Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson

where Mortality meets colonies, other unilateral actions, and authorial intents.

Termination Shock reads as a dark critique of projects which omit lifecycle planning, ie. where failing to plan is planning to fail. In the foreground is humanity's use of fuels and environment, while in the background are the failures of colonies to thrive post independence. Granted, politics militates against lifecycle analytics as the demands of the day trump those of the next century, let alone those of the next millenia. 1

For example, the book shows a future Earth's climate warming and the consequent polar ice melt threatening the lowlands of the world; a wealthy individual has taken matters into their own hands and started managing solar radiation by the stratospheric injection of sulphur dioxide. Of course, back in 2020 the International Maritime Organization banned sulfur-heavy/sour bunker fuel, which has been reducing the amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere. 2

Even if a lifecycle is envisioned, it's not always the case that enough will remains to see it through. The United States famously stopped expanding, and is still suffering through that termination shock. Likewise, this book could have been 300 pages longer with a successful shutdown of the West Texas facility, which then could have then made sense of the attack on the Maeslantkering and the sea foam fatalities.