The Bottleneck Years

by H.E. Taylor

A Gentle Introduction


The term 'Bottleneck' refers to the ecological crisis humans are experiencing as resource limits, climate change, species extinction and environmental degradation, exacerbated by population pressure, make daily life more difficult for increasingly large numbers of people.

The term has been in the air for some time, but one reference to it would be E.O Wilson, _The Future of Life_ [ISBN: 0-679-76811-4] page xxiii: "The race is now on between the technoscientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. We are inside a bottleneck of overpopulation and wasteful consumption."

There is currently a degree of controversy and denial, primarily driven by vested interests, about the reality of the crisis. I hope I am wrong, but I think we are in for a severe shit kicking. I think that in the coming years, probably after it is too late to do anything significant to avoid it, there will be a general recognition of the gravity of the situation in which we have placed ourselves. These will be the Bottleneck Years proper.


The novel _The Bottleneck Years_ is a sketch of the next 75 years of human history. The story is told through the journal of a scientist, Luc Fontaine.

Luc is one of a set of identical triplets born in 2030 to a famous family. His mother who was a singer, died when the boys were young. His father, Robert, is a grumpy old ecologist known for his work in the changing Arctic. One brother, Matt, is a businessman, and the other, Jon, is a politician. Luc is an anti-romantic, anti-heroic type who is known for an unusual form of photosynthesis he discovered.

Projections of political, economic, scientific and social change are, by and large, in the background. Climate change and rising sea levels have triggered mass migration, conflict and widespread starvation. Hunger is globally endemic. Peak oil has made energy expensive, leading to the contraction of international trade and the tendency for continents to coalesce politically. After the collapse of the American Empire and a Second American Revolution, the world is a different place.

The definitive action begins in 2055, when a major climate feedback begins in the Arctic. Large volumes of methane gas are being released into the atmosphere due to ocean warming. World leaders realize that climate change, which has already been disastrous, is about to get a lot worse. The United Nations GeoEngineering Task Force [UNGETF] is formed and Luc becomes a member.

From Luc's vantage point in UNGETF, we see the battle to prevent climate catastrophe unfold.

The Legalities

_The Bottleneck Years_ by H.E. Taylor
ISBN: 978-0-9881321-0-8
Copyright (2012) by H.E. Taylor

The novel will be available in PDF and EPUB when I get it together.

Further sections:

"We have before us a most grievious ordeal. Failure is not an option. We must learn how to run this Spaceship Earth for the good of all its inhabitants or we shall surely perish. And the first commandment shall be, 'Thou shalt not destroy thy life support system.'" -Robert Fontaine

Last modified June 29, 2013