What would have happened to Earth and the Human race if Vulcans never made first contact with Humani

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Acenos, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Acenos

    Acenos Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Specifically, the Vulcans not detecting the warp signature from Cochrane's Phoenix Warpship.

    Would Humanity go extinct from environmental damage? Would their civilization (permanently) regress back to a pre-industrial society and likely continue it's legacy of barbarism and savagery ad infinitum?
     
  2. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I like the idea put forward in "The Tears of Eridanus" that without the Vulcans around we'd just end up meeting up with another alien race at some point. There it was the Andorians and we were a founding member of the Interstellar Union, an Andorian focused counterpart to the Federation.
    Or there's the version of First Contact from the novel "Federation" where Cochrane himself went to the stars and met with the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri. Even though this story is non-canon I feel something similar would have happened eventually in the Trekverse whether Cochrane or people inspired by him years or decades after. The Valiant and Connestoga were launched only a few years after Phoenix so there had to be some kind of infrastructure on Earth still operating somewhere, it can't just be all due to the Vulcans, although their presence probably helped move things along.
    Riker's line about 600 million dead and all major cities destroyed probably needs to be considered alongside all the evidence of pre-WW3 buildings still seen standing in all the episodes or films of Trek set on Earth. San Francisco and Paris still have major landmarks standing, I'm gonna guess Into Darkness had a bunch of contemporary London buildings still standing. Maybe it wasn't as bad as Riker made out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Cochrane sells warp drive just as he was planning on doing, and likewise goes and retires to some tropical island populated by beautiful scantily clad women.
    #genesvision
     
  4. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eventually humans would meet another race. If Vulcan did not have interstellar engines is different than they did not examine Cochran's flight. Might have made FC later.
     
  5. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    Landmarks can be rebuilt though, as has happened in, for example, many European cities after WW II.
    Or Hrioshima Castle, for example.
     
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  6. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But first contact might have been more like "nineteenth contact," and the place that Vulcans held in Human society would have been consideribly reduced.

    If the Vulcans did hold Humans back (Archer's complaint), this might never have happen, with Humans well established in interstellar activities before the Vulcans could have had any say in the matter.
     
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  7. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    The Klingons invade....
     
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  8. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Vulcans must have helped in the cleanup and rebuilding. Otherwise there's not a chance in hell that all those cities could be rebuilt - in less than a century, no less.

    Not only does it take years to construct even one building even today, but after a global nuclear war (which I can only assume Trek's WW3 was)? No way.

    I mean, you can't rebuild if there's nothing left to rebuild WITH...
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  9. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Vulcan ambassador in a conversation with Admiral Forrest said that the Vulcans were basically amazed at the speed of Earth's recovery, especially in comparison to Vulcan's recovery historically from a similar war. That sounds like the Vulcans had a somewhat minor part to play in Earth's recovery.
     
  10. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Mestral helped humanity...
     
  11. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With their populations killed, why would there be a rush to rebuild cities, I mean who going to live in them? Cities would be built as needed, over time, or not at all.
     
  12. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    The Vulcans most likely helped, why wouldn't they? Likely they aided humanity in harvesting resources from the asteroid belt and other places in the Solar System. Landmarks might have even been a priority to be rebuilt/recreated after a stable infra-structure and, at least, temporary shelter for the bulk of the populations were established, in order to lift spirits and raise morale (that was also something that happened in some cities after WW II. Also even completely ruined cities recovered pretty quickly after WW II).
    Plus there's also the possibility that cities we didn't see in ENT being in a worse shape still.

    Then, there's of course the idea that the various Trek shows are in a "broad strokes" canon between each other. So in the TNG continuity works under the idea that WW3 was a devastating, global nuclear with 600 million dead, most major cities destroyed and most governments collapsed. No way or point in explaining that away.
    Whether that gels with the ENT continuity is not of great importance, imho.


    600 million dead would account for a bit more than a third of city-dwellers in 2016 (1,7 billion), assuming that the number of city dwellers had very likely risen by the time WW3 broke out and that at least a portion of the causalities *must* have been inhabitants of the country side and smaller cities/towns (indeed farmland might have been targeted on purpose by some factions in the war to destabilize the economy and morale of their enemy/enemies), that still leaves a sizable amount of city-dwelling survivors.
     
  13. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And perhaps this is the reason why Vulcan held Earth back as shown in ENT. Payback for services rendered?
     
  14. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Captain Captain

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    I think humanity would still have united and rebuilt, but it would have been initially slower. Space exploration would have proceeded at a slower pace at first, but might have accelerated later on.
    The galactic geopolitical situation would likely be very different, but I think that by the 24th century, humanity would be at roughly the same point technologically.

    I also think the Xindi attack wouldn't have happened.
     
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  15. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lets face it, we're heading towards making Earth unlivable now. After a devastating nuclear world war, without outside assistance then there's going to be nothing left of humanity.
     
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  16. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's fair but let's say London was one of the cities destroyed, would someone go to all the trouble to rebuild some of the newer buildings that we can see in Into Darkness, like the Gherkin. Or maybe some just got missed in the blast and that explains why all the skylines have a bunch of newer buildings mixed in with the old. When I think of a city being destroyed I was thinking of everything being obliterated but maybe that's not accurate.
    I stole this idea off someone here but maybe the Vulcans just used their fancy tech to remove all the radiation so humans could just start the rebuilding process straight away. I wondered about them giving Earth some basic form of replicator. In the First Contact first draft script the Vulcans helped us build one which helped feed the starving and led us out of the dark age.
     
  17. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Makes sense if in less than, was it 60 years, humanity had no more nasty isms and poverty had ended.
     
  18. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    Well no, a city being destroyed doesn't necessary mean that every building has been evaporated. And as I showed above the 600 million (again, assuming all the victims were city dwellers, which they surely weren't) would account for only about a third of city dwellers, so it would even be possible that London saw less destruction or was heavily hit with weapons that harm the population but are easier on the buildings. And there's things in our own world like the people of Gdansk restoring the city's historical old town decades after it had burned down in WW II (and here it only was decades after because restoring historical buildings was sometimes discouraged in the Soviet controlled states.
    But as I said above, I don't think exact series-to-series (in this case the TNG continuity and the Kelvin-verse continuity) is not that important, especially if you consider that Into Darkness takes place in an alternate timeline and was created long after FC.
    A broad -strokes approach is, to me, more elegant than "this character lied/exaggerated for no reason" or "this character was talking out of his ass and nobody cared to correct him"
    When the movie was made Riker's words were clearly intended to be the truth, and so they are for the continuity of TNG.
     
  19. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    If they ever reboot First Contact or the idea of a WW3 in the franchise, stating the number in the billions would be more realistic than in the millions, 600 million dead is less than the population of Europe, if everyone in Europe died after a global war, the rest of the world would still keep going.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see rebuilding as much of an issue. The world has been in ruins many times ITRW already, and if anything, WWII was a case of the easiest rebuild of all history - we had surplus technology galore, and cities were up and running basically overnight, it taking just a couple of months to re-establish basic infrastructure (water, electricity, plumbing) in many places, and a few years to erect the buildings again.

    600 million casualties combined with all the big cities being in ruins is a perfect combination IMHO: the qualifying limit for "big city" could very well be 10 million inhabitants, the world could well have 60 of those at the time, semi-rural places like London or New York would not qualify, and the damage would essentially be limited to said big cities. Perhaps the reason there is no China in Star Trek is because the sixty cities were all theirs?

    No need for Vulcan help in rebuilding. And no evidence that they would have helped in any major way. From ENT, it seems they run a game of client states, maintaining a sphere of influence without overtly taking charge or directly providing support. But there's no real evidence that they would have held back, either - that's just young Nat Archer's misreading of the situation, something his dad would cringe at whenever the annoying kid brought it up. There could have been plenty of small-scale assistance, cures for cancer, antigravity belts in pretty Slaver boxes, good advice on how to proceed logically. But common folks would just see the lack of unobtainium ore shipments in the sky or pointy-eared laborers at the construction sites.

    If we didn't become part of the Vulcan sphere of influence, we probably would of somebody else's. Vulcans in ST:FC seemed to claim (or Troi suggested they did) that Earth was uninteresting until it discovered warp; "Carbon Creek" reinforces the impression. It probably became a nuisance at that point, so Vulcans took charge. But Andorians would take charge if Earth helped in the fight against Vulcan. In both cases, the sphere of influence would be a protective shell against general random invasion, even if a magnet for Andorian or Vulcan aggression, respectively. And DSC would suggest Vulcans at the time were quite capable of keeping, say, the Klingons at bay, while ENT shows the Andorians as their peers.

    How could things go differently without the Vulcans? That is, how could Vulcans let something else happen to Earth? We might be a pawn in the game against Andoria, handed over for gain, and we'd again be fine. But if some Klingons barged in here first and declared our planet theirs, would either Vulcan or Andor bother? I guess they would: their antics in "Cease Fire" suggest they could not afford not to.

    I also guess the interesting question here is, what kept Earth safe in the years before the warp discovery? Back when we weren't even a nuisance or a pawn to the Vulcans? Were we really too uninteresting to the Klingons, even though they live almost next door? To the Romulans, who were at Alpha Centauri in the alternate timeline of "Past Tense"? To any of the random folks introduced in ENT, including those fleeing from the Expanse which was just 50 ly away or so? Whatever our guardian angel's true nature, it probably would significantly affect our fate in case Cochrane failed to give the Vulcans the spread fingers.

    Timo Saloniemi