Catastrophe and Utopia: Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘Ministry for the Future’

12 February 2021 — Tropics of Meta

We need no longer speculate about whether we live in a climate emergency.  The scientific verdict has been out for some time now, each year’s report grimmer than the last.  The UN World Meteorological Organization’s most recent report tells us that Arctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting at faster rates, the oceans are moribund, that there were a record number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, floods in Asia and Africa, droughts and wildfires in the Americas, and climate refugees the world over.  And this is to say nothing of deforestation, depleted soils, polluted air and water, and biodiversity loss.  The World Wildlife Fund’s most recent report tells us that mammal, bird, fish, amphibian, and reptile populations have fallen an average of 68% since 1970.  “Our relationship with nature,” as they put it, “is broken.”

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Capitalism: what a load of rubbish! By William Bowles

18 October 2011

Something has to be done about a world rapidly filling up with the (often poisonous) rubbish that capitalism produces in vast abundance. Rubbish that will be with us for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Even the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is carpeted with the stuff, mostly plastic waste of all kinds. Even the remotest corners of our once, largely pristine planet are now poisoned with the excreta of capitalism’s insane and so far, unstoppable and largely arbitrary productive capacity.

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We are the Snails on the Slope By William Bowles

9 November 2006

The following two stories are typical of what greets me as I go through my mail every am:

50 dead in ongoing operation; missile hits schoolchildren
IOF’s continued offensive on north Gaza has left 45 Palestinians killed in (50 in the entire Gaza Strip) in its sixth day. Of the killed, nine are children, two are women and one is elderly. Some 190 have also been injured, including 46 children and 45 women. An IOF air strike hit near a school and a nursery bus children. In addition, IOF have destroyed 64 homes, 11 of which completely, seized 34 others, and demolished five public institutions, two stores and five vehicles. The humanitarian situation in Beit Hanoun has further deteriorated owing to the shortage of foodstuffs, electricity, water and medicine, as well as increasing damage to the town’s infrastructure. At 7. 05am today, Monday 6 November 2006, IOF fired a missile hitting a group of school children near a school in Beit Lahia, near the town of Beit Hanoun.” — Al Mezan 11/6/2006
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Confusion in the ranks By William Bowles

20 September 2006

Do you believe in synchronicity? Yeah, I know it sounds like some mystical new age crapola, but it is a fact that the creative process is driven by—well who knows what—quantum physics? All those impossible entities whizzing around (metaphorically speaking) in our brains that make connections, driven by an impossible number of combinations that we call the imagination that are the sum (and then some) of what we are born with and all the experiences we go through from birth that end up making us what we are.

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The snail on the (slippery) slope By William Bowles

29 December 2005

earthafrI’m not too keen on doing end of the year summations but it strikes me that 2005 has surely been a watershed year for the entire planet. No doubt there are many of us who feel very pessimistic about the situation what with a recognition at long last, that the insane economic policies of an out-of-control capitalism threatens our very survival as a species.

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