Wednesday, September 11, 2013



We’ve eliminated resources as a motive. Gorgonians, why did you invade?

GORGONIAN: We needed the living space.

WAR HAWK: Living space? That’s what you’re going with? I remind you that you set up a base on Mars from which you launched your attack on the Earth. Mars was uninhabited at the time. If you needed living space so badly, why didn’t you at least start with Mars?

GORGONIAN: It’s too dry.

WAR HAWK: So haul ice over from Europa. That would have made it less dry. Are you going to tell me an invasion was easier than a little hydrodynamic engineering?


All right, then. Once again, I’m not buying it. Time for another history lesson.

In ages past, living space was a reason for military invasions.

But we’re talking ages past. Displacing whole populations became harder and harder as technology improved. Part of the reason is that technology leveled off the difference between the Haves and the Have Nots. Gone were the days when the superior Haves could starve out the Have Nots, or infect them with diseases. The Have Nots soon learned how to buy canned food and seek proper medical treatment.

They figured out that advanced small arms and explosives make even a small untrained group of fighters a real threat.

Meanwhile, the Haves grew either civilized, or complacent, depending on your point of view. Sure, they still coveted a home with a view, but they were less inclined to massacre a whole tribe to get it.

And the Haves quickly lost their taste for real pioneering. The more you get used to modern plumbing, the less happy you are taking a crap in the middle of the woods.

Finally, the Haves discovered that kids suck, and postponing them, perhaps indefinitely, was the key to domestic bliss. Meanwhile, the Have Nots were screwing like crazy and pooping out little brats faster than Telerian Jackbunnies. So even if somebody did try to “colonize” their space, the Have Nots would out breed the interlopers, thus defeating the purpose of the colony.

In other words, after a certain point in your development, living space shouldn’t be something you’re willing to go to war over.

So you’re going to tell me you launched a major invasion against an entire planet for living space? How does your civilization manage to function if your people still resort to murder in their real estate transactions? That’s an attitude for guys with flint axes, not directed energy weapons.

What happens if you do conquer Earth and open it up for colonization? You honestly have people who are willing to travel light years away from home and start over again on a blasted world that stinks from all the dead bodies? What kind of life are they going to have there? What will they produce?

If you really are that hard up for living space, say from a planetary catastrophe, there are easier ways to go about it.

Remember when I talked about space habitats and your invasion force? There is your living space. In order to conquer the planet in the first place, you need to set up at least a few bases outside the planet, probably in the asteroid belt. The Gorgonians built a base on Mars instead of in the asteroid field, but it was capable of sustaining their entire force. Why not use that base or asteroid habs for your colonists instead? I know I said things would be cramped, but that was back when you were preparing for a military assault. You needed to make room for equipment, weapons, ammunition, supplies, and still have enough space for training. If your only concern is colonization, then your habs or bases become a lot less crowded.

I mean, you already crossed light years to get to the Earth. That means the vacuum of space is no longer that big of an obstacle. And that means putting people in artificial environments and indefinitely leaving them there is not beyond your capabilities. It takes zero imagination to take that technology and apply it to living space. I’ve even heard reports that there is enough material in the Earth system’s asteroid belt to create a breathable ring.

A ring would be continuous band of fused asteroids running around the sun. It would have edges, and could hold an atmosphere. The interior would be engineered to have lakes, oceans, deserts, forests; an entire biosphere. The ring wouldn’t be that wide, but that would hardly matter. It would have the surface area of several hundred Earths. The humans would notice a construct of this size, but what are they going to do about it?

No, that’s not the reason you came to Earth. Like resources, just being able to get to the Earth means you’re past the point where living space is that big of a problem for you. Try something else.

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