Discussion prompt: Post a critical or creative response to KSR’s Pacific Edge.
As we discussed in class, visioning our future is essential when discussing environmental sustainability. An illustration of a green society could help us immensely in identifying the measures we must take in order to obtain that goal. This concept has already been put in use in the form of backcasting. For instance, a model of a sustainable city in the future is designed, followed by working backwards to today’s city and identifying the steps between the two.
Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson provides us with such a vision. Set in El Modena in 2065, Robinson describes a future utopia where humanity is living a green future, preventing what most people believe is the doom of climate change.
What I particularly like about the book is how meticulous the author has planned the set itself. Firstly, Robinson has included some big changes from today’s society. Biking is the main form of transport, and the few cars that exist run on alcohol. In addition, people grow their own fruits and vegetables. The author has also included small environmentally sustainable changes. For instance, people use headlamps since there are no streetlights.
Pacific Edge shows us that a green future is possible, and illustrates plenty of measures we can take to get there. It is our responsibility to follow through.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. Pacific Edge. Tom Doherty Associates, 1988.