Northeast Atlanta Gaming

May 28, 2016

Luna: New Moon, and how it could affect the future Western world.

Filed under: Books — foodnearsnellville @ 8:47 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ok, I’m going to use this article to discuss Ian McDonald’s Luna: New Moon, and work through some notions the novel may never get to. Luna is a kind of “Game of Thrones” in space, with five powerful families duking it out over the Moon’s wealth. At the end of the novel – yes, there are spoilers here – tools that are de facto mass drivers are used to destroy existing Helium 3 processing plants. The whole Moon economy is thrown into disarray as family feuds escalate to an almost warlike state.

You know, sort of what Saddam Hussein did to Kuwait.

And my reaction, having grown up in a Western country, and seen what Western countries do to people who control, oh clove supplies, or canals, or the other canal, or oil (see here, here, and here), is to think someone on the moon is cruising for a bruising.

So the question at hand is, what would it take for the Earth to take over enough of the moon to eliminate the threat of Joe Psychopath from mass driving existing He 3 processing plants to death? Or for that matter, the Earth if they get in his way?

Assume a colony exists, is doing well, is much smaller than Earth physically, and much smaller in economic size than the Earth.

Part of the issue with a lunar colony that has mass driver technology is that the gravity well for Earth is much larger than that of the moon. As Robert Heinlein pointed out in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, enough mass drivers in place and they could easily deliver unacceptable damage just by tossing big rocks at the Earth.

So if the Earth were stupid, and had no defenses against mass driver assaults, it would just have to give up. But we are assuming aggressive Western countries here, with full blown spying resources, some space capabilities, energy sources (H, He 4, U, Pu, solar, etc) that are independent of He 3, and are pretty frickin’ mad.

That’s item one. Item 2 is I don’t see why the social media of today wouldn’t exist in much greater fashion in the time period of Luna, and that video of the attacks would be all over the place. Twitter, or its replacement, would be buzzing and the instigators would have the worst press in the whole world. They’ve killed plenty of people over a busted wedding, mind you.

Second, I suspect the Western world would have spy satellites situated close to the moon and would be watching everything. Amateur astronomers with tracking scopes could probably have filmed a good part of the action as well.

I don’t think the guilty parties could lie their way out of this.

So, I’m a AWG (aggressive western country) and so what do I do?

First I demonize my opponents. I would have them declared terrorists, and claim their monetary and physical assets within my reach, out to low Earth orbit. That alone may be enough to stop the madness, but as this is a hypothetical exercise, we’ll continue. A war, though it risks plenty lives, can serve as an economic boost, and wars tend to make those that declare them politically popular.

The moon would be blockaded. Nothing from Earth flows to the Moon. Anything from the Moon is confiscated. This includes routine data transmissions. You don’t want the Moon messing with financial instruments during a time like this.

The moon would be cyber attacked. If the moon has a million or two folks, the Earth, by this time, has in excess of 30 billion people. For every genius on the Moon, there are 30,000 geniuses on the Earth.

I take my time extending my reach. I secure low Earth orbit. I make sure I can deflect mass driver attacks.  I secure or destroy anything at L1. I want to control stable lunar orbital locations, and from a military perspective, those are the Lagrange points L1, L2, L4 and L5. I then take L4 and L5. I then clear out L2, and set up spy satellites there.

I then do not put troops on the moon, I circle the moon with semi autonomous drones, the space equivalent of Predators. For surface operations, the modern equivalent of a drone tank would be used. And then slowly, steadily, I destroy their mass drivers, or take them over.

Peace would be contingent on Earth control of every lifting system. Helium 3 would only go through AWG controlled mass drivers. Anyone attacking He 3 plants would be ruthlessly destroyed. What government the moon forms otherwise, is really not of the AWG’s concern.

That’s the plan, in outline. Comments and other notes certainly appreciated.




September 29, 2010

“The Iron Cavalry” by Ralph Zumbro

Filed under: Armor,Books — foodnearsnellville @ 12:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

I like this book. At times, scenes are imagined but there is a wealth of detail and a refreshing, sassy tone to the book that makes it accessible to those of us in the modern age. In terms of history, it gets better as it goes along; the more modern the era the more compelling the narrative is.

Definitely worth looking for in the used section of the local bookstore, or perhaps Amazon.

August 30, 2010

“Chariots of the Desert”, by David Eshel

I’ve read a number of books about the various parts of this conflict, and I’m looking hard for a first person account of the Six Day War I read as a teen (all I can recall are bits and pieces, though). This book came recommended somewhere. It could be Tanknet, it could just be on the dozens of forums I’ve read looking for tank stats. This book though has to be  the best narrative that focuses on the development of the Israeli Tank Corps. It is particularly useful to the historian or wargamer in its wealth of detail. It lists all the  tanks used by the Israelis and then discusses the tanks they faced. A good appendix covers the T-62, for example.

As far as I know, the book is not in print, but is relatively easy to find as a used copy in the usual places, such as

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