Comments: Climatic Sci-fi

I read a Finnish scifi book a couple of years back that was set around the subject of run-away greenhouse effect in the not-too-distant future: "Herääminen" ("Awakening" (Tammi 2000, 290p.)) by Risto Isomäki. As far as I can remember, it was a good book, and the science was solid.
Unsurprisingly, it hasn't been translated.

Thinking just from the top of my head now, but perhaps the subject is hitting a bit too close to home for writers to write (or indeed publishers to publish! what with the current, er, climate in the States concerning the "validity" of climate change and CO2 emissions' effect thereon, for example) about it; scifi is, after all, very much about escapism, and if you can read that sort of apocalyptica from your daily papers, it is less likely to entertain, no matter how fictional a guise you dress it in. I suspect this may be especially true about the people who read scifi (and especially the "harder" end of scifi) because they often are of the reasonably well educated, thinking kind(? ;-) ), and know more than enough about the dire possibilites already...

Posted by pardina at February 7, 2005 1:11 PM

There's Earth by David Brin. Near future sf, he said about 50 years, so I suppose it's close to 30 now :-) Also has overpopulation, no privacy, physics discoveries.


Posted by mollydot at February 7, 2005 2:20 PM

A few more global warming SF novels: Forty Signs of Rain, by Kim Stanley Robinson, Greenhouse Summer, by Norman Spinrad, and Heavy Weather, by Bruce Sterling.

Hmm. After a quick bit of googling, it looks like we're in for 1 m of sea level rise over the next century, (this is toward the high end of the estimates, but it's usually a good bet to go to the high end, when it comes to human folly.)

A collapse of the West Antarctic ice shelf represents another 5 m of potential sea level rise, but it's not clear that it's going to happen. (An increase in precipitation may balance out the melting) And if it does, it will take a few centuries.

I think there will be enough time for rich countries to build dikes to protect the biggest cities. (With some few exceptions like Venice and Miami that may be impossible to save.) San Francisco is quite hilly, and most of it is at least several metres above sea level. Likewise London, which is inland after all.

I would think that if anything, the Netherlands would be better off than most places. They already have dikes, and more importantly, the knowledge of how to build and maintain them, which they will be able to export at a premium.

Posted by Owen at February 9, 2005 9:09 PM