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Kim Stanley Robinson


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Civics, English Language Arts

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

Remembering Climate Change...A Message from the Year 2071

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  • This short work of science fiction, read by the author Kim Stanley Robinson, imagines a future where humanity has made international systemic changes to halt climate change.
  • This future society of 2071 has reprioritized the economy, allowing people, companies, and governments to earn money by capturing carbon from the atmosphere or by keeping carbon from getting released.
  • Robinson stresses the importance of interdisciplinary and global teamwork.
Teaching Tips


  • A transcript of the video is available in 15 languages.
  • The sources Robinson used are posted below the video.
  • While Robinson does not veer away from the complexity and danger of the current climate situation, he ultimately has a hopeful message about climate change.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a good understanding of climate change and carbon capture technologies.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson has authored many books, including the dystopian climate novel Ministry for the Future.


  • Robinson lists many solutions for reducing carbon in the atmosphere, which students could research and present to the class.
  • Civics, government, and social studies classes could debate the feasibility of the international solution that Robinson presents.
  • English classes could use this piece to inspire their own science fiction short stories about climate change.
Scientist Notes
This 10-minute TED talk envisions a possible future in which humans have substantially addressed climate change from the viewpoint of a look back from the year 2071. This is a version of the story from the recent science fiction novel The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. This resource is an excellent example of envisioning the future through thought experiments and is a great way to start discussions of Earth's future. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.11-12.1 Cite relevant textual evidence that strongly supports analysis of what the text says explicitly/implicitly and make logical inferences, including determining where the text is ambiguous; develop questions for deeper understanding and for further exploration. (RI&RL)
      • R.11-12.3 In literary texts, analyze the impact of the author's choices. (RL) In informational texts, analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop. (RI)
      • R.11-12.5 In literary texts, analyze how varied aspects of structure create meaning and affect the reader. (RL) In informational texts, analyze the impact and evaluate the effect structure has on exposition or argument in terms of clarity, persuasive/rhetorical technique, and audience appeal. (RI)
  • Social Studies
    • Economics
      • SS.Econ4.c.h Evaluate types of taxes (i.e., progressive, regressive) and earned benefits with eligibility criteria (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid). Justify the selection of fiscal and monetary policies in expanding or contracting the economy.
      • SS.Econ4.d.h Evaluate the intended and unintended costs and benefits (i.e., externalities) of government policies to improve market outcomes and standards of living. Analyze the effectiveness of how people, government policies, and economic systems have attempted to address income inequality and working conditions both now and in the past.
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