“Programming error,” Sybille suggested tentatively. She never made errors, but this data was surely impossible.

“Reprogram and run the probe again?” Andre and I nodded in agreement.

Second, third and fourth time, we got the same results.

“We have to accept that this data is correct.” The three of us looked at each other in amazement. Our Earth 3000 Probe was a success. We had developed a tiny robot that could travel through time, sending back data and pictures of our future without affecting the balance of life on the planet.

“Pristine air,” I read the data analysis in wonder. “No sign of any trapped greenhouse gases. Zero pollutants, zero particulate matter.”

“I’ll take it, Johann!” Sybille laughed. “A perfect atmosphere.” We looked to Andre for the bad news, but he was also in a state of awe.

“The oceans are thriving.” Andre showed us all the vital signs. Significant cooling, coral reefs blooming in dazzling colors, healthy aquatic life.

Which green technologies had saved us? The pictures that were now pouring in would give us our answers.

“Luscious trees and flowers everywhere. Orchards heavy with blossoms and fruit. Clear, sparkling lakes and rivers. Returning birds and animals we thought were gone forever.”

The pictures were making us homesick for a world we could barely remember.

“But … not a single windmill, solar panel, geothermal unit or electric car anywhere.”

“In fact, no cars of any kind. No energy production. No transportation.”

We were all silent, realizing the same thing.

“No humans,” Sybille finally whispered.

A collective shudder went through our group, then gradually turned into smiles of sad resignation.

We three were the only ones on the planet who knew about Earth 3000. We had guarded all knowledge from leaking beyond our tiny circle. The hundreds who worked for us only knew their own piece of the massive puzzle.

And now the secret must die with us. Tomorrow we would destroy all equipment and evidence, return to our precious lives. I stared at the pictures of Paradise one last time, committed them to memory, then wiped the incoming disk clean.

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 month ago

I felt the relief of those scientists when they discover the planet recovering from the abuse humans have inflicted for so long. I felt their dismay at realising that that the future holds no place for any of us. I wonder if anybody would have believed them and listened to their warning if they’d had made their results public…
Powerful story, Julie!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 month ago

That certainly made me shiver, Julie. How wonderfully you describe Earth 3000… if only we humans could be there to enjoy it. A well told and extremely thought-provoking story.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

Let’s hope, as you say in another comment, that there still is help underway, Julie. But as it seems right now, results are pointing towards more problems in the future. It’s easy to be pessimistic when people with most power and influence deny the facts science show us. You have painted a believable futuristic scenario, where the “solution,” in a contradictory way, is the destruction of humans since we are our own… Read more »

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
1 month ago

This is an interesting and powerful story. A planet with no humans, at least no technological humans, may be the only way to regenerate the sort of picture of a future world that you’re imagining. I’m trying to imagine why these scientist destroy their evidence. Do they want to save everyone else from knowing their ultimate fate so they can enjoy their time remaining, or do they want to prevent everyone else… Read more »

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

Julie, so glad that you describe such a beautiful picture of the future. Obvious, why man is not present- he would ruin the Earth again.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
Reply to  Julie Harris
1 month ago

Julie, could you please tell me which no fee websites, you write for. Thank you.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

It is a very powerful and spine-chilling story. It also makes me shiver. I feel so sad to know that more climate problems in the future will happen and that none of us will survive until Earth 3000. A well-told story of the future. Well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Julie Harris
20 days ago

Count me in turning things around.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 month ago

A well-crafted story, Julie. Thank you for the positive projections on the Earth.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
29 days ago

Julie, what a sad twist to be faced with the realization that what saved the earth was the loss of humans. Their “collective shudder” came through the story to me. It was a kindness of them not to share this knowledge with the current population. Only Sybille could predict this.

Deborah Goulding
Deborah Goulding(@deborah-goulding)
26 days ago

A thought provoking story. I loved it! Very well described!

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