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On Some Days, Fiction is Better

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

On this day in the US a woman's right to manage her own body has been overturned by the Supreme Court—a court of questionable legitimacy considering the extreme political maneuvering that has essentially turned the judicial branch into an arm of the Republican party. On days like this, fiction can offer a needed break from the world.

Disclaimer: The book I'd like to recommend does not begin as a happy read. Kim Stanley Robinson's, Ministry for the Future, published in 2020, addresses climate change in the near future. It offers a hopeful scenario where humans are able to preserve some biodiversity and our species. The outstanding characteristic of a Kim Stanley Robinson book, is that the man knows his science, so some of the strategies outlined in the book might offer real-world solutions.

Robinson’s story begins with a horrific heat wave in India that kills 20 million people as the electrical grid fails and the heat and humidity hit a wet-bulb temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, the temperature at which the body's cooling mechanisms fail and life becomes unsustainable. (It feels like 160 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Why would I ask you to read this—especially when we are experiencing one upheaval after another? Especially when as we endure repeated natural disasters, this book is starting to look less and less like fiction.

I guess I must come back to the way Robinson shows us possibilities. The passion of one central character, Frank, a survivor of the heat wave, influences Mary, the leader of the Ministry, which is the organization charged with protecting future species. One key tool that helps to mitigate the crisis is the use of a carbon currency that essentially taxes the burning of fossil fuels.

This is where the fiction part comes in handy. It's hard to imagine getting people behind a new tax in today's economic climate. In the real world, President Biden has urged the US Congress to approve a three-month gas-tax holiday in the hopes that the economy stabilizes. But ultimately, if we paid more to burn fossil fuels, the profitability of green technology could provide planet-friendly alternatives that we haven’t even thought of yet. In the end, if fiction is not your thing, I would like to suggest that we all at least vote for the world we’re wishing for.

I would love it if you took a moment to share. How are you getting through this difficult moment in time? What do you think of solving the climate crisis with a carbon tax? What do you like to read when you need a break from reality?

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Jun 25, 2022

Those sound like good steps. We can travel less, Covid proved it. It doesn't mean the tango musicians never get to tour, but we may still have to help pay for the carbon. It's a case of pay me now or pay me later and time is running our. Look what's happening out west with the droughts, floods, and fires.


When I need a break from reality, I turn off the news. I think the news is responsible for a lot of the problems today. People do stuff in order to get fame and recognition

The only fiction I read now is when I'm in an airport waiting for a flight and I have on my Kindle the trash romance novels which don't tax my brain too much and aren't too dramatic. I read Gone with the Wind in all one day and it gave me nightmares for a week. My mother wouldn't let me listen to the mystery radio shows like the Fat Man... "He's stepping on the scales. Weight 276 pounds, Fortune DANGER". Although she would le…

Jun 26, 2022
Replying to

I'm afraid your right about that.


Jun 24, 2022

It will be harsh on some people, like the poor, but the gas tax 3 month reprieve is not the answer. Yes, the high gas prices are hurting the lower income people, but there are a lot of people have disposable incomes and make 6 figures duel incomes driving Trailbazers,and 4x4 duel cab pickup trucks.

Electric vehicles are in the future but now.

A carbon tax?

It may help.But I think that it will only hurt other aspects of the world.


A grouo of Tango musicians come to tge USA to perform. Must travel by plane. Cost of ticket plus carbon tax. The person to set it up needs to charge more for the performance. Some may still be…

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