The Ministry for the Future

Robinson writes science fiction that aspires to be a New Yorker essay. This is not entirely bad. What he’s good at is converting an otherwise wonky essay into a story that, if not exactly rousing, is a lot more tangible. His prevailing concern isn’t, near as I can tell, to weave a great tale, but rather to make plain the simple fact that mitigating and reversing climate change is not only imperative, it is achievable. And it’s achievable with the efforts of a wide amalgam of people, including bankers and diplomats and plausible spies, but also average Joes and ecoterrorists and always the hard-working and just-ambitious-enough bureaucrats. This isn’t a great work of fiction. It is not a list of solutions for undoing climate change (although I bet some people will mistake it as such). It is a convincing way of stating that we have everything we need to remake the world such that everyone can thrive. The question is whether or not enough of us will choose to do so.