What does the future look like? According to Kim Stanley Robinson, the internationally acclaimed science fiction writer, his book “Ministry for the Future” takes us to the year 2025, where our climate change nightmare has become a chilling reality.
But while the novel foretells of what may come, Robinson offers inspiration and hope for how to solve the climate crisis.
“It’s pretty clear we can do it. The solutions are there,” Robinson said. “Decarbonization of society is becoming a generally agreed-up necessary process. And that wasn’t true even when I wrote ‘Ministry for the Future’ in 2019.”
Unlike typical book tours, Robinson’s talks, like this one at UC San Diego, spark grassroot discussions at the local level about everything from infrastructure to economics.
“My [book] focuses a lot on the economics of it because although we have the means to do it, we don’t pay ourselves to do the right things. We’re in a system where people get paid for extraction and exploitation and appropriation…and we’ve hit the moment where it no longer will sustain.”
Can an author in the humanities reshape the world through words?
Kim Stanley Robinson is doing just that. In 2021, he attended COP26 in Glasgow. He addressed the United Nations, which is now convening a summit for the future based on his novel. Time magazine recognized his contributions by naming him “Hero of the Environment” – and the astronomical community immortalized him by naming asteroid 72432 as “Kimrobinson” in his honor.