The great ship of civilisation is slowly sinking in the ocean; the band continues to play victory marches; the ships officers are busy swatting flies, the crew are bailing out water using egg cups: resolutely refusing assistance from a passing nuclear ship. It's a chilling thought that this may be the final century. The evidence is without question: leading scientists have spelled out the danger time and time again. World leaders hold meetings and talk about it. (recently in Montreal) We're all in it together. That in itself is frightening because the threat from global warming can only be solved if we, the people, and all world leaders, act together. There has never before, in the long history of humankind, been such an emergency. Our future is in our own hands. Fossil fuels - oil, coal and natural gas - have got to go; otherwise, the human race will become extant in horrific circumstances. Ron Bergin, one time professor of science at Harvard University, has struggled for forty years to convince the powers that fossil fuels must be replaced by safe energy.
Solar, wind energy, hydroelectric and bio are safe but, at best, can provide no more than thirty per cent of our increasing demand for energy. There is only one source of safe energy that can adequately replace fossil fuels: nuclear energy. Ron Bergin believes that the world can be saved, but at a horrific cost to human lives. Seventy four, in bad health, he asks his friend, Alex Purtzel, a nuclear physicist, to implement a plan devised over a number of years by highly programmed robots. Time is running out. Will it succeed? If it does, what kind of world will emerge?