans went into full-on battle, launching updated variants of their weapons against each other. Religion as usual continued to fight Earth, becoming capitalism’s PR machine. People became hungry. They became angry, and desperate. They split into two unequal camps: those who still wanted to have the life that they had lost, and the Minimalists.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books