Author: Dean Warren
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 276 pages
Dire forecasts of the effects of global warming and population growth have been ignored, and in the year 2062 the earth is overheating. Polar ice is melting and the rising seas are reclaiming the coastline and its cities. Fresh water is scarce, prompting conflicts. Compounding the problems is the rising birth rate. The planet can no longer support the ever increasing numbers of humans. Wars have occurred and civil wars between deniers and scientists have begun, but so far the drastic steps assumed necessary to save the earth have not been taken.
References are made to past wars and battles, but little history is provided, leading this reviewer to assume Leaving Earth is a sequel to previous, unnamed novels.
CO2 emitters must be shut down and birth control must be imposed on all.
A twenty-seven year old genius physics graduate student, Wolf del Lobos, has the answer. His doctorial thesis proposes a faster than light drive (FLD) utilizing dark energy that will allow humans to colonize other planets. When his professor dies, he is replaced by another professor who becomes Wolf’s nemesis, rejects his thesis and ends his chance to earn a Ph.D. But this does not stop the protagonists. Wolf del Lobos is no ordinary graduate student. A wounded Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor, he is a poet and composer of a symphony.
As sea levels rise, riots begin and the government collapses. A general gains control as the 50 United States begin to fragment into smaller units. Soon a civil war emerges between the save the planet and the status quo groups, while Wolf rushes to prove his thesis and build FLD scout ships to find habitable planets.
The president and vice president cannot continue. Billy Benbow, another Marine veteran who lost an arm in an Arctic battle, assumes the presidency and orders the military to enforce a worldwide carbon tax and implement birth control measures.
As the world spins out of control a habitable planet is found, preparations for leaving earth begin, and aliens are encountered, setting the stage for a sequel.
Reviewed by: Lee Boyland (2014)
The year is 2062 and humanity has reached the “tipping point” of which the world’s scientists had warned. A global blanket of CO2 has raised temperatures so much that ice sheets melted, seas rose, coral died, species migrated, and farms became poisoned by salt water. And, no matter what mankind could now do, the blanket and its effects would last for hundreds of years. The few feet of ocean rise will be succeeded by a return to seas historically two hundred feet higher than currently. Droughts, floods, and mass human die-offs will initiate wars.
Wolf delLobos, a twenty-seven year old Marine veteran and a physics graduate student, is determined on finding a scientific alternative. He believes that Faster than Light Travel (FTL) is feasible and will allow mankind to homestead unspoiled planets. Wolf will use Dark Energy to form a space bubble that would mimic the FTL inflation that occurred after the Big Bang.
After saving the life of Elinor, a beautiful, twenty year old coed, he becomes ensnared in a love affair. In addition, his physics doctoral thesis that proposes a demonstration of his theory is rejected and an ex-Marine buddy hires the New York Philarmonic to play Wolf’s cantata at an American Veterans Convention. These three campaigns interweave until, amidst global disasters, the girl gets Wolf in bed. Wolf also secures military support of his demonstration, and his cantata is rapturously received by American veterans.
After the concert, Wolf is seduced by the wife of the Philharmonic conductor. Unfortunately, Elinor learns. Both Elinor and the conductor’s wife become pregnant.
Scientific observers warn that cubic miles of the Greenland Ice Sheet are sliding toward the ocean. Also, even larger ice deposits in Antarctica are calving hundreds of icebergs. Manhattan and South Florida are partially flooded, so is the Sacramento Delta and, of course the Gulf Coast. Bangladesh and Venice are gone. The Low Countries are one vast salt lake. The President has a nervous breakdown and dies. When the Chief of Staff takes control in a peaceful coup, Wolf’s buddy. Billy Benbow becomes the general’s political intermediary.
Elinor’s father, an aerospace executive, turns over to Wolf a hangar at the Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, above Los Angeles. There, Wolf forms a project team to build a demonstrator and a space plane. Elinor and Wolf reconcile.
In parallel, Billy Benbow leads a world wide effort to shut down fossil fuel burning and CO2 emissions. That, in turn, evokes violent opposition. A mutinous army general assassinates the President/Chief of Staff and Billy takes over. The Saudi’s try an attack in the White House, but fail, and then form a Hydrocarbon Alliance.
Due to twentieth century budgets, America has the largest and most efficient armed forces in the world. Thus it can overawe every nation. Billy issues an ultimatum placing an $1800 tax on every ton of carbon pumped or mined. A fertility suppressant also will be sprayed in the water reservoirs of ghettos and favelas the world over. Refusals are met by the American bombing of foreign capitals and the world settles down for a long period of high water and heat, massive infrastructure projects, and an American Empire.
Wolf’s demonstrator works. He takes up the space plane and travels 59 light years up the Orion spiral arm of the galaxy. He’s holed by a meteorite as he descends to a planet he christens New Earth. After patching his ship and an encounter with a tiger reptile, he returns to Earth to find that observers have detected a large alien ship orbiting the moon. Is another, alien species targeting earth for colonization?