Saturday, February 3, 2024

Green Horizon


By Brandon Johnson (World: Green)

Greetings from Green Horizon Station, a research and communications facility on Green Mountain run by the nonprofit Restoration Acceleration Consortium (RAC) based in the town of Evergreen. I am Station Research Coordinator Brandon Johnson.

Green Horizon is our equivalent of a Hikeyay test community and one of 56 that are distributed around the world. RAC’s mission is to develop means to rapidly restore and conserve natural habitat so that the global extinction rate can be reduced as much as possible. While this might help delay humanity’s demise, which many of us in RAC believe is imminent and unstoppable, our main focus is on the fates of other species and their abilities to change, and adapt to, the hellscape that ours is creating.

Like several of our stations, Green Horizon is home to 75 permanent residents who operate and maintain core infrastructure. Up to 50 more people intermittently visit during a typical year to perform specialized activities. Access and material flows are rigorously controlled to minimize the station’s ecological footprint and to ensure security of personnel and operations. The existence and use of the Interlink is the most closely held secret, known to only a few people, me included, based on affinity to the Mountain Sisterhood.

Analysis of our own situation has us considerably worried that revealing contact with other worlds (other than as a fictional narrative like this blog) could initiate attempts to control them, or worse, rather than peaceably learning from them. Those attempts would detract from, if not totally disable, the work that needs to be done to save our world and others. The activities of Sally the AI are particularly problematic in this regard, because her/it’s activities to expand the Interlink could possibly be interpreted as precursors to invasion if not direct efforts to control our world, triggering a defensive response with real, personal consequences. I mention this, not because we intend to cut off contact, but because this is a real threat that others might not have considered.

To the extent that we share a common nature, the success of Hikeyay in launching a global effort to confront its human extinction crisis provides a small but significant amount of hope that enough people can work together to avoid total catastrophe. We thank you for that and look forward to sharing what works and what doesn’t as we try to save those who cannot. 

Reality Check

Reminder: this is a fictional blog. There are no other (known) worlds communicating with each other. My intent - as with much of my writing - is to share my thoughts, speculation, and research about how we might understand and address the very real extinction crisis.

Considered but not included in this post is the following conceptual backstory of efforts by the fictional RAC. In reality, it is a summary of my recent research:

“Key to RAC’s mission is understanding what motivates living beings to take actions that benefit or harm themselves and others, beyond their basic biological imperatives. We have identified four types of interactions between individuals or groups of individuals, and between them and their environments. We call the types: isolation, competition, cooperation, and exploitation. Of these, exploitation most reliably increases extinction, especially when it involves creation and distribution of materials that can’t be processed in an ecosystem to support survival of its residents. Humans with our technologies are very effective at that kind of exploitation; and our societies tend to most reward people who enable it, because use of those materials allows them to maximize control over their own lives.”