The Dry Earth: Reversed Terraforming
After terraforming Mars quite a few times, I’ve now done the reverse thing: martifying Earth. What would our planet look like if all the water suddenly disappeared? Like a Pale Yellow Dot, a kind of cross-over between the Moon and Mars.
No, this is not a warning about the effects of global warming. Those are worrying enough, but in the short term they mainly mean that we have to deal with more instead of less water.
On the other hand: sometimes planets lose a lot of water in the course of their existence. Mars, for example, once had a complete ocean in the northern hemisphere and there is nothing left of it. Why and how all that water disappeared is still a mystery. It is very speculative to assume that a somewhat clumsy technological civilization has had something to do with it, but it cannot be ruled out completely.
Let’s just say it’s a fun thought experiment, this Dry Earth. Or perhaps a nice setting for a 120-episode Netflix series about the last survivors who fight each other for life and death. And at least a nice print to put on the wall, to look at and think from time to time: it’s so good that we have water.