Somewhere in Montevideo, summer of 2019
Vicky entered a side room of a busy bar. In the room she saw a couple of dozen people, most of them were male. Nevertheless the thirty-year old woman felt quite comfortable in their company, not in the last place because her fiancée was one of the leading figures of the group.
A few chairs were located behind a table, but most chairs were placed facing the table. Five people, four men and one woman, were sitting behind the table. One of them, with the name Asoke, smiled to Vicky. She smiled back, as the men was her fiancée, before she took one of the free-standing chair.
A few minutes later one of the men behind the table, called Gustav, stood up and said:
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this meeting of the Antarctic Colonization Society. With the invitation, you’ve received this meeting’s agenda. As you can see, the central item of this meeting is the establishment of our first settlement in 2020.”
After dealing with some more procedural items, Gustav gave the floor to Asoke.
“Good night everyone. As you all know the purpose of our organization is the establishment of a sovereign republic on Antarctica. However, founding a new state is not an easy task and though we want to claim all of Marie Byrd Land for our state, it won’t happen at once.
“Therefore we need to start small, with one settlement. It’s better to have one flourishing settlement than having several small settlement scattered across Marie Byrd Land. Once a functional colony is in place, then other settlements will be established.
“Only if there are several functional colonies are established across Marie Byrd Land, we’ll able to create an independent state successfully.” One person stood up and asked:
“By when do you intend to seek formal independence?” “We have to take into account that the Antarctic Treaty will expire in 2048. That would be a good moment to push for the formal establishment of the Republic of Antarctica,” Asoke replied.
“The Antarctic Treaty,” Gustav continued, “is the major challenge for the formal creation of a sovereign state on the southern continent. However, within certain restriction, the treaty does not prohibit private missions to Antarctica or the creation of private bases there.
“Hence our strategy is based on the factual occupation of Marie Byrd Land. As long as we comply with the treaty, we can easily work on creating a thriving society on Antarctica. Population is essential to our plans. There are a lot of ‘Antarctic states’ on the Internet, but none of those are realistic proposals.”
Another person raised a question.
“What about competing claims from other private groups?” “Most of them can be easily ignored as they are often one-man groups. Only a few of those groups can be taken seriously and the best way to deal with them is to cooperate with them. Nevertheless, we are the greatest of all Antarctic colonization movements in number, also we have the most realistic plans regarding the colonization of Antarctica.”
Thereafter Asoke got the floor again.
“Selecting a location is an important decision we have to take. For practical reasons we should not select a location too much inland. In general the closer to the coast, the better.
“Further the location should be accessible by boat. This because it’s less expensive to reach Antarctica by boat then by plane, and it also allows us to operate more secretly.
“Another criterion is that our settlement should not be too close to an existing base.” “Why?” someone asked. “We want to set up our colonies with as little outside interference as possible. We have to expect hostile reactions to our plans, there are a lot of people who believe that Marie Byrd Land or for that matter the whole of Antarctica belongs to the entire humanity.
“That’s one of the reason why our organization operates in the shadows, at least as much as possible. By attracting little attention, we will reduce the amount of opposition. That is one of the lessons we have learned from the Mars One deception.”
Another person from behind the table, known as Jaroslav, took the floor.
“The idea of colonizing Antarctica is supported by tens of thousands of people around the world, they are quite able to find our website. Therefore we do not need a large publicity campaign, as is demonstrated that our crowd funding campaign has already raised the money required to establish our first base.
“Consequently the time has come to act. The next one and a half year will be spent in preparing for the first mission. About twelve person will travel to Marie Byrd Land to establish a base, which will be to core of the first true settlement on Antarctica. Amy will now discuss what have to be done.”
The only woman who was sitting behind the table took the floor.
“Good night. Energy is the first concern for a successful settlement. Fortunately Antarctica is the windiest continent on this planet and hence wind-power is the most suitable source of energy.
“Wind-power has the benefit that small windmills can be purchased for a reasonable price. Though high windmills would produce more energy, the demands of a relatively small settlement could be met with a few small windmills.
“With a cheap and reliable source of electricity, much can be done. The settlement will be heated with electric heath-pumps. It might seem strange, but the Antarctic air does contain a great amount of heath, though it’s contained in a large volume. By concentrating that heath in a smaller volume, the temperature in that volume will rise.
“Water is another important issue on Antarctica. The polar continent is a desert, but one which is covered by ice. In fact two-thirds of all fresh water on this planet is stored on Antarctica. Polar ice will be our most important source of fresh water, nevertheless water recycling will be important.”
Vicky looked around her. She knew most people only be name, and in fact this was only the second time she attended a meeting of the Antarctic Colonization Society. The primary reason she joined this club, was that her fiancée was a member.
Though the idea of colonizing Antarctica did not have a great appeal to her, she did like the adventure which was associated with colonization. Also her future husband was eager to move to Marie Byrd Land, and Vicky wanted to stand by her man. So if he would go, she would join him.
To be continued.