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Thoughts on the Climate and the Future of (Western, Liberal) Government (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry for the Future)

It’s coincidental that I’m drafting this on the weekend that Al Gore published his thoughtful, hopeful op-ed in the NYT (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/12/opinion/sunday/biden-climate-change-al-gore.html). But, the following thoughts began a couple of weeks ago when I joined Bryan Alexander’s (Bryanalexander.org) book club reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry for the Future (https://www.amazon.com/Ministry-Future-Kim-Stanley-Robinson-ebook/dp/B084FY1NXB). It’s a wonderful account so far of the national and global government dysfunction that prevents any real coordinated effort to manage climate change (or any other global problem for that matter–education, demographics, etc.). Reading this, I’m reminded of an equally poignant and terrifying book (and article by the same title) Climate Leviathan by Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann (https://www.amazon.com/Climate-Leviathan-Political-Theory-Planetary/dp/1786634457/ref=sr_1_1?crid=10HOTJRASJY84&dchild=1&keywords=climate+leviathan&qid=1607873245&sprefix=climate+levi%2Cdigital-text%2C168&sr=8-1). Both demonstrate that western liberalism has met its match when confronting truly global challenges.