A climate catastrophe is coming. But that’s not the end of the story.
Robinson’s book contains many caveats for today’s political leaders and policymakers.of province, Ever more extreme climate events, coupled with political inaction, will ultimately lead to violence and terrorism. A tiny United Nations agency called the “Ministry of the Future” maneuvers in a desperate attempt to get nations and institutions to take steps to save humanity.
I called Robinson to find out what he had in mind for this summer. Ministry of the FutureRobinson recently published his first non-fiction book, The High Sierra: Love Storyhe said Ministry of the Future He continues to monopolize his time by spending his days in constant speeches and interviews, including attending the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021. provincial plot. )
“This book changed my life,” said Robinson. “I’m just talking Ministry of the Future For the past year and a half, almost two years now. It’s also scary. It shows me that people desperately need stories like this. “
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Raidman: In your first chapter, 20 million people died in the heat wave and power outages in India, thousands of whom were poached in lakes trying to escape the heat. Does it take this kind of climate scare to shock the world?
Robinson: No. When I was at COP 26, Jordanian diplomat Zeid Ra’ad Hussein said: province, We were talking about the power of stories. He said, “You don’t have to be in a plane crash to know it’s bad.” Every year since writing this book, perhaps since he wrote it three years ago, it seems that the climate change crisis has more than doubled his attention. Almost exponential.
We’re nowhere near the resolution, but every COP meeting adds to the sense of ‘Oh my God, we’re heading for a plane crash’. Not enough. We don’t pay poor countries enough. Rich countries are breaking promises made at his previous COP. The COP process itself worries me because I’ve become so disillusioned with it. Compare with the League of Nations. The League of Nations was a great idea that failed. Then came the 1930s and World War II. The 2015 Paris Agreement was great. What I wrote was what people call utopia. But it happened in the real world.
Now, with Russia and the brutal Ukraine war, things could go haywire, turning the COP process and the Paris Agreement into a League of Nations. i’m afraid of it it’s not a deal.
Raidman: We seem to have an incredible ability to ignore plane crashes. You talk about this in your book. It’s the popular belief that someone else’s disaster can’t happen to us, the idea that “they must have done something wrong.”
Robinson: Michael Lewis tells a great story about it in his book [The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy] About the federal government. A town in Oklahoma is destroyed by a tornado, and the next town says, “Oh, they’re in the tornado’s path, and we’re not.” Yes, we have that ability. But it brings good points. Even if he had 20 million deaths in India, people would say it was India. It’s mostly their fault. It’s like the school shootings in America. everyone regrets it. everyone goes on. nothing changes.
What makes the difference is the accumulation of knowledge about climate change in my home country. I didn’t die from its effects, but I know it’s bad for my children. You are not dead yet, but I know you are sick.
Raidman: You’ve spent a lot of time researching monetary policy, but you also briefly discuss technology. I kept looking to see if it was an invention of Jabon’s Paradox, Mondragon, Gini Coefficients, etc. And they were all real.
Robinson: The only thing English majors are trained to do is read texts and try to create new ones. That’s my main reading. But at least 30 years ago, someone said, “It’s a shame you don’t know anything about economics.” And then I got annoyed.Then I was like, well actually I’m please do not I know nothing about economics. Over the last 30 years, I have done a sort of independent research with a lot of help from economists, especially political economy. When we talk about economics, we should always think about the political economy that gave rise to it in the first place. It is clear, then, that capitalism is not natural. That’s not really enough for the situation. It creates inequality. It destroys the biosphere. We need post-capitalist. I started thinking about it in the early 1990s. But if you go looking for what comes after capitalism, you will find nothing. It’s unbelievable.
As a science fiction writer, I have been frustrated by the lack of help from theorists in building future societies in my novels.I had to piece it together from the people who did the work, but they often come from the past. Ministry Not post-capitalist, but going back to the early moments of capitalism when government was still the driving force.make Ministry It seems plausible because we are trapped in a huge network of laws and practices.
Raidman: In your book, India has not only suffered the greatest catastrophe, but has also become a model for carbon reform. What made you choose India?
Robinson: I thought about it and wrote it. It’s avoidance in a way. Most of the readers of this book are in the United States or English-speaking countries, but it is certainly read in India as well.But what I’m trying to say is that if something good happens in a great power on the other side of the world, you’re more likely to believe it because you don’t know the specifics of that country as well as your own. set it up in your country, in all respects you would gowell, it won’t happen. Impossible. So on the one hand it is a utopian literary evasion to put change in another place so that it can be believed. And it’s not good.