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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Urth's Power Grids
Date: Fri, 15 May 98 20:20:00 GMT

In developing my theories of Urth power grid monopolies, I also
tied-in that odd detail of Urth's utter lack of vulcanism (yet
another one of those flags suggesting deep futurity, and potentially
as misleading as "(naturally) dying sun") as a suggestion that the
geothermal grid was as tightly tapped as the improved tidal power
generation grid was (i.e., this is why Lune is closer to
Urth--precisely to generate enough tide to make tidal power

All highly speculative.

Impulse derived from the mechanics, economy, and ecology of
Severian's powers.  Abaia has big powers, where does he get the

which gave the energy outputs I'm listing)

The Soviet physicist Nikolai Kardashev came up with a theory of
three levels of interstellar civilization.

Type I civilizations (sometimes called "world level") are like us on
Earth now or slightly better.  They produce a total average power
output of 4x10^12 watts (4 TW [terrawatts]).

Type II civilizations (aka "star level") harness the power of a star,
around 4x10^26 watts.

Type III civilizations utilize energies of the entire galaxy,
4x10^37 watts.

(p. 67 of TERRAFORMING by Martyn Fogg)

Total Insolation
(top of atmosphere)    ~175,000 TW

Absorbed by atmosphere
and Converted into Heat ~82,000 TW

Stored in Hydrological
Cycle, Oceans and Ice   ~40,000 TW

Driving Circulation of
Winds, Waves, etc.         ~370 TW

Net Primary Productivity
(NPP) [plants as food]      ~90 TW

Geothermal Heat Flow        ~40 TW

Tidal Power from
Moon's Gravity               ~3 TW


Human control of NPP        ~20 TW

Primary Energy
Production                  ~10 TW

Food Consumption           ~0.5 TW

Twelve Hour
Nuclear War               ~1000 TW

So then, using these two models (Kardashev and Terrestrial Energy
Flows), I'm saying that Abaia and Erebus are using the 40,000 TW
"Stored in Hydrological Cycle, Oceans and Ice"; that someone further
down the foodchain is using the 40 TW "Geothermal Heat Flow" to the
point that vulcanism is "dead"; Tidal Power has been boosted and
utilized; etc.

So Urth is held below levels of Type I; the Other Lords (Abaia,
Erebus, and the rest) embody Type I; the inhabitants of Yesod are at
Type III and have put a probationary tire-lock ("the boot") on old Sol
to keep Urth from getting up to Type II; Severian gradually comes to
use star power, Type II, himself.

Now then, having writ all that, I answer your question: I don't know
if the Urth and Sol banks are giving Severian loans based upon great
expectations of a white hole.  It seems clear that Severian's healing
comes at great cost to himself; he cured Miles's fatal disease by
catching it and conquering it, for example, and the other healings
leave him cold and drained.  The more sinister dealings, like
swearing to the sun, are more murky--well, in that case he promptly
resurrected the uhlan, whereas possible energy flow at the executions
is disturbingly like that scene in the Soldier book where the old
Earth Mother Goddess becomes visible while licking up the human blood
on the altar.

These speculations move us beyond "Claw as dumb object"--the Claw
would appear to be a yes/no switch or a loan broker.  Then there are
the "banks" themselves, with loans approved by, I guess, angelic/demonic
spirits (futher down the chain-of-command from the hypothetical
Yesodic governors of the solar system--Och, Phaleg, etc.).


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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