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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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • 11-12.RL.1 Analyze what the text says explicitly as well as inferentially, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain; cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis. Identify areas where the text leaves ideas unclear of unexplored.
      • 11-12.RL.3 Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a literary text.
      • 11-12.RL.5 Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
  • 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.
  • Social Sciences
    • Civics and Government (K-12)
      • HS.11 Analyze and evaluate the methods for challenging, resisting, and changing society in the promotion of equity, justice, and equality.
    • Economics: Global Economy (9-12)
      • HS.24 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, labor conditions, human rights, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • Economics: National Economy (9-12)
      • HS.14 Evaluate the selection of monetary and fiscal policies in response to a variety of economic conditions and indicators and the role and function of the Federal Reserve.
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