Climate Catastrophes (Earth)
The First Exodus (c. 2150)
By the middle of the 22nd Century, the average surface temperature of planet Earth had climbed to approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The causes were numerous and cascading: the receding of glaciers and disappearance of ice caps reduced the earth’s albedo, causing the planet to absorb more solar energy; melting permafrost released long-trapped methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as CO2; and even in the face of impending catastrophe, the worlds’ governments proved incapable of any but the most incremental measures.
But humanity, as it is wont to do, adapted. Advances in materials science enabled the construction of enormous carbon-fiber environment domes; these habitats were lightweight, incredibly strong, and remarkably easy to construct. All of the industrialized nations began frantically building temperature-controlled domes to house their entire populaces. Less-advanced countries had to make do with more primitive materials, such as iron and concrete.
Billions died, of course, victims of rising sea levels, exotic new diseases, food scarcity – all of the usual culprits. Millions more fled Earth any way they could. These refugees joined pioneers who had already established a vast network of space stations in Earth’s orbit, a colony on the harsh surface of Mars, and the famously decadent cities floating in the atmosphere of Venus. Most of these settlements welcomed the refugees with open arms. Thanks to the last century’s perfection of asteroid mining and helium-3 fusion, none of these frontier colonies lacked for resources and energy; what they hungered for was manpower. The First Exodus came at the perfect time, and humanity's extraterrestrial footholds flourished.
Life on Earth, meanwhile, reached a new equilibrium. Humans would no longer see the sky except through the visor of an envirosuit, but the vast majority of the species escaped destruction. Life went on under the domes. Until, of course, the domes failed.
The Second Exodus (2206)
In all of human history, there is no name so reviled as that of Leon Hendricks.