New York 2140 and Occupied

I haven’t been posting what I’ve been reading lately. I finished a book and got a bit stuck, I wasn’t sure how to write about it because I keep thinking about it. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson is the book. I’ve become a bit obsessed with reading near future dystopias that in some way include aspects of what will happen with climate change.

On the heels of finishing that book I started watching Occupied on Netflix, a Norwegian series about climate change and fossil fuel usage. And both of these stories have me thinking.

In New York 2140 sea level has risen by 50 feet, lower Manhattan is under water, the streets are now canals, and bulidings are underwater for the first several floors. People are living in old office buildings and the capitalism on which everything rests is still going strong, even if some of the financial centers of the world have changed locations. We follow a band of people all connected by living in or near the Met Life building, which is now a coop. The characters, the descriptions, all of it is amazing.

In Occupied, Norway has experienced a hurricane due to the effects of climate change which then swept their green party into power because they promised to stop the use of fossil fuels. When the new PM turns off the gas and oil to the EU and Russia, things start to get interesting and that’s where the series begins. It’s a fast paced game of chess and pressure and military might. The first season is much better than the second, but the premise is what I’ve been thinking about quite a bit.

In both these stories I can see how we as a planet may react to climate change. There will be pockets of good and of course there will be those who try to take advantage. And for some reason this helps me, it helps me to be able to imagine that we will survive in some capacity. Much like Octavia Butlers’s Parables series, survival is possible. I won’t lie, climate change and its effects are what I think about a lot these days, and reading or watching stories that help me sort that out has been incredibly helpful.

Have any recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them.

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