Fifty Degrees Below
Kim Stanley Robinson
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Bestselling, award-winning, author Kim Stanley Robinson continues his groundbreaking trilogy of eco-thrillers–and propels us deeper into the awesome whirlwind of climatic change. Set in our nation’s capital, here is a chillingly realistic tale of people caught in the collision of science, technology, and the consequences of global warming–which could trigger another phenomenon: abrupt climate change, resulting in temperatures...
When the storm got bad, scientist Frank Vanderwal was at work, formalizing his return to the National Science Foundation for another year. He’d left the building just in time to help sandbag at Arlington Cemetery. Now that the torrent was over, large chunks of San Diego had eroded into the sea, and D.C. was underwater.
Shallow lakes occupied the most famous parts of the city. Reagan Airport was awash and the Potomac had spilled beyond its banks. Rescue boats dotted the saturated cityscape. Everything Frank and his colleagues in the halls of science and politics feared had culminated in this massive disaster. And now the world looked to them to fix it.
Whatever Frank can do, now that he is homeless, he’ll have to do from his car. He’s not averse to sleeping outdoors. Years of research have made him hyperaware of his status as just another primate. That plus his encounter with a Tibetan Buddhist has left him resolved to live a more authentic life.
Hopefully, this will prepare him for whatever is to come....
For even as D.C. bails out from the flood, a more extreme climate change looms. With the melting of the polar ice caps shutting down the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, another Ice Age could be imminent. The last time it happened, eleven thousand years ago, it took just three years to start.
Once again Kim Stanley Robinson uses his remarkable vision, trademark wry wit, and extraordinary insight into the complexity between man and nature to take us to the brink of disaster–and slightly beyond.
From the Hardcover edition.
good!” Zeno said sarcastically. “Real good! These brothers are wondering if we have any drugs to sell.” “You guys?” Spencer laughed, and Robert and Robin echoed him as they flanked him on both sides, their golf disks held before them like Oddjob’s hat. Frank was just comprehending the situation when the young men joined the laughter, smiles flashing in the gloom, and headed down Ross without a farewell. “Catch you guys,” Spencer said as he moved on to the next tee. “Yeah, catch you,” Zeno
You don’t mind sleep on floor?” “I’ve been sleeping in a tree.” Startled, Rudra refocused on Frank. Again the strange intensity of his gaze; he looked right into you. And who else had Frank told about his tree house? No one but Caroline. “Good idea!” Rudra said. “One thing right away—I cannot be, what say—guru for you.” “That’s okay, I already have a guru. He teaches me frisbee.” “Good idea.” Afterward Frank said to Drepung, “He seems fine to me.” “So you will share a room with him?”
candidate will work to protect the environment, and it’s me, me and my party. Let’s turn it into a big party. We can make things better for our kids, and that’ll be our fun. That’s the way it’s always been until now, so you can’t let the fear and greed guys scare you ’til you cut and run. The new climate is an opportunity. We needed to change, and now we will, because we have to. What could be more convenient?” This played well too, much to the pundits’ private surprise (in public they always
his name.” “Limited value in hitting them with that now.” “But it’s still happening! I mean whatever happened to government of the people by the people and for the people not perishing from this earth?” Pointing at the marred lines on the wall, looking as heavily symbolic as an image in a Cocteau film. “An idea that lost?” Charlie said, spurring him on. “Democracy can’t lose. It has to succeed.” “ ‘Democracy will never succeed, it takes up too many evenings.’ ” “Ha. Who said that?” “Oscar
politeness talking. But then she glanced at him, went on: “I saw one proposal there that I thought was a good one, that the panel ended up turning down.” “Yes?” “Yes. By a Yann Pierzinski.” “Oh yes. I remember. That was a good one. I was the outside member of his doctoral committee at Caltech. He does really interesting work.” “Yes,” she said. “But the panel didn’t agree.” “No, I was surprised at that.” “Me too. So when Small Delivery told me they were looking for a biomathematician, I