- Author Neal Stephenson discusses his fear of a looming ecological disaster and the science he thinks could solve it during a recent episode of the Recode Media podcast.
- “I think it’s going to be the biggest engineering project in human history,” Stephenson says. “It’s going to transform the world — the built environment — because we simply can’t do it without doing engineering on a massive scale.”
Science fiction pioneer Neal Stephenson says humanity needs to be concentrated on the big issue — climate change. (He has written about this in his technothriller Termination Shock.)
“The only things worth talking about right now are carbon and the fracturing of society by social media,” he told Vox’s Peter Kafka during a recent episode of the Recode Media podcast.
“How do we reduce carbon emissions and remove the hundreds of billions of kilograms of carbon that we’ve already put into the air? I think we’ll beat that problem.
“But I think it’s going to be the biggest engineering project in human history. It’s going to transform the world — the built environment — because we simply can’t do it without doing engineering on a massive scale. I think we’ll succeed at it. But we’ll have some bad times between now and then.
“I think we’ll start to see the kinds of mass casualty events that are described in Kim Stanley Robinson’s book, The Ministry for the Future, where you might see millions of people dying of heat stroke in a certain area over a very short period of time,” he continues.
“When the temperature goes up, the humidity goes up, the power goes out. And when that kind of stuff starts happening — which I sadly think it will in the next decade — it’s going to have incredibly powerful political ramifications.”