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Meaningful global action on climate change looks like it may finally be in reach in 2021 – the United States has rejoined the Paris Agreement and the Biden administration has signaled that climate change is a top priority. But what if we fail? In his new novel, The Ministry for the Future, legendary science-fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson imagines that very scenario, telling the story of a chaotic, not-so-distant future with runaway climate change, eco-terrorists, petro-billionaires, and a shadowy international organization known as the “Ministry for the Future.”
How can speculative fiction like this new novel help inform smart global policy? Are there real-life equivalents of The Ministry for the Future? And is there hope that the world can avoid the worst-case scenario of climate change?
Join Perry World House and Kim Stanley Robinson for this edition of Global Lens, Perry World House’s cultural affairs event program, to discuss his new novel, The Ministry for the Future, and how speculative fiction can inform policy debates.
Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed New York 2140, The Years of Rice and Salt, and 2312. In 2008, he was named a "Hero of the Environment" by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California. His latest novel is The Ministry for the Future, one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020.