Friday, November 19, 2021

Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Ministry for the Future", book preview


flying over Nevada, 2018-9

There is a lot of praise for Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Ministry for the Future”, now from Orbit (2020, 576 pages, although the novel was completed before the pandemic.

The book apparently starts with a wet bulb heat wave that kills 20 million in India.

Various articles (some paywalls) indicate Robinson’s views, that those in privileged positions may have to be willing to act more energetically and personally sacrificially than they have expected.  He thinks that civilization as we know it could end if capitalism doesn’t change. He even wants to entertain the idea of doing away with fiat money (what about crypto and blockchain)? Another idea could be to tie currency to carbon sequestration.

But there may be constructive ideas, that even private interests could sponsor. There could be ways to deflect light from the Sun (hydrogen sulfide?)  Maybe people should travel in electric busses or even airships rather than planes.

Here are a few discussions:  Time magazine;  Jacobin (socialism), New Scientist (with internal links).

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