The roots of the Human Diaspora lie in the ecological devastation suffered on Old Earth from the nineteenth through the twenty-second century anno domini (AD). By 2135, Old Earth’s surface was all but abandoned. A traveler from the twentieth century would not have recognized the world as their own had they visited early twenty-second century Earth. The planet was dying, and in another fifty years, it would be all but inhabitable. By this time, humanity had established biospheric colonies on Luna and Mars. The first of the O’Neill Cylinders was commissioned in 2057 AD by Lila Chen and David Brinson. It housed over forty thousand men, women, and children, as well as a menagerie of Earth-native creatures. In 2135 AD, seven million people lived in O’Neill Cylinders alone.
This was but the beginning of the Diaspora. Terraforming commenced in 2095. Much of the data on the science and the technology of this process has been lost in the intervening centuries, but this much is clear: there was a sense of urgency amongst the people of Old Earth, a realization that what they had tried to do to save their dying planet came too little, too late. The last recorded human departure from Old Earth was in 2153. A ship of twenty-seven men and women from a city called Vancouver lifted on a September morning en route for the Mars Colony at Prima Sulis. The Europa and Ganymede colonies were established just three years later. Within another hundred years, the inner ring of the Solar system was abandoned. Humanity, like a cloud of locusts seeking food, was on the move.
The humans who began the Diaspora and the generations preceding them made many mistakes. They are mistakes we continue to make today, with our rapacious use of resources, the bleeding of our worlds dry ecologically. If we do not learn from these mistakes, we are doomed to repeat those of our forbearers. This is not a lesson we can afford to ignore.