Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Arctic speculation . . .

STEVIE'S STEALTH SNOWMOBILE: the Harper concept of the future of Arctic conflict. Now as we know, the CONs are not the sharpest tools in the drawer and the acquisition of equipment for promoting our Arctic presence has been a Stevie problem.

And with global warming opening the Arctic waters, the future could be very interesting. Annalee Newitz has a post at io9, “The war that comes after global warming will blow your mind in new novel Arctic Rising” that is worthy of your perusal. 
A lot of science fiction about the Earth's warmer future is dystopian, showing us drowned cities and people reduced to Road Warrior desperados. But Tobias Buckell's new novel, Arctic Rising, offers a far more complicated and realistic picture of what the world will look like when the poles melt. 
It's a breakneck eco-thriller about "Arctic Tiger" nations like Canada clashing with green mega-corporations over what to do about the Earth's climate. At every turn, Buckell will surprise you with plot twists that fly in the face of conventional wisdom about environmental issues, and with cool ideas about how people will adapt to life on the Arctic Rim.
Do check it out. S-F has a funny way of turning into reality. In 1963, as a teenager, I read John Berryman's “The Trouble with Telstar”, about an astronaut sent up to fix a satellite. Thirty years later, I get to watch a Shuttle crew repair the Hubble space telescope on the TV in my living room. Two years ago, WIRED featured the airship you see above, in a post, “Airships Could Prove a Lifeline in the Arctic”. They might even make an appearance next year. Somehow, Stevie's stealth snowmobile just ain't gonna cut it.
Airships may soon soar in the cold skies of northern Canada and Alaska, bringing supplies to remote mining communities where planes can’t always fly and roads are cost-prohibitive.
British airship manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles has announced a major contract with Canada’s Discovery Air Innovations to build airships capable of lifting as much as 50 tons, delivering freight at one-quarter the cost of other alternatives. Though various militaries have expressed interest in airships, this is HAV’s first commercial contract. The first ship is expected by 2014.


Anonymous said...

I don't think global warming is on the minds of any of the cons right now. They have a little heat coming from the Senate.

The airships do make sense. However, they aren't that safe. If that balloon is full of some sort of gas, a couple of well placed shots from rifles will end the trip.

Who would have though Dick Tracey's wristwatch radio would become reality?

Steve said...

I cant believe Steve will not buy American.

Anonymous said...

I've heard this idea of airships tossed around quite a bit when I was living in Nunavut. Definitely worth looking into if they can be shown to be a good way to lower transportation costs. As for piggy-backing some sort of military application on the back of this......down-right stupid! The North faces challenges beyond just inflated military crises.

Purple library guy said...

I've been saying airships should make a comeback.