Archives for October, 2015

A powerful investigation of the challenges of truly reaching for the stars. Kim Stanley Robinson asks, “What would it really be like if we tried,” and then comes up with some answers, not all of which are pleasant to consider. While you can (and people have) poke holes in some of the science and assumptions, this book goes further and deeper into the underlying difficulties of sending people into space for over a hundred years, and leaving behind the cradle from which we came.

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This story is a warning of the consequences of apathy and denial in the face of gradual climate change. Like a gradually heated lobster, we fail to notice the danger until the water is already boiling and it is too late. Similarly, institutions in a position to effect policy changes that could arrest or reverse global warming fail to act, even when water is lapping at the foot of the Lincoln memorial. The broken interface between science and political leadership results in energy expended in arguments to defend doing nothing, and Robinson shows us, through the eyes of his characters, the powerlessness of society in the face of global problems of our own making.

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