I suppose most science fiction writers are, or tend to be, futurists of a sort. One goes hand in hand with the other to some degree.
One of these is Canadian born writer, Cory Doctorow. I'm not familiar with his work, probably never will be, but his Globe op-ed on what awaits us in the coming decade is definitely worth a read. Here are a few paragraphs that I hope will pique your interest.
If you need proof that science-fiction writers are trapped by our consensus on the future and struggle to steer it, consider this: It’s not that hard to imagine surviving a just climate transition. Our leaders are willing to accept the market orthodoxy that businesses can expand production infinitely on a finite world by realizing new efficiencies in material and energy usage. Is that so different from the proposition that, as the crisis looms, we can find the material, energy and labour needed for seawalls, clinics, relocations and new energy production and storage facilities?
...The looming climate emergency is proving the axiom that “it’s easier to imagine the end of the human race than it is to imagine the end of capitalism.” Our species – which has mobilized millions of bodies for war, gold rushes, Beanie Babies and Beatlemania – seems to have given up hope of any chance of mobilizing a comparable effort to avert its own extinction.
How is this possible? How is it that we can contemplate the great achievements of our ancestors and insist that we ourselves could never hope to match them? Are we trapped in a science-fiction tale of the brutish remnants of a fallen civilization, living amidst its slowly disintegrating machines, unable to repair or replace them?
I don’t think so. But I feel the same sense of inevitability as you do, the sense that although we can see that the bridge is out ahead, that although we know where the steering wheel and brakes are, that, for some reason, we cannot yank the wheel nor hit the brakes. That, as in a nightmare, we are doomed to sit in mute horror as we careen to our doom.Doctorow's opinion piece convinced me of one thing. We'll never have a future if we can't imagine a future. He tosses out a series of ideas on how we might still change course if only we want it enough. I won't comment on that here except to say his ideas are worth a read. Imagine.