The biosphere is nearly dead, it’s time for an intervention.


In my twenty years of watching the biosphere die, I have yet to be convinced that there is anyone, or any agency, that has the capacity to substantially adjust the trajectory of human civilisation.

In the absence of this home-grown influence, we are going to need outside help. This is the basis of my novel, Intervene.

In the story, a special agent is sent to Earth on a ten year mission to restructure the global economy to make it sustainable. Officially, he is a billionaire from Ukraine, but he is actually a trillionaire from Parrathea, and his real name is Zem.

Zem’s first task is to recover the 15 mega-tonnes of ruthenium alloy that his people have deposited on the seabed. The ruthenium alloy is a high-temperature superconductor, and Zem, the spaceman, sells this to raise the $20 trillion that he needs to fund his work.

Zem also has  a strain of algae that produces prodigious amounts of oil. This algae oil can replace petroleum oil. He sets up joint ventures with oil companies: they write of their drilling and production infrastructure, and instead, use the carbon neutral algae oil.

This is all going swimmingly until the oilman Tom Wayward starts running interference. Fortunately, Zem has been trained to handle the likes of Tom Wayward.

But he never got taught about Earth women. So, when his personal assistant – a feisty red-head called Megan – decides that she wants his attention, Zem gets right out of his depth.

Will Zem save the planet, get the girl and deal with the oil man?  Read Intervene, to find out 🙂

I wrote Intervene for a few reasons. First, I wanted to highlight the fact that it is possible to transform the global economy in ten years and that it would cost something in the order of $20 trillion dollars.

Secondly, I wanted to highlight that algae oil is an viable replacement to petroleum oil, except that the technology is not yet as advanced as it needs to be to compete on cost and be produced in sufficient volume.

The third reason for writing Intervene was to highlight the fact the global oil industry is the major impediment to the advancement of human civilisation. And while we talk about the industry as a monolith, it is actually driven by individuals who have names and hold roles such as CEO, Chairman, Director, C-Suite etc. These people are the new public enemies of every living thing on our planet and ought to be treated as such.

(Okay, I also wrote Intervene so that I could investigate the dramatic tension between a lusty, binge-drinking red-head and a special forces agent from another planet.)

Of course, the takeaway message of Intervene is that there is no spacemen coming to save us, and if we want a rapid transition to sustainable energy, we are all going to have to intervene, ourselves.


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