The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

I usually really like Kim Stanley Robinson’s novels. They’re science fiction with an emphasis on science (excluding the excellent Years of Rice and salt). The Mars series dealt with the terraforming of Mars from an freezing and inhospitable desert planet into a verdant second earth with an atmosphere which is only slightly slightly chilly.

The Ministry for the Future shows what can happen if humanity works together to halt and reverse climate change to stave of extinction.

Sadly, it’s not at all believable.

I love the concepts and the ideas, but honestly, it’s just too unlikely.

Robinson paints a three decade future history as a wish list for humanity. I can’t disagree with any of the ideas or approaches the ministry takes - indeed it’s a perfect wish list for fixing the planet and society. Fairness, greater financial equality, respect for science, working together. It’s just inconcievable and that’s the sad thing.

I’ve read a lot of science fiction over the years, and the only one which I find wholly unrealistic is the one in which people can work together to fix some relatively minor environemtal issues on our home planet.

It’s not space travel, terraforming, or dyson spheres, it’s stop being so collectively crappy to each other and the Earth, and it’s not believable.