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Kim Stanley Robinson


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


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

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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.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • RL.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence and make relevant connections to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
      • RL.11-12.3 Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
      • RL.11-12.5 Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.9-10.8 Determine if the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
  • 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.
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