The Rubicon Effect

by Roy Dimond

Two seemingly unrelated events will soon affect the entire world!

Born into poverty and raised on the mean streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the new leader of the Holy Church intends to bring the church kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

While at the same time, the death of the Venezuelan President has opened the door to a new, rising political star and her plan is to inspire an entire world.

The Pope finds himself cleverly trapped in a web from which he cannot escape, when the Republican nominees for President and Vice President of the United States of America propose a horrific solution.

However, two visionaries: a mysterious Elder from the Andes Mountains, who calls himself Older Brother, and an environmentalist, see another way…

Unfortunately, the time to act is running out. Mother Nature may have crossed the Rubicon and there is no turning back. The Apocalypse, the End of Days has arrived and humanity is to be judged.


Chapter One


Kyoto, Japan

December 11, 1997


Sam Albright wandered the manicured gardens and religious temples of Kyoto for two straight days. Confident in his scientific findings, he didn’t allow fools and doubts into his life. However, two days of roaming the meditative gardens did not soothe his thoughts. Indecision was not for him.

He celebrated the world’s coming together and acknowledging global warming. One hundred and eighty countries discussed an issue that until today was considered voodoo science, a convenient fantasy created by environmentalists. How could he come to terms with the elation of seeing science finally validated, not by a few but by an entire world, yet know unequivocally that the goals that came from Kyoto were doomed to failure? The world’s newspapers all announced that thirty-eight industrialized countries had agreed to cut greenhouse emissions by five point two percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012. What the headlines did not reveal was that it was never going to happen.

As a pragmatist, Sam realized and deplored that the political will to attain these goals was absent. To reach those markers, lost jobs meant lost votes. Yes, every study ever done had shown those who lost their jobs could be retrained and therefore find employment in the new economy. Car salesmen could sell solar panels just as easily as the internal-combustion engine. However, the little secret those politicians knew was that change meant a shift of political loyalties. The status quo might be upset, so why would those in power do anything to cause that?

Having these countries cut carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride was not like asking the junkie to give up heroin, but more like asking their dealers to voluntarily take a cut in profits for the good of the world. It wasn’t going to happen.

The world’s largest polluter, the United States, arrogantly declined to sign the agreement. Sam understood that when February 16, 2005 rolled around, the finger-pointing and petty bickering between nations would begin. That was the date that the Kyoto Accord was to go into effect. Between now and 2005, very little would actually change. However, on the good side, Kyoto had happened, ending the debate of whether global warming was real or not. Climate change was now accepted as fact.

Sam stared hard at the giant red maple leaves falling upon the perfectly manicured gray sand of the Zen garden. All around the contemplative grounds, a thousand years of moss carpeted temples and trees, inducing a silence that only time and nature could create. As a scientist, he knew baby steps were good and maybe the only substantial way to move forward. Accept the Accord, have it fail, then have the predictable finger pointing, and accept another Accord, always pushing in the direction of saving the environment.

Maybe that was how the human species accomplished anything. They had not gotten into this predicament overnight. It had taken a few thousand years. Once the Industrial Revolution began, however, a movement was accelerated that inevitably led to this time and place. Sam also knew something that was not included in the equation and never mentioned in Kyoto.

What if a Second Industrial Revolution occurred? It could happen if the right circumstances fell into place. If China, India, and most of the third world countries all took on some form of capitalism at the same time, and if those economies forged ahead, the price paid in pollution would be catastrophic.

The failed policies of Communism had been good for ‘Mother Nature’. Industry never reached its full potential, but if capitalism took hold everywhere, then unrestrained industries would make the Kyoto Accord null and void. It would be too late to stop the inevitable disaster.

It helped that China was against capitalism—at least on the surface and, although India had dabbled in the free market economy, it was too unwieldy a giant to set a course and follow it. Imagine if all those people who now rode bicycles could afford an automobile. He doubted all the little third-world societies would ever affect the global economy.

Time was still on the planet’s side, but the environmentalist in Sam sensed the clock ticking.

He took a deep breath of pure clean air and remembered why he had become a scientist. At six foot two and unable to jump, he had never been prime basketball material. His knee operations, slow reflexes, and inconsistent outside shot all led him towards science. If not for those small details, he could have been in the National Basketball Association. Granted, not many professional basketball players were drafted out of MIT, but he could at least dream.

Science had always fascinated him. Even as a twelve year old, his analytical mind was fascinated with the Mayan civilization. At that age when boys were interested in dinosaurs and girls fascinated by horses, Sam Albright imagined himself as a Mayan warrior. He read books and talked to his dad, a clerk in a bank with a clever mind that was always searching for a good mystery. Together, they had learned about the Mayan civilization and the accuracy of its famous calendar, a calendar centuries ahead of its time, more accurate than the yet-to-be-invented European Gregorian version, and completely dependable for harvests many hundreds of years into the future.

Even as a youngster practicing foul shots in his driveway, his mind was lost to the Mayan culture. To replicate the pressure of a game, while standing before the hoop in his backyard, he fantasized thousands of Mayans watching, their heads bejeweled in colorful feathers and bright beads. With war clubs in hand and their faces painted blood red, they demanded he make the shot. Strange war cries heckled his concentration. A missed shot meant that Sam Albright would be taken up the temple steps, where he and his head would part company. After the ball inevitably rattled off the rim and bounced away, he imagined that it was his head that rolled down the driveway. It was those late afternoon practice sessions in his backyard, as well as the mind-expanding conversations with his dad, that led him away from basketball and towards science.

Now, in the intimacy of this Zen rock and sand garden, Sam contemplated perfection. His analytical mind studied what disturbed him. The Accord had happened, which was a good thing but doomed to failure, a bad thing. Yin and Yang, good and bad, one needing the other for existence.

Like waves on a great sea, the meticulously raked sand held his imagination. A flat sentinel stone and two smaller vertical rocks were purposely placed, encouraging the observer to contemplate what was there and what was not. Within this shrine, he could not lie about what really caused his conflict. The most important meeting in the history of the world, the Kyoto Accord had chosen the year 2012 for the countries to meet their quotas. He smiled, realizing that was the exact year that the Mayan calendar ended.

Inspired by the meticulously raked garden, his thoughts grew darker. His youthful fascination with Mayans had inspired him as an adult to explore most of South America. The Inca culture had led him to several visits to Machu Picchu, and those ruins had led to the strange man who had slipped a jade key into his hand. It was no longer than three inches and shaped like a jaguar.

The old man’s skin looked so wrinkled and leather-tough that Sam could not guess his age. He discounted the one hundred and ten years the spry gentleman claimed. Still, he saw something in the old man’s eyes which spoke truth.

When they struck up a conversation in the shadows of the UNESCO World Heritage ruins, Sam had thought he was talking to a fellow tourist, but when the man grasped his arm and guided him through tunnels closed to tourists and opened doors only caretakers could, Sam realized this gentleman was someone of authority.

The old man stopped beside the crumbling wall of a small veranda and stood unseen by the thousand tourists who believed they took in every part of the archeological wonderland. This veranda was not on any guided tour and was out of sight, yet had an open view of the main courtyard. Sam imagined Incan royalty observing Machu Picchu from it.

Here Sam learned the elder was called “Older Brother,” and called Sam “Younger Brother.”

Now, standing in one of Kyoto’s most historic gardens, Sam touched the jade key he always wore. On this day, the Kyoto Accord finally sanctified all of his hard work and beliefs, Sam stared at the green jaguar and wished he had never heard the old gentleman’s prophecy for humanity.

The Rubicon Effect by Roy Dimond



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