Episode #33: Kim Stanley Robinson on COP26

During my trip to the global climate talks in Glasgow in 2021, I had a most serendipitous encounter.

I was there as a member of Boston College’s first delegation to the United Nations Conference of the Parties (“COP”), and on day three, I bumped into the science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, whose novel, The Ministry for the Future, I had recently assigned in my course on the ethics of climate change. Robinson is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest science fiction writers of our time. Ministry even made Barack Obama’s best books list of 2020.

I was expecting a photo and maybe a brief comment about his experience of the COP; instead, he gave me his email and, a few days later, over an hour of his time.

We sat on the floor in the “Action Zone,” one of the main lounges, ducking beneath the din of the conference, and talked about the climate, the future, the power of stories, and what he likes to call the science fiction novel we are currently all living within.





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