Reynard wrote:By broken I mean the mess we've made of the land, sea and atmosphere. We've terraformed it to it's present state with melting ice caps and subsequent ocean rise, changing rivers and lakes, desertification and growing severe weather patterns. We should be able to reverse this and that's also a minor terraforming. No one wants to because of the costs in money and resources. If we can't pay to have Earth habitable again, why would we spend much greater amounts of a dried up ball millions of miles away? Why would we worry about terraforming in other star systems?
This is why terraforming in Traveller need a VERY good reason and I usually don't see the need even when it becomes probable at TL 15 when major terraforming, not global terraforming, technology as well as advancements in the fields of Robotics, Medical and energy makes it commercially feasible. By commercially feasible I mean Mega-corporations and subsector or larger government agencies.
Or Grandfather with a bit of spare time.
Where do you live exactly? All I know is some people say the ice caps are melting, I haven't seen the ocean levels rise, we have to take the "experts" word that the ice caps are melting, cause we can't see it for ourselves, and seeing how the ice caps aren't melted yet, the Earth isn't broke yet either, and for most of Earth's history it didn't have ice caps, or at least not ice caps on land. In order for ice caps to be on land, a landmass has to be positioned over one of the poles, this was not always the case, and if the ice caps are sitting on water, melting them doesn't raise the ocean levels, it is only ice that melts on land that does this. Even if the land ice caps do melt, this isn't a big deal, the Earth has been warmer in the past, way warmer! The Earth could get considerably warmer and still have life, so I wouldn't consider it broken. Venus is broken, Mars is broken, if you need to wear an environmental suit, then the planet does not support human life. I don't know about you, but I walked outside on many occasion without wearing a space suit.
Do humans alter the climate, sure, but then so does every other life form on the planet. Humans are part of the ecosystem, and the ecosystem always changes, it is not static, the Earth is always adjusting to new life and the extinction of old life. Without a series of environmental catastrophes, humans would never have evolved. If that asteroid did not strike the Earth, dinosaurs wouldn't have been wiped out and humans wouldn't have evolved.
As for deliberately trying to alter the environment, the Earth is a very complex ecosystem, I don't think we would know what we were doing if we tried, we could wipe out a number of species just by trying to prevent global warming, we could over do it for example and create an ice age. One idea for example is we could park a comet between the Earth and the Sun, the Comet's coma would block some of the Sunlight, and the coma of a comet can be huge! I'd say it would be better to mess with Mars and Venus, for those planets are already messed up and we can't really make them worse.
Oh by the way the entry for Venus mentions there are Ancient Ruins on Venus Remember the original Movie Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger? What if it was an Ancient Terraforming Kit, how might it work? Open up a wormhole to Saturn, let its hydrogen atmosphere mix with Venus, break apart the carbon dioxide, oh by the way Saturn's atmosphere is cold, by mixing it with Venus's this will go a considerable way towards cooling the planet, the hydrogen will combine with the free oxygen produced by the separation of carbon from carbon-dioxide, and oceans would form, lastly the artifact has to create a permanent could layer of dust in the upper atmosphere to reflect the excess sunlight back into space so Venus can remain cool indefinitely, one this is all done, the wormholes shut and you have a terraformed planet, Now if this happened in the classic Traveller setting, I'm sure the inhabitants of Terra would be quite alarmed if his happened quickly, say within a year for instance. Nanotech would then create vegetation and spread life forms over the planet's surface.