Climate Change and Ecological Economics in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain, New York 2140, and The Ministry for the Future
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American science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson depicts the devastating impact of neoliberal capitalism on climate change in his novels Forty Signs of Rain (2004), New York 2140 (2017), and The Ministry for the Future (2020). Environmental disasters induced by anthropogenic climate change pose a tremendous threat both now and in the near future. Examining the source of these disasters and threats as well as how mainstream economic practices are criticized in Kim Stanley Robinson's selected novels, this thesis proposes that advancements in science and technology, collective actions of citizens, and state-sponsored interventions will contribute to solving climate change-related issues. This thesis aims to examine Kim Stanley Robinson's views on the effects of a steady-state economy within the framework of ecological economics as an alternative to neoliberal capitalist economic models in mitigating the consequences of climate change. In the first chapter, Kim Stanley Robinson's critiques of the human impact on climate change are addressed through scientific research and capitalist economic policies that always aim to sustain economic growth. The second chapter explores how neoliberal capitalist economy practices influence climate change, the active role of science and technology in catastrophe management, the impact of collective actions, and the significance of the transition from the mainstream economic model to ecological economics. In the third chapter, the economic alternatives put forward by Kim Stanley Robinson to eliminate the destructive impacts of the neoliberal capitalist economy on climate change are evaluated, and these ecological economics-based praxes are analyzed within the framework of Herman Daly's steady-state economy. As a result, this thesis examines Kim Stanley Robinson's criticism of the relationship between climate change and neoliberal capitalist economy in his selected novels. Given these criticisms, it is claimed that the economic alternatives introduced by the author are based on the ecological economics model, and government-supported steady-state economy practices have an effective role in mitigating the impacts of the climate crisis and dealing with climate change.