“In the twenty-first century it became clear that the planet was incapable of sustaining everyone alive at Western levels, and at that point the richest pulled away into their fortress mansions and bolted their doors to wait it out until some poorly theorized better time… beyond that, après moi le déluge.”
Uniting science and politics, and giving voice to our most ardent hopes and our worst fears, American climate fiction pioneer Kim Stanley Robinson’s book “Ministry for the Future” is a gripping portrayal of a world grappling with the devastating consequences of climate change and the urgent actions needed to forge a sustainable future.
In a world that is rapidly warming and where the conversation has already moved from mitigation to adaptation, where climate protestors are treated as security threats and global corporations continue to pollute the planet, discourses on our common future tend toward the apocalyptic.
Under such circumstances, imaging the future is a daunting task. Yet the “Ministry for the Future” reaffirms Robinson’s unique ability to weave science and storytelling into a compelling imaginative tool, offering thought-provoking solutions that often get lost amidst the highly polarized debate about how to best tackle this life-threatening problem.
After his talk, we will be joined by expert guests in the fields of literature, environmental studies, and social activism. Join the conversation as we explore the novel’s ingenious narrative structure, intricate character development, and the fascinating ideas that challenge our perceptions of climate change, economics and humanity’s role in shaping the future.
This event is a collaboration between the John Adams Institute, Paradiso, and Starfish Books.
The Ministry for the Future is a climate fiction (“cli-fi”) novel published in 2020. Set in the near future, the novel follows a subsidiary body, established under the Paris Agreement, whose mission is to act as an advocate for the world’s future generations of citizens as if their rights are as valid as the present generation’s. While they pursue various ambitious projects, the effects of climate change are determined to be the most consequential.
With its emphasis on scientific accuracy and non-fiction descriptions of history and social science, the novel is classified as hard science fiction. It is also a part of the growing body of climate fiction. Robinson had previously written other climate fiction novels, such as 2312 and New York 2140.