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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Good New for Women and Habitat Recovery
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fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 30th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
It also means that we may not be able to adapt to the environment when it changes. I cover this in my Traipah novels: the planet Traipah was being badly mistreated, just as bad or worse than Earth now. Then one day there was a mass adaptation to all this. If not for some fast and potent action on the part of eco-friendly groups who knew how to use technology to work with the environment and were really good at genetic engineering, civilization would not have survived. As it was, one of the major races of the Ah'Koi Bahnis - the Ihg'Dahk (sort of like white people on Earth, but worse) - went exinct, and it took thousands of years to get adjusted enough to the environment before they started going back into space. But they didn't lose very much knowledge, thanks in part to those groups and also because the Ah'Koi Bahnis race has always had one thing in common: they all worship knowledge and ideas. Even if they don't agree with an idea, they don't burn books or kill/imprison intellectuals, like humans have been known to do.

As to how the planet adapted... well, the plants, animals, and the interesting planimals* already existed, but their breeding rates went up, some plants learned how to dissolve concrete and/or glass and were resistant to all herbicides (even using those herbicides against other plants), animals started breeding more and many developed poisons. Others, like the ny'ah'lah (which is akin to a crocodile but is a kind of flightless bird) just got bigger and nastier and harder to kill. Essentially, the planet declared war on civilization. Civilization just barely survived, and now there's a sort of stalemate.

* = planimals are creatures that create their own food via photosynthesis but eat animals for other nutrients. The most innocuous of these is the voong flower, which eat insects... but the wild variety will shoot poison darts at you if they feel threatened.
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